As much as we enjoy going to races and car shows all summer long, the grueling schedule does take its toll. By the time October rolls around, we've worn out at least two pairs of shoes and all but exhausted our supply of sunblock as we crisscross the country, attending events from Anaheim to Orlando. Right about that time, we get a call from Year One, inviting us down to Bristol, Tennessee for their annual Fall Automotive Nationals, which typically falls on the third weekend in October. For any other event, we might politely pass on the offer and stick our feet back in a tub of water, but our past experiences at Bristol have given us good incentive to return.
When we go to Bristol for Year One's Bash, we know the event will be run in a first-class manner and the variety of cars and activities will be second to none. We're not the only ones who feel this way, as attendance has increased sharply for the third straight year. The little things can make a big difference in drawing participants with top-flight cars and Year One knows how to bring them in. One of the more popular amenities is the car wash area, which makes it easy to clean off the bugs and road grime accumulated on a trip into the heart of the Smokey Mountains. Drag racers make sure their annual budget includes a trip to Bristol in the fall, because they know the track will hook and the cool, comfortable air will make conditions nearly ideal for personal bests. The autocross draws more cars every year, but it still may be the best deal of the weekend, as many drivers will get more seat time in those three days than the rest of the year combined.
Spectators love the Bash, because they're always treated to highly competitive racing in several different classes, as well as incredible exhibition runs by wheel-standers, rocket cars and a variety of historic dragsters. Finding the best vantage point at the track allows spectators to take in all the action on the strip, while having a bird's eye view of the autocross course. Saturday's program was capped off by a fireworks display of such epic proportions, that it might have been visible from the moon.
Year One constantly strives to make their event stand out from the rest and this year they outdid themselves. For a mere $20, NASCAR fanatics and thrill-seekers alike could venture out onto Bristol's fabled half-mile oval in their street car for 10 hotlaps behind the BMS pace car. Year One's ability to improve their event every year is simply amazing and we can't wait to see what they have planned for next fall. Check out the action from this past year's event and make plans to be there in 2004.
Greg Gessler won the F.A.S.T....
Greg Gessler won the F.A.S.T. class at Bristol for the third straight year, but Terry Pennington exhibited tremendous sportsmanship when he suggested the final round be delayed so Gessler's '72 Buick GS Stage 1 could adequately cool down before the finals. Gessler needed the help, because his .13 second advantage off the line was all that kept him in front of Pennington's Camaro, which posted a 12.50 to Gessler's 12.57.
Danny Kellams made an impressive...
Danny Kellams made an impressive showing in his very first F.A.S.T. appearance when his L88-powered '69 Camaro threw down an 11.99 in the first round against Joel Nystrom's '67 GTX. Nystrom responded by posting an 11.76, but shifter problems in the second round two Nystrom's weekend.
Tom Cannon's '70 Challenger...
Tom Cannon's '70 Challenger T/A had a memorable debut at Bristol. During one of his early runs, a piece of Mallory metal came out of the crank and punched a hole in the side of his oil pan. Cannon noticed the smoke and immediately pulled to the side of the track and shut the car off. Unfortunately, the steering wheel locked and Cannon ended up brushing the wall. The body damage was minor and a quick trip to a local welder had Cannon back on the track, where he qualified seventh in the F.A.S.T. class with a 12.32 ET.
Pat Wendling's Ram Air IV...
Pat Wendling's Ram Air IV qualified 11th in the Factory Appearing, Stock Tire Class (F.A.S.T.), which pitted him against the ZL1 of perennial front-runner Terry Pennington in the first round. Wendling's Poncho was fighting fuel starvation issues all weekend and was in desperate need of a steeper gear, making it no match for Pennington's 11-second beast.
Finding a chassis dyno is...
Finding a chassis dyno is not always easy and getting a good price can be even more difficult. Year One brought in two chassis dynos to make sure everyone who wanted a pull got one. At $50 for three pulls, the price was tough to beat.
The True Street Challenge...
The True Street Challenge entries lined up for a mandatory 30-mile cruise prior to making three passes down the track. All vehicles had to be licensed and insured with full interiors and functioning accessories. Tires were limited to D.O.T.-approved treads and every car had to pass NHRA tech for their posted ET and speed.
It's easy to see why paced...
It's easy to see why paced hotlaps on the oval were a popular attraction all weekend. The turns at the California Speedway are banked 14 degrees, which is slightly less than the angle found on the straights at Bristol. The corners at Thunder Valley are banked at a staggering 36 degrees, which is steeper than Daytona. That makes for one of the most intense half-miles in all of motorsports.
Jon Phillips successfully...
Jon Phillips successfully defended his title in the True Street Competition in his Chevy-powered 260Z. The nitrous-fed 415 cubic-inch mill propelled the lightweight machine to a best ET for the class of 9.36 seconds at 148 mph. Quick as he was, Phillips only managed to qualify fifth for the Quick 16 class and struggled with head gasket problems.
