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The 2013 Car Craft Street Machine Nationals

Back To Du Quoin!

By , Photography by ,

Midnight Drags

Midnight Drags is a heads-up, drag-racing concept we’ve been kicking around for a couple years in our staff meetings, and with the help of some sponsorship money from Gear Vendors, it finally came to fruition at I-57 Dragstrip, a cool, old eighth-mile track in nearby Benton, Illinois. Track owner Scott Bailey runs a Grudge Match format on the weekends, and we joined in on the fun, offering a $1,000 prize and a Dickies CC jacket to the top dog.

We worried the sudden downpour two hours ahead of our scheduled start time on Saturday night would wash out the event completely. Instead, it merely pushed the schedule back a couple of hours, making Midnight Drags actually start at midnight—well, 11:30, but that’s close enough. The rain did keep a few competitors away, but we were still impressed with both the turnout and the quality of the cars. The top guys were trapping faster than 130 mph in the eighth-mile. Those are low 8-second cars, my friends.

After several rounds of eliminations, Mitch Leidecker emerged victorious, driving his 1990 Mustang to the stripe just a bit quicker than first runner-up Nick Droit in his 1992 Camaro. We couldn’t have scripted it better: Mustang versus Camaro in the final round.

The Competitors
Adam Shain 2002 Corvette Z06
Geoff Dugopolski 1966 Malibu
Brandt Greer 1991 Mustang
Tim Melvin 1973 Nova
Brian Burwell 1955 Chevy
Mark Faust 1930 Model A
Ryan Roberts 1972 Nova
Stanley Sutton, Jr. 1985 S-10
Nick Droit 1992 Camaro
Mitch Leidecker 1990 Mustang


In our efforts to promote the return of the Street Machine Nationals, one of the most common reactions from readers was that they wanted extra coverage, which is what we’ve tried to do here. But even within eight pages, there is plenty we left out, so go to to see a weekend recap by our online guy, Nik Kolenich, and additional photos we didn’t have space for here.


This show would not have been possible without sponsorship from Chevrolet Performance, Gear Vendors, Painless Performance, RideTech, and Bowler Transmissions. Thank you for your support.

Bowler Performance Transmissions
Gear Vendors
1717 North Magnolia Avenue
El Cajon
CA  92020
350 S. St. Charles Street
IN  47546
Chevrolet Performance
Painless Performance Products
2501 Ludelle Street
Ft. Worth
TX  76105
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