Gasoline Alley has to be one...
Gasoline Alley has to be one of the most famous pieces of asphalt in the country, with racers from the past 100 years passing through this section of the speedway to get on the Indy 500 track.
The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has had a long history with Indianapolis, starting in 1989 when they held their first event at the Indianapolis Raceway Park—an event that lasted 21 years at that location. But with weather and other problems seemingly always plaguing the show, Goodguys created a new show to be held in September (when the weather was better) and at a location that hot rodders would naturally want to go and see: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
There are very few, if any, sites around the country that would have more automotive history than what you can find at the Speedway. Certain areas of Detroit might be older in automotive terms, but not by much; only a couple of years. And when it comes to hot rodders, they’ve long made up excuses to visit the sprawling facility, especially during the last week of May when the Indy 500 takes place.
It just seems right that Jim...
It just seems right that Jim Payne’s ’57 Chevy gasser is equipped with a 355 engine, a Jerico transmission, and a full rollbar. Payne comes from the tiny village of Laura, OH, just outside of Dayton.
Recently the Goodguys First WIX Filters Speedway Nationals was held on the 250-acre infield (think 363 football fields in size) of the historic location. And though at some past Goodguys events where rodders were allowed to take their rides out on a low-mph lap of the famous 500 track and have their photo taken while crossing the famed yard of bricks that serves as a start/finish line, this new show was a four-day event where you could do that twice in the weekend plus have access to all parts of the facility.
The WIX Filter Nationals had all the normal Goodguys fare you’d want: an autocross, swap meet, seminars, car show, specialty parking areas, and vendor displays, but you could also visit the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum where hundreds of vintage trophies, photos, and winning race cars from the past 100 years are all housed.
Frank Rule rolls out of Muncie,...
Frank Rule rolls out of Muncie, IN, on Foose wheels on each corner of his ’34 Chevy coupe.
And, being at Indy, you might expect a little different spin on things, and famed racer “King” Richard Petty was on hand on Saturday for an autograph session. You could also take a ride at 180 mph around the track in a specially prepared Indy racer outfitted with two inline seats (you sit behind the driver). It was a little pricey to do, but we heard they sold out, and it seemed everyone we talked to who took the ride said it was incredible.
The event was also the location where hot rodders could have picked up 1 of 10 Builder’s Choice awards (picked at this show by Rad Rides) or a STREET RODDER Top 100 award (sponsored by Painless Performance) while others were focused on the Goodguys/Gearstar Hot Rod of the Year award, which asks owners of their ride to drive a 150-mile reliability run one day as well as make a pass down a local dragstrip (burnout optional). The “It really works” condition of this award is appreciated by those who believe ya gotta drive ’em to be a real hot rod.
That’s Marty Williams’ ’23...
That’s Marty Williams’ ’23 T in the background and Lon Wren’s slicked ’n’ slammed ’29 Ford roadster in the foreground. Both are locals to Indy.
This year’s winner of the Hot Rod of the Year award is a show ’n’ go double threat, as it was also named the ISCA’s Class Champion in the roadster division earlier this year. The Washington Blue original-steel ’32 Ford roadster is owned by Michael Tarquinio and features a ’57 Olds J2 engine for power.
It’s always a big deal when some street rod organization makes a major change (like relocating an event) to their yearlong program, and they aren’t always successful when they do. But the Goodguys saw a need to improve upon what they started more than 20 years ago in Indianapolis and, with a new location at a historic automotive venue, the Goodguys’ WIX Filter Speedway Nationals is destined to be a major attraction for hot rodders for years to come.