Larry Puckett has been racing...
Larry Puckett has been racing most of his life and this '66 GTO has been his car of choice for the last 16 years. Larry enjoyed the favorable weather and excellent track prep all weekend as his 455 mill easily pushed his Goat into the 10s.
Rebecca Vermillion came over...
Rebecca Vermillion came over from nearby Blountville to check out the action on the autocross course.
Shawn Willocks didn't even...
Shawn Willocks didn't even have 1,000 miles on his '03 Cobra when he pulled it into the staging lane at the autocross course. Mileage didn't matter to Shawn, as he was focused on beating the time his buddy posted in a Trans Am.
PHR Editor Johnny Hunkins...
PHR Editor Johnny Hunkins spent much of the weekend plucking cars and photo assistants out of the staging lines and show field. Dave Dudek Sr.'s '69 Plymouth GTX was one of those chosen (along with a few of his friends to hold reflectors). Look for a feature on Dudek's 11-second, stock appearing Mopar elsewhere in this issue.
The car show field was as...
The car show field was as diverse as it was expansive, with entries competing for top honors in 24 different classes, which mirror the Year One product lines. The cream of the crop competed for the prestigious Year One Cup, which is accompanied by a $5,000 gift certificate and a front row ticket to some of the biggest automotive spectacles in 2004.
Jack Roush sent three of his...
Jack Roush sent three of his 380R Mustangs down to Bristol for inspection. The moniker is derived from the supercharged 4.6 powerplant, which is good for 380 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque.
Christy Bejerano greeted us...
Christy Bejerano greeted us with a pleasant smile and told us all about Metco Motorsport's latest engine dress-up components for modular supercharged Fords at their display in the manufacturer's midway.
Michelle McLemore kept a close...
Michelle McLemore kept a close eye on her boyfriend Brent Bernard's '89 Mustang, as it qualified sixth in the Quick 16 class with an ET of 9.21.
Wes Snow's '94 Camaro has...
Wes Snow's '94 Camaro has Kim Ellis all up in arms. We think that's a good thing.
Activities like the rock wall...
Activities like the rock wall ensured kids had just as much fun as the adults. Moonwalks, inflatable slides, clowns and face painting are other mainstays of the children's area. Year One pulled out all the stops for mom too, staffing manicurists for the weekend and offering complimentary shuttle service to the local malls.
Andrew Borodin broke the ring...
Andrew Borodin broke the ring gear in his '70 GTO during Car Craft's Real Street Eliminator competition and his efforts to find a new ring and pinion on short notice were fruitless. Borodin did manage to track down a used 12-bolt, which he was able to acquire in exchange for his ET Streets, rims and $200. A few hours of thrashing and the Goat was ready for more abuse. The effect got Borodin the win in theis year's RSE competition.
The level of quality in the...
The level of quality in the cars at the Bristol Bash never ceases to amaze us and the finalists for the 2003 Year One cup are no exception. Ultimately, Darrell Scott Teeter's Pro-touring '68 Camaro came out on top. You can see Teeter's Camaro elsewhere in this issue.
Brian Salvati's '71 Plymouth...
Brian Salvati's '71 Plymouth Duster qualified for the Quick 16, thanks to the 500 cubic-inch Wedge under the hood. Brian's car ran strong all weekend, but Gary Ruble's wheel-standing '71 Chevelle got the upper hand and went on to win the class.
Larry Snead's '82 Ford EXP...
Larry Snead's '82 Ford EXP was the number one qualifier in the Quick 16 class with a blistering 8.66 ET. Unfortunately, Larry encountered trouble at the top end of the track shortly after this picture was taken. The EXP took the brunt of the damage and Larry emerged uninjured, much to everyone's relief.
Year One invited some of the...
Year One invited some of the quickest Oldsmobiles from the BOP Nationals to return to Bristol for the Bash. By the time it was all said and done, Mark Prince's '72 442 W-30 was declared King of the Hill.
Year One brought in their...
Year One brought in their massive display, which included several of their Leader of the Class cars, free catalogs, 20% discounts and a drawing for a $500 gift certificate.
Yellow Freight is the official...
Yellow Freight is the official hauler for Year One, making them responsible for delivering many of the Year One display vehicles to shows around the country. They're also active in NASCAR and couldn't pass up the chance to bring their tire changing machine to the Bash for a little friendly competition in manufacturer's midway.
Jeff Schwartz and his son,...
Jeff Schwartz and his son, Dale drove down from Crystal Lake, Illinois in Jeff's Ultima GTR. Dale carried his dad's autocross trophy home on his lap, since they didn't have anywhere else to stow it in the lightweight land rocket.
