The city of Fort Worth, Texas bills itself as the “Crossroads of Cowboys and Culture,” and for more than a quarter century the Goodguys Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals has embodied that description. It’s a little bit rowdy, yet somewhat refined; a gathering of car enthusiasts who embrace that rugged hot rod spirit, but also appreciate craftsmanship and the camaraderie of a well-oiled weekend happening.
The 26th edition of the Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals brought together thousands of both rowdy and refined rods, customs, classics, trucks, muscle cars, and more at the expansive Texas Motor Speedway complex north of the metro area, proving that this end-of-September tradition continues to deliver the goods. The weather was great, the people were pumped and ready for fun, and the rides were simply spectacular.
The action kicked off Friday morning as a flood of cool iron streamed through the Texas Motor Speedway entry tunnel, filling the infield with color and character. Morning clouds gave way to afternoon sun, providing the perfect weather for showin’, shinin’, AutoCross racing, plus Team Texas limo rides and ride alongs, as well as a rumbling Nitro Thunderfest. The TGIF party at the host Marriott hotel kicked off shortly after the Hall of Fame Road Tour rolled into town following an epic nine-day journey that began in Salt Lake City and wound its way through the American West and Midwest.
We fought off some Saturday-morning drizzle for another fun-filled day filled with special guests. Our road-weary Hall of Fame Road Tour participants were treated to a special parking area, while the U.S. Postal Service took center stage for a special ceremony to unveil a new series of Hot Wheels stamps. There were even some life-sized Hot Wheels cars on display to check out!
That was just the start of the action. We also had more Team Texas ride-alongs and limo rides, two Team FMX freestyle motocross exhibitions, two Nitro Thunderfest shows, a Burnout Competition, and a Saturday evening Track Cruise around the high-banked Texas Motor Speedway oval.
Kenny Davis was on hand selecting the Builder’s Choice Top 10, and we handed out several other special awards. Those included Wayne Matthews picking up the Truck of the Year Early finalist nod with his ’42 Chevy pickup; Humberto Ortiz hauling home the Truck of the Year Late finalist spot in his ’85 Dodge D350 Dually; Vic Buraglio grabbing the Muscle Machine of the Year finalist award with his ’69 Charger; and Mike Walton earning a Muscle Car of the Year finalist spot with his ’65 Shelby Mustang. There was also a Fuel Curve Pick – Randy Marston’s ’66 Suburban – and a Gazette Pick – Greg Weld’s recently finished ’40 Ford.
A strong contingent of competitors duked it out for awards of their own on the AutoCross track, carving corners and dodging cones to try to qualify for the 16-car Big Hoss Shootout presented by Summit Racing Saturday afternoon. There were plenty of heavy hitters making the field, and when it came down to the final round we had a family-style showdown between Josh and Jared Leisinger in their Summit Racing-sponsored Corvettes. The Leisinger boys had posted the fastest times through the weekend and showed true sibling rivalry in the final round, running within hundredths of a second of each other. It was Jared who came out on top, running a 29.480-second lap in his roadster to beat brother Josh’s 29.507-second time.
Throw in a Texas-sized swap meet, energetic live music, kids fun, the Spectre All-American Sunday program, great food, plus all the good times you’d expect from a Goodguys weekend, and we had more than 72 hours of hot-rodding fun in the Lone Star State. Check out the accompanying photos for highlights, then start making plans to come to the Crossroads of Cowboys and Culture March 8-10 for the 2019 Spring Lone Star Nationals.