Anyone visiting Pilot Mountain Friday evening could have been forgiven if they thought maybe they had stumbled into a NASCAR event.
That’s because Main Street was lined with race cars, the town filled with the occasional rumble of one of their engines.
The gather of race drivers and their cars was part of the fourth annual Race Car Friday Night on Main, sponsored by Mount Pilot Now.
The downtown area of Main Street was closed to traffic throughout Friday evening as a wide assortment of race cars were parked for display. Race fans of all ages were given the opportunity throughout the evening to examine cars inside and out while meeting and talking with owners.
Cars from a wide variety of styles and classes of racing were on display, ranging from retired classics to vehicles straight from the track, most still bearing the dents and scratches of competition. When not chatting with fans, owners gathered among themselves to swap racing stories.
“I think this is great,” owner and driver Jimmy Conrad of Winston-Salem said. Conrad was on hand with his ’37 Topolino drag car. Powered by a 496 CI engine, the car has competed in both Top Gas and Foot Brake classes, primarily racing at the Elk Creek and Farmington tracks.
“It’s a fun event and this is good for drag racing,” Conrad said. “A lot of people out here tonight don’t know that much about us. They get to see the cars up close and we get to meet and talk to new people.”
Overall, 66 race cars were on hand for the evening, filling the center portion of Main Street’s downtown area.
“We had hoped for more cars,” said Jerry Venable, a primary organizer of the evening. “A lot of folks had other commitments and it just didn’t work out.”
“But we had some top cars, some that had traveled a ways to get here, and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. I know we had three cars from Charlotte and another two came in from Statesville.”
The Mount Pilot group annually pairs the Friday evening closed-street display of race cars with the cruise-in season’s last show of the year, creating what Venable refers to as a grand finale weekend. He looks forward to seeing that continue but also hinted at possible changes and additions.
“We want to see this continue to get bigger and we’d love to break the 100 race car barrier and see the street full of cars.” he said. “We still have some ideas that we’re going to be talking about that should help it continue to grow and improve.”