The Spirit of Drag Week award is given to the driver who best embodies the spirit of the event. But what is the spirit of an event like Drag Week? Is it Tom Bailey pulling two nights in a row to stay in the competition? Or did Bryant Goldstone literally tear the door off himself during his record-setting and career-best pass just a year after the accident and all but decided to retire from racing for good? So.
The spirit of Drag Week is also about wanting to get out there and compete no matter what, being willing to help another racer even though you don’t have backup, and having the courage to sleep in the back of a pickup truck because it was the only way you could afford to take time off more than a week to drag race. Ryan Bee did just that—he threw a twin mattress in the back of his LS-swapped 1994 Ford Ranger and called it home during HOT ROD Drag Week 2022.
Drag Week 2022 or Crash: Ryan Bee will do his best to race!
Ryan owns a sheet metal company ( email us so we can properly introduce you Mr. B! ) and it was all he could do to scrape together enough money to get his second generation Ranger out for his first Drag Week run. He wasn’t going to miss it because a week’s worth of motels were a little out of reach. Drag Week quickly creates friendships, and it was Aaron Girk (driving another ’94 Ranger in Modified) who nominated Ryan, saying, “Competed in Drag Week solo. Helped other riders in need. Helped rebuild my engine.” Keith Turk says other instances of Ryan reaching out also catch his attention.
The 12-second Ranger might not be worth writing about today (we’re too tired of horsepower numbers anyway), but Spirit of Drag Week isn’t about the best equipment or the winningest story; sometimes it’s just about being the most enthusiastic person to show up. Ryan Bee has been Drag Week’s most active contestant this year, and the genuine surprise he showed while accepting the award proves he’s a worthy winner.
Watch Roadkill Blasphemi Racing at the Dragstrip!
The Blasphemi, a 1955 Chevy gasser, is one of them Roadkill’s the best project cars of all time. Here he is doing what he set out to do, drag racing — and failing! Sign up for a free trial of MotorTrend+ and start watching every episode Roadkill! Video produced by Little Dot Studios.