Never Lift in the Lone Star State: Street Car Takeover Dallas
This past weekend, we touched down in Dallas to see first-hand what the Texas street car scene was all about. You’ve seen our coverage of Street Car Takeover’s events presented by Nitto Tire in different cities across the country, but this was our first trip to Dallas for the event, and we weren’t quite sure what to expect. With such a diverse crowd of car enthusiasts in the area, the turnout definitely didn’t disappoint.
Friday night’s car show and meetup at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Fort Worth gave us a good idea of what we should expect to see at the drag strip the next day. A healthy blend of domestic and import vehicles lined the parking lot, with some diesel trucks and supercars mixed into the bunch. It was evident that this event would have highly contested match-ups from every part of the community.
Saturday morning, we headed south to Ennis, a small town about an hour outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and home to the Texas Motorplex. This drag strip in the heart of the Lone Star State soon filled up with trucks, trailers and race cars belonging to the Street Car Takeover participants.
Row by row, pits were set up just outside a vendor area, which showcased various local performance companies, media outlets such as 1320Video, Monster Energy and even Cleetus McFarland, who showed up with his prized twin-turbo C5 Corvette kart, nicknamed “Leroy.” Racers signed up at the Street Car Takeover booth, got some official merchandise and picked up copies of Driving Line at the Nitto Tire booth.
With all the formalities taken care of, it was finally time for some racing. First up was roll racing, which started at the staging lanes. Running side by side, two cars accelerate to a matched speed under 40 mph through the burnout box and hit full throttle as they passed the Christmas tree light. Roll racing presents its own challenges, but the absence of needing a good launch really lets the car show off its horsepower. The fastest roll race trap speed of the day was 199.8 mph, by a record-breaking R35 GT-R belonging to George Dodworth, complete with a custom-made spoiler to keep the car planted at speed.
After roll racing came the main event. Drag racing at Street Car Takeover takes place in different classes, evenly matching up vehicles based on their abilities and equipment. This event used single elimination rounds, meaning if you lost a race, you were done for the night. With cash prizes on the line, you can imagine the anticipation before each matchup. As the afternoon led into the night, test and tune sessions took place between elimination rounds, and some cars hit the track just to see what they could put down.
One of the best parts about Street Car Takeover is that you don’t need a fully built car with tons of aftermarket parts and custom work put into it to be competitive and have a good time. Sometimes, you just need to bring the right colored key with you to the track. For the first time ever at Street Car Takeover, four Dodge Challenger SRT Demons were in attendance. These factory monsters, running specially designed OEM Nitto NT05R tires, are capable of putting down sub-10 second quarter mile times, even popping wheelies when the track conditions are right. The Dodge Demon’s ability to drive off the showroom floor and run against highly modified drag-ready cars made it a crowd favorite among the participants at Street Car Takeover.
As the night went on, the elimination rounds narrowed the field. Unlikely match-ups such as an early ‘70s Plymouth ‘Cuda and a late ‘50s Chevy Bel Air came down to fractions of a second. Cleetus McFarland, although a finalist in the elimination rounds, was primarily attempting to break his personal best record, which also happens to be the world record for the fastest 6-speed Corvette pass. On his final run, Leroy laid down a blistering 8.38-second pass against a turbocharged Honda Civic EG hatchback. Unfortunately, Cleetus got a bit ahead of himself and red-lighted the tree, causing him to automatically lose to the EG. Still a record!
If you’re into drag racing, but don’t really have the means to support a whole pit crew, expensive trailer, lots of extra tires, parts or other equipment that big teams have, but you’re willing to put your daily driver to weekend cruiser on the strip for some fun, Street Car Takeover is the event for you. We highly suggest getting out to one of these family-friendly events, even if you’re not racing. With dozens of events held across the country throughout the whole year, there’s bound to be one coming near you. If you do decide to put your ride on the drag strip, there’s a chance you can go home with some big prize money.