If you live in the south and are a car enthusiast, chances are you have been to Charlotte Motor Speedway for one of the NASCAR events held there throughout the year. Literally hundred of thousands of fans flock every May and October to the speedway for the Cup events. There’s another event in October that might rival the popularity of the NASCAR events, the annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals.
Every October Charlotte Motor Speedway is flooded by some of the most rare rides and powerful hot rods one will ever see. They all converged at the speedway recently for the 19th annual Southeastern Nationals, which was held on the last weekend in October.
The event is coordinated and conducted by Goodguys Rod and Custom Association, the world’s largest rod and custom association with membership exceeding 70,000 world wide.
Founded in 1983, they hold over 20 events across the united states, events are either two, three, or four day extravaganza’s which can attract over 100,000 auto enthusiasts per event.
The three day event at Charlotte Motor Speedway kicked off on Friday, although apparently mother nature didn’t get the memo as patrons and visitors to the show were greeted by extremely cold temperatures and wet weather.
It was pretty comical to see people flock to the speedway in their rides only to be so cold that they spent the majority of Friday in their rides as they waited for the temperatures to warm up.
Being a Goodguy member comes with its advantages:
Goodguys association members receive the monthly Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette, a 250-page full color, super sized and entertaining look at Goodguys events, hot rod heroes, hot rod companies, hot cars and their owners, hot rod classifieds and all the latest news on what did, what is, and what’s gonna happen in the world of hot rodding! Members also receive the full-color “Goodtimes Yearbook” – a full color coffee table book style which chronicles the entire event season with stunning photography. A membership card, plus discounts for event participants are also valuable perks of Goodguys membership.
When you first step on the grounds of Charlotte motor speedway for the Southeastern Nationals, it becomes very clear – This is way more than just a car show. Stepping on the backstretch you see hundreds of unique rides as far as the eye can see, when you glance to your left you see the swap meet that is going on, beyond that the autocross course is lined up with cars turning laps.
Not to mention both garage areas are filled with vendors, and live music that plays throughout the weekend. Three days may not be enough to see everything on hand.
The event featured a busy schedule, but it gave fans in attendance plenty of things to experience while attending the event. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Poker run to NASCAR shops
- Kick off party at Fatman Fabrication.
- Goodguys Autocross
- Richard Petty Driving Experiences – Drive or rent a ride
- Friday Party at Detroit Speed
- Nostalgia entertainment – live music from Sound Investment
- Model making for kids
- Cruise the Charlotte Motor Speedway in your ride
The goal of the Goodguys events is to provide car owners and enthusiasts alike with family oriented events where the main objective is to have fun with automobiles.
Needless to say there is no better place to be in the south this weekend if you were a car guy or gal. Everywhere you looked you were guaranteed to see something really special.
The Goodguys events provide enthusiasts with so many different activities, this is especially true at the southeastern nationals. “This year I went all out and came down early for the show,” said winner of the Autocross truck category in his ’72 Chevrolet El Camino, Diz Demes. “I drove my ride from Chicago last year, but this year I came down at the beginning of the week to tour all the NASCAR shops, and really spend a lot of time in this area.”
Over 2,000 Classics Packed Into Charlotte
If you’re a car guy and can’t make friends at a Goodguys event, than you’ve got issues. Everyone is so willing to tell you the story behind their rides. During Saturday and Sunday the best rides of the week are moved to pit road and fans are given the chance to mingle with the owners of each ride and here the story associated with each.
But if you go do some digging within the infield you’ll find some awesome rides that for whatever reason didn’t get the love that we felt they deserved from the judges.
One thing that really surprised us was just how many of these rides were driven to the event from across the country.
“This is my daily driver, I drive it to and from work almost every day,” said Ken Pennington, owner of a customized ’53 Studebaker. “I’ve had the car for over 30 years, and it actually gets decent gas mileage, so why not?”
We can’t forget the muscle cars either, they were out in full force. Here were some of our favorites from the southeastern nationals:
It’s hard to keep track of all the awards given out, so here is a rundown of all the winners:
- Hemming’s Muscle Car of the Year Finalist: Jerry Dennis – ’62 Impala
- LMC Truck of the Year Late Finalist: Bob Kongelka ’56 Chevrolet Pickup
- PPG Dream Car: Tom Coleman ’67 Corvette
- Street Rod HQ Class Act: Sue Streetman ’54 Pontiac
- Don Jackson – ’50 Chevrolet Deluxe
- Frank Tetro ’32 Ford Roadster
- Rick & Debbie Wedgeworth – ’64 Ford T-Bird
- Greg Shreffler – ’32 Ford 5 Window
- Mike Moore ’34 Plymouth
- Jason Graham ’30 Model A Tudor
- Keith Colby – ’28 Ford RPU
- Howard Wagner – ’30 Ford Model A Roadster
- Ted Debruhl – ’62 Chevrolet Impala
- Steve Demarco ’30 Ford Sedan
DETROIT SPEED BUILDER’S CHOICE AWARDS:
- Don Jackson – ’50 Chevrolet Deluxe
- Frank Tetro – ’32 Ford Roadster
- Tom Coleman – ’67 Chevrolet Corvette
- Steve Demarco – ’30 Ford Sedan
- Tommy Carver – ’49 Cadillac Fast Back
- Dick McCain – ’29 Model A Roadster
- Chuck Hanna – ’32 Ford
- Larry & Cheryl Butler – ’33 Ford
- Rick & Lynn Talbot – ’55 Plymouth Belvedere
- Dick Bales ’62 Chevrolet Bel Air
Detroit Speed Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist: Jeff Cleary ’67 Chevrolet Corvette
Grundy’s Kuston of the Year Finalist: Harvey Bayshaw – ’56 Chevrolet
Vendors and Tradeshow
One of the reasons that people flock to the Goodguys events is patrons are treated to a very large trade show during the three day extravaganza. The trade show not only features cars for sale or trade, but also vendors were on site selling products.
