Most of the time it’s customary to celebrate a 25th anniversary with silver. But when you’re talking about Goodguys rolling into Texas Motor Speedway for the 25th Summit Racing Equipment Lone Star Nationals, somehow it seems more appropriate to commemorate the occasion with chrome, steel and horsepower.
It was an outstanding weekend of roddin’, racin’ and cruisin’ in North Texas, filled with plenty of fun and sunshine after a damp start on Friday morning. We love the Lone Star State, and based on two-and-a-half decades of consistently great turnouts at the Lone Star Nationals, gearheads in this region dig our special brand of Goodguys automotive fun, too. That was evident again this weekend as the infield at Texas Motor Speedway filled with cool hot rods, killer customs, magnificent muscle cars and a Texas-sized serving of vintage trucks.
The 2017 Hall of Fame Road Tour preceded the event, and our weary road warriors were treated to a special parking area where spectators marveled at the miles traveled by these fine machines. A short distance away, award-winning builder Kenny Davis, of Kenny Davis Hot Rods, had his work cut out for him in selecting just 10 great rides for the Builder’s Choice Top 10. His choices looked right on the money to us. Beyond Builder’s Choice, we also selected a Muscle Car of the Year finalist (Tracy Kelly’s ’66 Chevelle), Muscle Machine of the Year finalist (Rob Roberts’ ’71 Camaro) and, because it’s Texas, both Truck of the Year Early (Robby Collvins’ ’49 Chevy) and Truck of the Year Late (Jacob Lusk’s ’58 Chevy Apache) finalists. Add to that a Gazette Pick and dozens of other awards, and there were plenty of happy hot rodders going home with trophies on Sunday.
Over on the north side of the infield, the AutoCross action was going hard and heavy, making up for partial lost time due to a wet track most of Friday. More than a dozen competitors duked it out in the PRO class, with Chris Smith wheeling his familiar yellow ’72 Corvette to the fastest time (39.703). He was followed by Mike Dusold’s ’67 Camaro (39.882), Josh Leisinger’s ’64 Corvette (40.044) and Kyle Tucker’s ’71 Camaro (40.164). Morgan Martin won the Hot Rod class in his ’30 Model A coupe (44.998); Brandon Carter took the Truck class win in his ’72 Dodge D100; and Terry Neuville won All-American Sunday honors in a 2017 ZL1 Camaro (41.623).
There were plenty of attractions beyond the awards and racing, too. The Lone Star Nationals is one of just a handful of Goodguys events where participants can drive their cars around a true high-banked oval, and the Saturday evening track cruise proved to be hugely popular. You could also take a ride around the track in either the Team Texas Limo or an actual stock car piloted by a pro driver. Over at the Nitro Thunderfest, meanwhile, vintage drag machines rattled eardrums and filled the air with the sweet smell of nitromethane. There was also the Brigade FMX freestyle motocross show, burnout contests on both Saturday and Sunday, a huge swap meet and Cars 4 Sale Corral, kids’ activities, plus live music from both Aurora Bleu and Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers.
Yes, it was a Silver Anniversary to remember thanks to a great group of gearheads in the Lone Star State. We’d have to argue that, just like our favorite cars, this event just seems to get better with age.