Sick Week Drag Race Profile: Wayne Hemingway

3 months ago Racing

Sick Stats

Hometown: Clayton, North Carolina
Vehicle: 1989 Dodge Caravan Turbo
Color: Twilight Blue Metallic
Engine: 2.5L
Tires: M&H Racemaster 23×8.5×15
Chassis: 7.5
Personal Best: 11.77

How did you choose the vehicle you are racing with?

This is the one that is most prepared, even though I feel like I’m unprepared. This van has sentimental value to me, as it previously belonged to my best friend, Gus. He bought it new in 1989 and started racing it right away. Sadly, Gus passed away in 2002 from a motorcycle accident. I purchased the MeanMini from his wife in 2010. I have spent a lot of time restoring it to its previous greatness. It is well-known as the fastest minivan of its type between 1989 and 1999.

What makes this vehicle “sick”?

It has this sleeper element of being a drag race vehicle. It flies under the radar when you drive on the street, but once it is on a track, it impresses people who otherwise wouldn’t give it a second look. People are amazed at the performance this gets on a 4-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive. And they are shocked when it has bested a Camaro, Mustang or Corvette. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does … people are speechless.

What excites you about Sick Week?

I’ve never raced in Florida before, so I get to visit all of these awesome tracks down there! It is also cool to be part of this inaugural event, which I hope turns into an annual thing. The feedback and response has been tremendous – people are coming from all over the country.  

What is your trip to Florida going to be like?

My little brother will be my copilot for the week. He is flying in on Friday afternoon. We’ll be leaving around midnight to get a head start to get down there on Saturday. We might make a few stops on the way home, but we just want to get down there to enjoy the driving and warm weather.

Have you participated in any other racing events like this?

I have two Hot Rod Drag Weeks under my belt from 2018 and 2019.

What makes you a good drag racer?

I’m just out to have fun. I don’t do this for a living, it is just a hobby for enjoyment. Because of that, there is less stress.

Who is your drag race inspiration?
My buddy, Gus (Tom Mahon). He was not just a drag racing mentor and teacher, but a close friend. I think about him when I’m racing. I still have this notecard he put on his visor as a little pre-race checklist.  

What are you passionate about outside of racing?

Mountain biking and spending time with my wife traveling.

Social Channels: Instagram

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