You can’t help but have fun at a big summer party. What makes a killer party, though? Lots of friends? Gotta have ’em. Loads of bitchin cars to jaw about? Now we’re getting warm. A killer spot to hop in your ride and do the autocross-cone dance with your buddies egging you on? We’re on fire now. So who better to throw the rip-roarin-est, root-tootin-est, boot-scootin-est party in the land than Goodguys? And what better spot to throw down than the rock ’n’ roll home of the git-tar, Nashville baby!

The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association has always been known for their killer car shows and, by listening to their fans, they’ve also opened up their arms and welcomed all of us street machine nuts into the fold. During the 6th Annual Nashville Nationals held at LP Field May 20-22, anyone entered into the main car show had the opportunity to cruise back to a sectioned off autocross course and blow their car through a tight series of cones designed to test their cornering and handling ability. Popular Hot Rodding is so geeked about the autocross event, we’re sponsoring five of the races this season. To celebrate, we’re offering a custom embroidered winner’s jacket to the Street Machine driver with the fastest single lap time of the meet.

Since the autocross event is still a fairly new concept to many of the event goers, it is always a little nerve rattling wondering how the turnout will be. From the beginning of the weekend on Friday morning though, it was evident that this was going to be one hell of a good weekend. A number of regulars were on hand laying down quick times in the low 33-second range, but there was also a large contingent of local and regional ’crossers who showed up, or just popped over from the main show area, to test the mettle of their metal.

One of the cooler aspects of the PHR Street Machine event was that, yeah it was officially a competition, but there were tons of racers taking each others’ cars for trips around the track and helping tune the chassis. Tire pressures were tweaked, shock rates adjusted, and advice was given to the more novice drivers about alignment setup and the best ways to attack the corners. Amazing camaraderie in the pits like that is rarely seen at other events, and we were proud to be involved.

Something else you don’t see every day: Passengers were allowed. On almost every run there was a smiling, laughing victim reaching for the “oh, crap!” bar while getting tossed around next to the driver. What a blast!

Throughout the weekend there was a constant push and pull for the lead between Dallas winner Brian Finch of Hermitage, Tennessee, and Kevin Miller of Baldwin City, Kansas. By late Saturday afternoon, Miller had the lead covered by a solid three-tenths. Ever the competitor, Finch picked up the challenge and with his car set on kill, took the lead for the win, running a lap of 33.142 in his LS3-powered ’71 Camaro. Finch now has an even bigger target on his back with the other drivers taking aim for the next PHR shootout to be held at Goodguys in Columbus, Ohio, on July 8-10.

And what better spot to throw down than the rock ’n’ roll home of the git-tar, Nashville baby!