Veteran Drag Week competitor Dave Schroeder, who has endured his share of ups and downs over the years at street legal drag racing’s most grueling challenge, finally secured his first overall and Unlimited class victory on Friday in his gorgeous 1966 Chevrolet Corvette, doing so with a 6.813-second, 207.47 mph average.
Schroeder, who hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was the only competitor at Drag Week this year to complete the five-day tour with an average elapsed time under six seconds — his next closest challenger in Unlimited, Magnus Frost, finished at 7.963, and Joe Barry in Ultimate Iron was second overall at 7.111.
Driving his popular Corvette packed with 872 nitrous oxide-injected cubic-inches for power, Schroeder clocked runs of 6.57 (his best run of the week, at the opener in Cordova), 6.60 (Gateway Motorsports Park), 7.04 (Byron Dragway), 6.75 (Great Lakes Dragaway, and 7.08 (Cordova) to complete his winning timesheet.
Last year, Schroeder struck the retaining wall at Columbus, Ohio’s National Trail Raceway when his parachutes failed to deploy at the close of a run, ending his week and leaving him with considerable and costly damage to repair — that memory certainly making his 2017 triumph that much sweeter.
Just four competitors in Unlimited completed the 2017 event; noticeably absent was Tom Bailey, who recorded low elapsed time at 6.51 on day one before engine woes ended his week. Reigning champion Jeff Lutz missed the time cut for tech inspection and did not officially compete this year.