This series is from the Roanoke Virginia area clubs and strips. A 1955 Ford Thunderbird competes against a 1934 Ford at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip (Alleghany County), circa early 1960s. Before the Hidden Valley Drag Strip was completed, drag races were held at the regional airport. Howard Linkletter of Staunton roars off the line at the Roanoke Drag Strip, circa early 1960s. Linkletter's hot rod is a 1931 chopped Ford coupe with a Cadillac engine. Dick Swecker's rail dragster, powered by a Chrysler engine, set the most top speed records in its class at the Roanoke Drag Strip. American-made cars were not the only vehicles drag racing. Here a Volvo and a Triumph TR-3 compete at the Roanoke Drag Strip, circa 1960s. The driver of "Dead Expense," a Fiat coupe, watches for the green light on the "Christmas tree" at Grayson County's Elk Creek Drag Strip, circa 2000. Electronic starting and timing systems replaced the flagmen of the early days. (Roanoke Times photograph) A Model-T Ford roadster comes off the starting line alongside a 1932 Ford at the Roanoke Drag Strip, circa early 1960s. "Traveler," a 1961 Ford, lines up against a 1961 Chevrolet at the Roanoke Drag Strip. The "super stock" cars became the drag racing crowd pleasers after the 1950s. To draw in a larger audience, drag strip owners sometimes paid nationally known drivers to compete at the smaller regional tracks. Stock car champion Richard Petty raced at the Roanoke Drag Strip in his Plymouth Barracuda, "43 Jr." Bob Bateman awards Dick Swecker a trophy (looks like he has TWO) at the Roanoke Drag Strip in 1958. Members of the Virginia Wheelers Auto Club of Roanoke posed with their cars and drag racing trophies, circa 1954. The hot rod was just becoming an American icon when Jake McVey returned to Roanoke from California in 1950. Pictured here in 1953, his 1932 Ford five-window coupe was one of the first hot rods built in Southwest Virginia. Driver L. S. Jamison and owner/builder Jake McVey had the first "dedicated" dragster in the Roanoke area. The 1932 Ford coupe turned a top speed of 112 miles per hour in the quarter mile in 1954.