18th Annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals Super Sunday

We were looking for a way to involve younger generations in our events as well as a way to increase the Sunday at-event traffic. It has accomplished both of those objectives and will be held at 17 of our 21 events in 2012

There’s a reason why people attend all the Goodguys events that are scattered around America, it gives car enthusiasts the opportunity to see some of the most rare pre-1972 hot rods, muscle cars, rat rods, and customs. This is exactly why we were on hand at the 18th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals.

The Southeastern Nats are arguably the biggest car show to come to the southeast every fall. The show is so large the only way to experience everything the show has to offer, is to spend the entire weekend their grazing through the thousand of cars.

New for the 2011 Southeastern Nationals was the Goodguys Super Sunday Get-Together. Starting Sunday morning, the folks at Goodguys opened the gates for any American made or American powered cars, and shed the ’72 cutoff. Goodguys explained to us that the 1972 limit is for the most part a space issue. Space at the events is limited and therefore the venues can only accommodate so many cars. Also, 1972 is viewed by many as the end of the Muscle Car era, and ’72 and earlier models are more easily recognizable.

Old and new school were both on display at the Goodguys Super Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway

“We did the first Super Sunday this year at our Chicagoland Nationals back in August of this season,” explained Goodguys Communication Director John Drummond. “It was the brainchild of senior leadership here at Goodguys. We were looking for a way to involve younger generations in our events as well as a way to increase the Sunday at-event traffic. It has accomplished both of those objectives and will be held at 17 of our 21 events in 2012!”

So why break out your late model to the Super Sunday? The better question is, why wouldn’t you? Not only do you have a chance to meet fellow car guys and gals, but you also have a couple of opportunities to showcase just what your ride is capable of doing. The first of which is the Super Sunday Autocross which puts man and machine against whoever dares to take to the course to see who can lay down the fastest lap.

Super Sunday’s Autocross

2nd place finisher Tommy Pike and his 2010 Camaro SS

One of the most popular events throughout the entire weekend was the Goodguys Autocross. It was standing room only all weekend long as fans stood along the fence to see who could lay down the fastest lap. Up until Sunday however, the autocross followed the same guidelines as the the rest of the show, but when the gates opened any American made or powered vehicle could take to the course and try to put up the best time.

Everything from a '79 Malibu to a '03 Vette took to the tight course

Some might wonder what the appeal is of driving your car around a track marked off by cones, but trust us when we say that those orange cones present a huge challenge to the drivers. The autocross track will reveal any flaws within your ride. The track is marked out in such a way where you might exit a sharp right hand corner, only to make a immediate 180 degree left followed by a long straight that will test not only your acceleration but also your braking capabilities. It takes such a balance of horsepower, handling and driver skill to be able to turn a fast lap on Sunday.

When Goodguys says any American made or powered vehicle can take to the course, they mean it! As in Darin Allen's '08 Chevy HHR.

Before you laugh, the Allen's Chevy HHR would run within 2 seconds of the 5th-Gen Chevy Camaros.

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend had to be this '94 Vette driven by Ryan Mathews.

Mathews' bone stock C4 would run within four tenths of a second of the fastest time turned on the course the entire weekend.

“It’s pretty crazy when you think I only spent $9,000 on this car,” explained Mathews. “The engine and transmission have over 100,000 miles on it. But these C4s are great for events like this.” Mathews would set the fastest time on Sunday by almost 3 seconds. But everyone there would agree it wasn’t so much about setting the fastest time as it was just getting to push your ride and see what kind of lap you could lay down in it.

4th place finisher Buddy Bauchanan and his '88 Pontiac

1. Ryan Mathews – ’94 Chevy Corvette – 39.669

2.Tommy Pike – ’10 Chevy Camaro – 42.737

3. Mike Ballard – ’97 Chevy Camaro – 42.931

4.Buddy Bauchanan – ’88 Pontiac TA – 43.223

5. Kris Frost – ’12 Mustang – 43.227

6. Larry Burnette – ’03 Chevy Corvette – 44.013

7. Darin Allen – ’08 Chevy HHR – 44.921

8. Donald Rector – ’10 Dodge Challenger – 51.046

Super Sunday’s Track Cruise

One of the benefits of attending the Super Sunday in Charlotte was the Super Sunday Track Cruise. The cruise would allow those who brought their rides out for the Super Sunday, the opportunity to open them up on the 1.5mile NASCAR oval Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Those who wanted to, could get a ticket from the main gate and drive on the same banking that has seen the greats like Dale Earnhardt, and Richard Petty tackle. It was very interesting to see the mix of cars that would drive side by side during the cruise.

