They say the month of March comes in like a lion, and that was certainly true this weekend in Fort Worth, Texas as Goodguys kicked off the season with roaring engines, squealing tires, colorful steel and bright sunshine at the 8th Spring Lone Star Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway. If this first event is any indication, we’re in store for a fantastic 2018 event season!
Diehard rodders were primed and ready to get cruisin’ again after a long winter break. Hundreds of rods, trucks, classics and customs rolled through the Texas Motor Speedway gates before dawn on Friday, anxious to start the new Goodguys season. We saw many familiar faces and rides, plus a great number of new friends as a fresh contingent of enthusiasts brought scores of next-generation machines – cars and trucks from 1973-87 – ushering in a new era of automotive excitement for Goodguys participants and spectators alike. Despite a persistent breeze, it was a fine Friday filled with fun and anticipation.
If Friday was fine, Saturday was stellar, as clear, sunny skies brought picture-perfect temperatures in the 70s. The Goodguys crowd responded with one of the best Saturday Spring Lone Star Nationals turnouts ever! The track infield was hoppin’ with cool rides, eager enthusiasts and a full schedule of activities. Hot rods and muscle machines were making smoke during the Burnout Contest, while vintage dragsters filled the air with the sweet smell of nitromethane at the Nitro Thunderfest. NASCAR fans could get a feel for on-track action with Team Texas ride-alongs, while rodders got their chance at high-bank glory during the Saturday evening Track Cruise.
We were excited to welcome a new builder to select the Builder’s Choice Top 10 – KC Mathieu from KC’s Paint Shop: Hot Rods & Restorations. He had a tough task, with a ton of cool iron on hand to choose from. Other awards of note included a Goodguys 2018 Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist selection, going to Sonny Freeman’s ’57 Bel Air built by Goldman Customs; a 2018 Goodguys MSD Muscle Car of the Year finalist nod, going to the Palladium Silver 1970 Pontiac GTO owned by Larry Knebel; and PPG Dream Car pick, which went to Paul and Sheryl Wolf’s stunning ’59 Corvette. It was cool to see two squarebody Chevy pickups go head-to-head for the Goolsby Customs YoungGuys Award. When the social media votes were tallied, Preston Folkestad’s two-tone ’73 came out on top.
The weekend marked a new season for Goodguys AutoCross, as well, with a new Saturday Shootout format that’s sure to make the season exciting. More than 100 cars battled it out on Friday and Saturday to qualify for the 16-car shootout field held Saturday afternoon. Once the final ladder was determined, the action was hot, heavy and fast as each round of elimination narrowed the field. In the end, it was David Lousteau from Hot Springs, AR who took home the Tremec Lone Star Shootout victory, weaving and accelerating his way to victory in his ’65 Factory Five Cobra. Lousteau also won the Street Machine class with a 42.916 best time. Other big AutoCross winners were Texan native Kevin Diagle (PRO) in his ’65 Shelby Cobra (43.492), Jason Brady (Truck – 1970 Chevy Blazer – 45.556), Morgan Martin (Hot Rod – 1930 Ford – 48.580) and Aaron Sockwell (All American Sunday – 2003 Corvette – 45.936).
Of course, there were plenty of other activities to take in through the weekend, as well – from hundreds of vendors, to kids fun, a full swap meet, the Goodgals Gallery, and much more. It was a Texas-sized kickoff, to be sure, setting the stage for what is certain to be a standout Goodguys season.