Tom Bailey’s Durango Dazzles During Sick Week

Back in late 2022, we brought you a first look at the Dodge Durango SRT® Hellcat being built by Tom Bailey. Bailey is one of the best-known drag-and-drive racers in the world, having claimed the overall win of Hot Rod’s Drag Week multiple times with his legendary “Sick Seconds” Camaros. In seeing the popularity of Drag Week, Bailey created his own drag-and-drive series named Sick Week, and for the first event series of 2024, Bailey led a group of 350 vehicles around Florida for some of the most incredible street-legal drag racing ever.

Although Tom Bailey’s Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat has made other appearances over the past year, including last year’s Roadkill Nights Detroit, Sick Week was the first chance for his HEMI® engine-powered SUV to really stretch its legs and it did not disappoint – setting the overall world record for the quickest and the fastest Dodge Durango to cover the quarter-mile.

Sick Week 2024

Like all drag-and-drive events, the idea is to showcase a racing vehicles’ ability to be driven on the street – not just trailered to and from the track. Many critics of insanely quick street machines will argue that they cannot actually be driven on the street, so events like Hot Rod Drag Week and Sick Week go to show that these vehicles can not only be driven on the street, but most of them pull trailers full of the items needed to compete in a week-long event like this. In the end, these vehicles make crazy fast track passes and then drive hundreds of miles day after day, leaving no question as to the legitimacy of their “street car” claims.

Sick Week 2024 started on Sunday, January 28 with registration and testing at Orlando Speed World, followed by the first day of competition on January 29. After completing the racing in Orlando, the teams packed up and drove their race vehicles along a designated route to Bradenton Motorsports Park, making sure to get pictures of their vehicles at required stops along the way. After racing at Bradenton on January 30, the field made the drive to Gainesville Raceway for racing action on the 31st before heading to South Georgia Motorsports Park on February 1st. After one day in Georgia, the field made the final road trip back to Orlando Speed World for the final day of racing action.

At each track, racers lay down their best elapsed times and over the course of the event, they build an average time. The quickest average time over the course of the five events wins each class, along with the overall win going to the quickest vehicle in the field. When traveling from track to track, the racers have to deal with the headaches of traffic and road conditions. Mechanical issues tend to be more common on the road than the track, as motors are put to the ultimate engineering test.

In short, Sick Week is a grueling week-long challenge for many of the quickest street-legal drag racers in the world. The event is regarded as the Super Bowl of drag-and-drive, with high-profile competitors including Tom Bailey, Cleetus McFarland, Brett LaSala and more.

Tom Bailey’s Dodge Durango

If you missed our original piece on Tom Bailey’s Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat back in late 2022, this vehicle began its life as a Durango Pursuit that was fitted with an SRT Hellcat Redeye HEMI engine by Dodge for One Lap of America back in 2019. After Dodge was done campaigning the 797-horsepower hauler, they sent it to Bailey’s Michigan shop for a complete overhaul. The build began with a full custom chassis build to reduce curb weight and to prepare the Durango for the added power needed for Bailey to compete in drag-and-drive events. Back then, Bailey was planning to run a 370-cubic-inch engine based on a 5.7-liter HEMI block with a 10-liter supercharger, but since then, he has made some changes to the drivetrain of this wicked Durango.

Under the hood of Tom Bailey’s Dodge Durango is a Revolution Paradox Reaper crate engine, which utilizes a Billy Briggs 426-cubic-inch Gen III HEMI engine that yields advertised figures of 1,250 horsepower and 950 lb-ft of torque. Other key features of this build are a Whipple Gen 5 3.8-liter supercharger, an Aeromotive dual pump fuel system and a Holley engine management system. Bailey is also running a 75-shot of nitrous oxide for a little extra power, and for Sick Week, the engine is tuned by AJ Berge of HEMItuner Performance to run on E85.

All of that power is sent to the rear wheels of this monstrous Dodge Durango by means of a Rossler Turbo 400 transmission with a Protorque convertor and a Gear Vendor Overdrive setup. AFCO shocks at all four corners allow Bailey to drive this Durango on the street while still pulling the 60-foot times needed to run in the low 8s while Billet Specialities wheels and Mickey Thompson rubber put the power to the pavement. Bailey’s Dodge Durango features a full spread of Stroud safety equipment, including dual parachutes, window nets and four seat belts. Yes, this Durango still has four seats, so in addition to pulling a trailer on the street and hauling ass on the track, it can still seat four adults.

During the first stage of Sick Week, Tom Bailey’s Dodge Durango laid down an 8.198 at 170.08 miles per hour – making it the quickest and fastest Durango in the world in the quarter-mile. During the other stops, Bailey recorded times of 8.586, 8.351, 8.282, which allowed him to be one of the quickest in the Heavy Metal class, but his time of 11.781 in Georgia raised his average time for the event to a 9.039, leading to a fifth place finish in the class. Had he turned in another run in the lower-8-second range at that fourth stop, he would have likely finished second in the class, but he would have to settle for the fifth place class finish and a couple Durango quarter-mile world records.

Click here for a look at the full results from Sick Week 2024.

Images Courtesy of Sick the Magazine