Paul Walker of Fast & Furious...
Paul Walker of Fast & Furious Fame looks on as Year One employees unveil his LS1-powered, pro-touring Chevy II during a special ceremony at Bristol's infield.
|Year One Cup |
|Winner ||Darrell Scott Teeters ||1968 Camaro |
|Finalists ||Doug Young ||1970 Plymouth Superbird |
| ||James & Rhonda Brown ||1969 Hurst Olds 455 |
|1964-72 Chevelle/El Camino/Monte Carlo and derivatives |
|1st(tie) ||Van Hurst ||1969 Chevrolet El Camino |
| ||Jim Wilcox ||1966 Chevrolet Chevelle |
|1964-72 Pontiac LeMans/GTO /Tempest and derivatives |
|1st ||Lee Barnes ||1965 Pontiac GTO |
| 2nd(tie) ||Roy Scuffham ||1969 Pontiac GTO |
| ||Chuck Miller ||1965 Pontiac GTO |
|1964-72 Olds Cutlass/442/F-85 and derivatives |
|1st ||James Brown ||1969 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds 455 |
| 2nd ||Tony Barkey ||1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 |
|1964-72 Buick Skylark/Special/GS and derivatives |
|1st ||Mark Macoubrie ||1970 Buick GSX |
| 2nd ||Mitchell Mathis ||1970 Buick GS455 |
|1966-74 Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth A- and C-bodies |
|1st ||Rodney Arndt ||1969 Plymouth Barracuda |
| 2nd(tie) ||Emilee Sturgill ||1964 Plymouth Valiant |
| ||C.J. Davenport ||1966 Plymouth Barracuda |
|1966-74 Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth B- and E-bodies |
| 1st ||Ron Bradley ||1970 Dodge Challenger |
| 2nd ||Doug Young ||1970 Plymouth Superbird |
|1962-72 Chevy II/Nova and derivatives |
|1st ||John Shrewsbury ||1966 Chevrolet Nova |
| 2nd ||Donald Padgett ||1966 Chevrolet Nova |
|1958-72 Chevrolet Impala/Caprice and derivatives including 1959-60 El Camino |
| 1st ||Daniel Rupp ||1958 Chevrolet Impala |
| 2nd ||Jim Wilcox ||1962 Chevrolet Impala |
|1967-81 Camaro/Z28 and derivatives |
|1st ||Darrell Teeters ||1968 Chevrolet Camaro |
| 2nd ||Eddie Vannoy ||1969 Chevrolet Camaro |
|1967-81 Firebird/Formula/Trans Am and derivatives |
| 1st ||Rod Koeiker ||1979 Pontiac Trans Am |
| 2nd ||Mike Garblick ||1968 Pontiac Firebird |
|1982-2002 Camaro/Firebird |
| 1st ||Brent Sloan ||2002 Pontiac Blackbird |
| 2nd ||Mike Hill ||1998 Pontiac Firehawk |
|1964 1/2 - 1973 Mustang/Shelby and derivatives |
| 1st ||Brandon Kraft ||1965 Ford Mustang |
| 2nd ||Mike Akers ||1967 Ford Mustang |
|1979-present Ford Mustang/Cobra and derivatives |
| 1st ||Paul Hall ||2001 Ford Mustang |
| 2nd ||Gary Williams ||1995 Ford Mustang |
|1991-96 GM B-body (Chevy Impala SS/Caprice/Buick Roadmaster/Olds Custom Cruiser) |
|1st ||Don Dixson ||1996 Chevrolet Impala |
| 2nd ||Donald Warner ||1996 Chevrolet Impala SS |
|1978-88 GM A- and G-bodies (Monte Carlo/Malibu/El Camino/Sprint/ Regal/Cutlass/Grand Prix/GN/GNX) |
|1st ||Larry Cheffer ||1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo |
| 2nd ||Sherley Carter ||1987 Buick GNX Grand National |
|1967-87 Chevrolet/GMC Pickup and derivatives |
| 1st ||Jerry Rogers ||1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne Super |
| 2nd ||Joe Taylor ||1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne |
|2001-Present PT Cruiser |
|1st ||Bob Anderson ||2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser |
| 2nd ||Dennis Boucher ||2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser |
| Open Class for all other cars |
| 1st(tie) ||Mark Call ||1957 Chevrolet Bel Air |
| ||Danny Ruep ||1963 Pontiac Grand Prix |
|Open Class for all other trucks |
| 1st ||Patricia Johnson ||1950 Chevrolet Pickup |
| 2nd ||Brian Shaw ||1953 Ford F-150 |
|1927-32 Street Rod |
| 1st ||Ron Hassel ||1932 Marcel Roadster |
| 2nd ||Kenny Richardson ||1930 Ford 5-Window Coupe |