1969-camaro-drag-week-2013-tom-bailey-sick-seconds0031Tom Bailey is a pretty tired guy right now. Tired and famous.

Piloting the ex-ProRides  “Sick Seconds” 1969 Chevy Camaro, Tom made history as the first racer to make five consecutive six-second passes during the 2013 edition of Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week.

On top of that, Tom posted the lowest elapsed time (6.70 seconds) and highest top speed (217 miles-per-hour) ever recorded during Drag Week competition, winning the Unlimited Class crown and earning the title “Quickest and Fastest Street Car in America”.

Tom did all this while logging 1,000 highway miles driving Sick Seconds from  track to track, often in 90-plus degree heat. While the Camaro’s twin-turbo, 615 cubic inch big block Chevy pushes over 2,150 horsepower to the rear wheels (at 25 pounds of boost!), a Gear Vendors overdrive, 3.89 rear axle gears, and 35-inch tires allowed Tom to cruise at 80 miles-per-hour at 2,500 rpm. He managed around 11 miles-per-gallon, and even used the same DOT-legal race tires on the track that he ran on the highway. The only parts hiccup was a bum electric fan on the trip between Bowling Green, KY and Indianapolis.

Before this year’s event, the Drag Week ET record was 6.94 seconds; the top speed record was 212 mlies-per-hour. Tom obliterated the ET record the first day out, running a 6.72 in Bowling Green. Tom went back out Tuesday and broke the ET record again and reset the top speed mark with a 6.70/214 mile-per-hour pass in Indianapolis.

“It felt slow!” Tom jokingly said after the run in a video posted by 1320Video. “Gotta work on that 60-foot time—we’re lacking there.” Spoken like a true racer.

Tom went on to run 6.90s on days three and four (6.97 in Saint Louis, 6.96 in Memphis). On the last race day back in Bowling Green, he reset the top speed record with a 217.42 mile-per-hour pass…and literally blew his own door off as part of the driver side door skin flew off the Camaro in the shutdown area at the top end of the track.

When asked by 1320video what he would say to people who didn’t believe he could drive 1,000 miles and run in the sixes on all five days of Drag Week, Tom simply said, “Look at the name of the car.”

There is a ton of coverage on Tom, Sick Seconds, and Drag Week on the Hot Rod YouTube page, Hot Rod blog, 1320video, and on Tom’s website.

A big attaboy to Mr. Bailey from everyone at OnAllCylinders and Summit Racing!



Author: Alan Rebescher

Editor, author, PR man—Alan Rebescher has done it all in a 25 year career in the high performance industry. He has written and photographed many feature stories and tech articles for Summit Racing and various magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding, and edited Summit Racing’s Street & Strip magazine in the 1990s. His garage is currently occupied by a a 1996 Mustang GT ragtop.