The track was open not just for the late model vehicles, but also those still in attendance from the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals

Would you have been willing to drive your ride on the high banks of Charlotte?

Sure it wasn't at race speeds, but there was plenty of passing happening on the track.

Everyone who took to the speedway would get three laps at the historic speedway.

Everyone who pulled off after their three laps would come off the track all smiles and it was safe to say that it was an experience that they wouldn’t soon forget.

Super Sunday Award Of Excellence Winning Rides:

Lost in all the commotion of everything that was happening on Sunday was the awards that were handed out by Goodguys specifically for the Super Sunday vehicles. The awards were the Super Sunday Award of Excellence. Out of everyone in attendance, only four rides were handed these awards. You can read about each one below:

Jeff Houk’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro:

5th Gen Camaros were aplenty at the Super Sunday, but this one caught our attention and apparently the judges’ as well. Jeff Houk’s Camaro might not be packing any monster power under the hood with the stock 3.6L V6, but it’s a great example of how you can make your V6 Camaro Coupe stand out when compared to the thousands of others that are on the road today.

Houk's dressed up 3.6L V6 Camaro Coupe was filled with custom features.

Houk's Camaro features a custom grill that really gives the 5th-Gen V6 some character

“Hot Rod” Bill Williams’ 2012 Ford Mustang

With all the hype of the new 2013 GT500, people forget that there is a lot to be said for how customizable you can make a 2012 Mustang. Case in point; Bill Williams’ 2012 Mustang.

Williams' Mustang really shows what his shop, Impressive Rides of Clearwater, Florida, can do with a late model Mustang.

The only thing we were disappointed about with this ride was that we didn't get to see it out on the autocross course.

Impressive Rides outfitted the Stang with a variety of improvements:

  • Cervini Auto Design’s body kit
  • Air Ride Suspension
  • Baer Brakes
  • Boze Wheels
  • BMR Suspension components
  • Stainless Work’s Headers
  • And a Kenne Bell Supercharger

According to the Impressive Ride website, “Our intent was to build an elegant Modern Muscle Car, incorporating the finest after-market components available today.” We’d have to say mission accomplished.

Johnathan Taylor’s ’92 Chevy Pickup

Meet Jonathan Taylor’s ’92 Chevrolet 3500 Pickup that we’re pretty certain was the only dually to win an award at the Southeastern Nationals. The pickup rightfully named “Help Me Up” has seen a lot of work. The dually is raised and lowered by a set of 2600 series airbags, while the body has been dropped 4.5 inches.

The powerplant inside 'Help Me Up' is a 350SBC and features some very well done pin-stripping throughout the engine compartment.

As nice as the flat black paint job is, what really caught our attention though was the interior. This is Taylor’s 4th custom and you could tell he’s done this before. The pick up has been outfitted with an SS Impala dash equipped with Dakota Digital Gauges and a Billet Specialties Steering wheel. Other highlights of the interior include:

  • Custom Sheet Metal Console
  • ’64 Impala Seats
  • Billet Specialties Shifter
  • Jaguar Antigua Blue paint throughout interior
  • Custom Fiberglass Door panels

Junior Cropps 1980 Chevy Malibu Along with a lot of the other late model owners, Junior Cropps had been coming to the Goodguys events for quite sometime. But it wasn’t until they opened up the doors for late model vehicles that he got to show off his restored 1980 Malibu.

The all steel bodied, 1980 Malibu is powered by a small block 350 with a two-tone paint job performed by Jeff’s Paint and Body Shop of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. There was no factory SS model available in 1980 for the Malibu and it wasn’t too much longer in 1983 that production stopped entirely on them, before the re-launch in 97.

The interior has been left untouched although Cropps very tastefully upgraded the speakers within the Malibu.

Overall the event was a great success, and we can’t wait to see what late models turn up next year at the 17 events that will be holding Super Sundays. If you haven’t been to a Goodguys event on Sunday, now you have one reason to check it out.





About the author

John Gibson

John has been around dirt track racing his entire life. In fact, he was almost born at Monett Speedway in Monett, Missouri. He has raced everything on dirt and asphalt from karts, to Indy cars, to 650 horsepower stock cars in the USAR Pro Cup where he currently races.
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