Pictures and text courtesy of Goodguys Rod and Custom
Deep into its second decade, the Goodguys PPG Nationals continues on its upward trajectory as hot rodding’s premier summertime summit. The cutting edge cars, our industry’s top manufacturers and brightest minds came together for 96-hours of Full Throttle Fun. Last weekend’s 18th annual Nationals was the best yet!
A mixed bag of weather had ZERO effect on participation as over 6,200 show cars and over 75,000 fans made the scene. Custom & Classic vehicles from thirty-seven different states registered then rocked the Ohio Expo Center. The manufacturer’s Midway and indoor exhibit plaza swelled with hundreds of vendors and the Goodguys AutoCross track featured three huge days of ground pounding by the best racers in the USA. It was “Off the Hook” as the kids like to say.
The competition was crazy for both Street Machine and Street Rod of the Year honors. In all over 60 stellar cars battled it out for two of the year’s top awards. The Street Machine class was the deepest field ever. It was impossible to whittle the large field to five finalists! The field of Street Rods was the deepest we’ve seen in years, officially signaling a pre-’49 Street Rod renaissance!
Saturday evening’s awards gala was buzzing. First up was the recognition of the Goodguys Best New Products. Nine companies were big winners in this annual Columbus ceremony honoring the industry’s best and brightest! Then it came time for the crowning of the Goodguys 2015 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year (won by Millington, Tennessee’s Chuck Rowe and his ’37 Chevy by Bobby Alloway) and the Goodguys 2015 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year (won by Sonny & Debbie Freeman’s ’67 Corvette by Mike Goldman Customs).
Goodguys AutoCross was on the gas all weekend. The highlight race, the 6th annual Sponsor Shootout was won by defending champion Danny Popp and his menacing Lingenfelter powered ’72 Corvette. Popp needed a 31.876 lap to defeat Matt Braun in his ’70 Chevelle. In addition, Popp cleaned house with the PRO Class win (32.268) giving him the Duel in the Desert transfer spot. Other big weekend winners included: Ken Hiebert (Street Machine class, ’72 Triumph TR6 34.166), Alex Giesey (Truck class, ’70 Chevy El Camino 37.441), and Todd Holdren (Hot Rod class, ’53 Buick, 37.851) and Bryan Johnson (All American Sunday).
Capping the monster weekend was Sunday’s closing awards ceremony which featured over 120 of the event’s top cars. After the winners crossed the stage collecting their awards the tension began to build for the Goodguys G-10 Truck giveaway. Cave Creek, Arizona’s Rick Lingen drew the lucky key to start the truck, officially winning the Goodguys G-10. He went bananas!
The big weekend simply rocked the Ohio Expo Center and its 400 acres. Thanks to all participants, vendors, all three host clubs, our devoted Rodder’s Reps and the tens of thousands who made this event one of the best ever! We’ll see you back here July 8, 9 & 10 in 2016 for the 19th annual Goodguys PPG Nationals!