A Canadian racer once again scores at the highest level for “drive fast and make it last”….

Mississauga Ontario’s David Schroeder collected the top prize again within drag racing’s marquee annual competition – Motortrend’s “Hot Rod Drag Week”.

Racing an all new C7, Schroeder prevailed in the series’ highest level “Unlimited Class” for the 2021 event version just held during mid-September.   This year’s competition was the 16th annual, and the first since a COVID forced cancellation last year, and it was also Schroeder’s 2nd career first place finish.

While enroute to/from Hot Rod Drag Week!

The 2021 Hot Rod Drag Week – features 100% street legal cars only and treks some 1300 miles between four different drag strips – all within the USA.  Over 340 racers entered and participated in the competiton – with Schroeder’s team being the only Canadian winner.

To take the Unlimited title – Schroeder’s average ET was the final championship determining factor.  That was 6.793 secs over the five days – which featured runs spread out from Martin MI, Norwalk Ohio, Indianapolis, IN and Bryon Dragway (in Illinois).

For Schroeder – this 2021 title for sure contained a lot of “X” factors – the biggest being that he literally debuted a brand new and untested car right out of the box – during day 1 of competition (at Michigan’s US 131 Dragway). 

“We started our part of the build for this car back in January,” David revealed.  “This is a Jerry Bickel Pro Mod chassis which has been modified at my cousin’s shop (John Ens) in Winnipeg.  It proved to be a real mad thrash towards the end — we rolled it out of the garage for the first time, just on the Wednesday before Drag Week started.”

This super slick C7 is a replacement for Schroeder’s previous ’66 Corvette with which he won the title in 2017 and placed 2nd in 2018.

David Schroeder won his previous Hot Rod Drag Week title racing this cool road race themed ’66 Corvette.

“Our group did all the required changes to make the car street legal per the rules,” David continued.  “The chassis was actually built for a blown Hemi — so we had to move a lot of tubing around (to accommodate the exhaust system and a radiator) and even had to cut out part of the middle.  Then we had Tim Hodgins (Cynergy Composites) fabricate a special C7 front end — that had to be heavier then the normal ultra light stuff — to handle things like working DOT headlights and be more durable for the highway travel part.”

Schroeder’s C7 features a specially constructed front clip by Canadian company Cynergy Composites.

The team did transfer their proven motor program from the ’66 Corvette into the C7.  That is a 872 CID Reher-Morrison Pro Mod engine with a 4-stage nitrous oxide system.  The team also flipped their intake manifold in reverse to take better advantage of some attractive higher positive pressure area that the C7 Corvette body offers.   Legendary Pro Stock racer Warren Johnson was consulted and had some input into that idea.

A 872 CID Reher-Morrison engine outfitted with 4-stages of nitrous oxide is used.

Needless to say – David Schroeder was thrilled with the final outcome for himself and his dedicated “cast of characters” team.  He was quick to cite that behind the scenes commitment, including (in addition to cousin John), the skills of Calvin Hancox, Fred Mattis, Tom Warga and Paul Gagnon.   Legendary Canadian drag racer Ken Murray (Ken’s Custom Auto) oversees all the race car’s precise machine work.

“I think there may have been two big tech factors however for this success,” he emphasized.  “In the motor we ran a very special designed cam shaft (from Nolan Jamora at Isky Cams) and we went up to a bigger rear tire size — 36”.  Both proved to be game changers.” 

The Corvette ran a quick 6.46 secs at Michigan’s US 131 Dragway to wrap up the title!

“When we made the decision to built the new car – big tires and a longer wheelbase were the primary reasons.  Our engine was also making more power than we could apply.  It’s pretty much the opposite now – with this car we can throw everything we can get at it.”

David’s quickest and fastest run during Hot Rod Drag Week 2021 was 6.46 secs at 212 mph.  He revealed that was in fact rather conservative however and that the capacity for the Corvette to run in the 5-secs zone and approaching 230 mph is very real.

For Dave’s team — the win most certainly did top up their education coffers too – making them even more a threat to the competition at future Hot Rod Drag Week events.  

“On paper I knew we had a combo that could win this,” he continued.  “But given we didn’t test at all there were a lot of unknowns and potential surprises.  This event truly is on a “World Stage” — and we didn’t want to fail.   I still don’t think the success we had has sunk in – but I couldn’t be happier – it’s the end result of a lot of work – a proud moment.”

Now 2X Hot Rod Drag Week Champion! – David Schroeder

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Wesley Allison – Bruce Biegler and courtesy Schroeder Racing