It's official. The Goodguys Hot Rod Nationals is a Street Rod show. That's not to say that we didn't find plenty of cool street machines, pre-'64 of course, but the Who's Who in the pre-'49 rod business has unofficially chosen Indianapolis Raceway Park as its spot to debut new cars and make a buzz about whatever it is that's up-and-coming. We're plenty cool with that, as it helps the Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, stand out as a show that the younger crowd can really get into. With the Des Moines event between Indy and Columbus, the custom guys have found their niche event on the Goodguys event calendar, too.

This standout event is as much fun as the town--forget Daytona. Some say Indy is the true racing capital of the world! Everyone in the racing business that's based in Indianapolis makes a point of getting the day off (That is, if they aren't racing somewhere else.) and taking advantage of the only chance they'll get to see some of the best rods in the country.

Enthusiasts drive thousands of miles to see the roadster debuts, Nostalgia Drag Racing action, and to take in some of the best nightlife in the Midwest. At a time when many say that racing and rodding don't mix, we look around at the packed grandstands at IRP and say, "Take that!" The over 5,000 entries and more than 50,000 spectators prove the point that this event is the true "opening round" of the outdoor show season.