If you were looking for a great way to kick off the cruising season in the Southeastern U.S., you definitely found it over the past three days at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Four years in and the Goodguys 4th North Carolina Nationals just keeps getting better and better – proving itself as the top springtime destination for right-coast rodders!
From the Thursday night kickoff party at Raleigh Speed Shop, right through to the Sunday afternoon awards ceremony, this was a weekend of wide-open-throttle fun, not to mention fantastic weather and a full dose of smokin’ hot rods, cool cars, trick trucks and mighty muscle cars.
Our friend Jonathan Goolsby from Goolsby Customs rolled up from his home base in Alabama to do the honors of selecting the Builder’s Choice Top 10. It was no easy feat, as there was a fleet of fresh fine rides from which to choose – narrowing them down to just 10 was tough. Jonathan persevered, though, and we think you’ll agree he made some great picks.
It was also great to have Jonathan on hand to help with the YoungGuys Award, sponsored by Goolsby Customs. And for a different spin this weekend, our two YoungGuys finalists were…girls! That’s right, Giulia Levenduski’s ’79 Z28 Camaro faced off against Madison Ferrell’s ’67 C/10 in the social media voting. In the end, it was Madison’s ride that came out on top for the YoungGuys award.
Other award winners for the weekend included Mark & Marie Shaw’s 1970 Plymouth Duster picking up the MSD Muscle Car of the Year finalist nod and Kenny Lewis winning the finalist pick for Griots Garage Muscle Machine of the Year with his 1969 Camaro. We also selected a Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist which went to Scott Miller’s 1957 Chevy and a Scott’s Hot Rods Truck of the Year Early finalist – Kathy & Rick Cooke’s 1951 Chevy 3100. The media team even got in on the action, selecting Jerry & Vickie Owen’s well-traveled Deuce coupe for the Gazette Pick.
There was some on-track competition, as well, as Goodguys AutoCrossers dodged cones and duked it out to make it to the 16-car Saturday afternoon Rumble in Raleigh shootout, presented by BFGoodrich. The 16 fastest drivers of the weekend, regardless of class, battled it out for the ultimate weekend bragging rights. In the final round, Jared Leisinger defeated Jason Brady driving the Summit Racing Corvette Roadster. Big winners for the weekend included Jared Leisinger (PRO & BFGoodrich Shootout winner – 43.869), Bill Graves (Street Machine – 45.262), Jason Brady (Truck & BFGoodrich Shootout runner up – 45.701), Christopher Haigler (Hot Rod – 46.684) and Mike Casino (All American Sunday).
Saturday night held a different type of track action – a Demolition Derby that brought plenty of smashing and crashing – plus grandstands packed with spectators – to the fairgrounds. There was also a tire-frying Burnout Competition Saturday afternoon, plus a ground-shaking Nitro Thunderfest exhibition three times throughout the weekend!
Top things off with an expansive swap meet, indoor car show, packed vendor midway, and fun kids’ activities, and you had a car-crazy weekend that any gearhead could love. Check out the photos for highlights, then stay tuned for the next event on the Goodguys southern swing – the 13th Nashville Nationals rolling into Nissan Stadium on May 11-12!