What started as a hyped-up rivalry couldn’t be much further than that for Drag Week contenders Larry Larson and Joe Barry.
If you remotely follow drag racing then you know the name Larry Larson and are probably familiar with what his accomplishments and accolades in what most would consider the baddest real street car in the world.
Larson, multi-time Unlimited class Hot Rod Drag Week winner, was the first and still is the only car to run a full grueling week of driving and racing without the support of any outside vehicle and run in the six-second zone. Last year, Colorado native Joe Barry announced that he was bringing his ’56 Chevy to do battle with Larson on Drag Week in hopes of putting a six-second lap on the board as well ans competing for the overall victory. Unforeseen troubles kept Barry out of the sixes, but he still made a good showing and finished out Drag Week in one piece.
There’s been a lot of chatter since Drag Week last year in regards to whom, if anyone, can take down Larson. Though there is a bit of a rivarly there, on the surface the two street car kingpins get along great, work on each others cars, and borrow tools more than they talk trash. This was evident a couple of weeks ago at Route 66, as Larry had hurt a lifter before the trip from his Kansas home. Upon arrival, Barry and soon-to-be Drag Week’er Doug Cline helped Larry as best they could to get it race ready.
Larry arrivd at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing at Route 66 and made a couple of exhibition test hits, posting a 7.17 best in the midwest heat and humidity. Barry put down a 7.29 of his own, so we know these guys aren’t far off from where they want to be.
Not only did these two competitors assist Larson in getting his wicked Nova on track, but on Saturday evening, they three got together and cruised side-by-side to a local Chicago staple for cruise nights — Dukes Drive-In. Cline is planning on competing in the Unlimited class with his twin turbo, big block-powered, Larson Race Cars-built first-gen Camaro.
The trio loaded up and strapped in for the 35-mile cruise to Dukes on Saturday night after thrashing and racing all day. To say they drew a crowd is an understatement; they swarmed for a solid hour around these bad street cars. When asked of their Drag Week rivarly and the challenge ahead, each simply wished the other well.