With all the customized and restored cars it’s a great way to meet people who might be going through the exact same project that you are currently working on and can offer some advice.
Did We Mention The Autocross Yet?
One of the most popular events all weekend was the Goodguys autocross that was happening in the center of the speedway. Cars would line up and tackle the course in hopes of being the fastest in their class. Trust us when we say, it was so hard to leave the autocross course!
Imagine seeing Corvettes, Chevelles, Impalas, Camaros, Mustangs, Roadsters,.. Well we could keep going on but you get the idea.. pushed to the limit, and sometimes beyond it, as you can tell by the pictures.
When it was all said in done on Sunday, over 50 vehicles and drivers were brave enough to tackle the tight course. They divided the competition up into four classes, and then added a fifth on Sunday with the Super Sunday that opened up the competition for any American made vehicle regardless of what year it was.
The most popular class was the street machine division that saw 23 vehicles take times. The fastest lap of the weekend would actually come from this class as Tom Farrington in his ’66 Chevelle would lay down a blistering 39.221.
- Tom Farrington ’66 Chevrolet Chevelle 39.221
- Jeff Cleary ’67 Chevrolet Corvette 39.475
- John Kundrat ’64 Chevrolet Corvette 39.595
- Ken Edwards, Sr. ’66 Ford Mustang 40.517
- Bobby Fowler ’69 Chevrolet Camaro 41.248
- Brad Granger ’67 Chevrolet Camaro 41.517
- David Forry ’68 Chevrolet Camaro 41.908
- Kenny Edwards ’68 Chevrolet Camaro 42.021
- Steve Rivett ’68 Chevrolet Camaro 42.078
- Jim McDamiel ’68 Pontiac Firebird 42.151
- Brett Smith 71 ‘Chevrolet Camaro 42.232
- Bennie Dennis 67 ‘Chevrolet Camaro 42.703
- Marshall Machabo ’67 Chevrolet Corvette 42.9
- Matthew Bellamy ’71 Chevrolet Camaro 43.135
- Steve Moore 69 ‘Chevrolet Camaro 43.594
- Michelle Harvey ’68 Chevrolet Camaro 45.702
- Glenn Hughes ’66 Plymouth Belvedere 46.089
- Bill Compcticllo ’66 Ford Mustang GT 46.1
- Bill Baird ’67 MG-B 46.451
- Tim Bowe ’66 Chevrolet Chevelle 47.443
- Ray Bleau ’70 Chevrolet Camaro 48.775
- Don Figliozzi ’61 Buick Lesabre 49.149
- Jack Davis ’69 Chevrolet Chevelle 49.896
Always a fan favorite, the vendors division would feature some of the vendors in attendance most tuned rides. Ultimately it would be Jeff Schwartz of Schwartz Performance would take home top honors in his ’65 Pontiac Tempest with a lap of 39.364.
Complete vendor results:
- Jeff Schwartz ’65 Pontiac Tempest 39.364
- Jason Brady ’66 Chevrolet Chevelle 39.927
- Stacy Tucker ’63 Chevrolet Nova II 40.128
- Stacy Tucker ’65 Chevrolet Malibu 40.836
- Michael Manning ’69 Chevrolet Camaro 42.1
- Gordon McGilton ’67 Chevrolet Nova 42.759
- Tim McGilton ’71 Chevrolet Camaro 43.477
Street Rod Results:
- Donny Freise ’32 Ford roadster 39.739
- Angela Freise ’32 Ford roadster 40.724
- Russell Mc Laren ’32 Ford roadster 43.982
- Bob Cross ’32 Ford Coupe 44.52
- Mark Hughes ’38 Chevrolet 64.816
- Steven Farrar ’46 Willys Jeep
- Diz Demes ’72 Chevrolet El Camino 40.911
- Kevin Bapst ’68 Chevrolet C-10 40.958
- Dan Burnatte ’72 Chevrolet C-10 42.047
- Ben Jorritsma ’60 Chevrolet El Camino 43.388
- Allen Vallandingham ’67 Chevrolet C-10 45.143
- Jeff Lambe ’70 Chevrolet C-10 48.908
A big surprise on Sunday would be Ryan Mathews and his bone stock ’94 ‘Vette that would run within 4 tenths of a second of the fastest lap by running a 39.669. “It’s pretty incredible when you consider I only spent $9,000 on this car,” Mathews told us. “The only thing I’ve done to it is put a aftermarket tire on it, besides that it is completely stock.”
Super Sunday Results:
- Ryan Mathews ’94 Chevrolet Corvette 39.669
- Tommy Pike ’10 Chevrolet Camaro 42.737
- Mike Ballard ’97 Chevrolet Camaro 42.931
- Buddy Bauchanan ’88 Pontiac TA 43.223
- Kris Frost ’12 Mustang 43.227
- Larry Burnette ’03 Chevrolet Corvette 44.013
- Darin Allen ’08 Chevrolet HHR 44.921
- Donald Rector ’10 Dodge Challenger 51.046
Unfortunately this has to be merely a taste of what it’s like to attend the Southeastern Nationals. With over 2,000 cars in attendance for the 2011 Goodguys Southeastern nationals, one article just simply doesn’t do it justice. You truly have to be here to experience it for yourself. If you can only make it to Charlotte Motor Speedway once in October, forget the NASCAR race where you’ll only see 43 cars in one evening, but at Goodguys you’ll be treated to over 2,000! It’s definitely something worth seeing!