Friday First Look – 28th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals

We’re kicking off the long holiday weekend in ground-pounding hot rod fashion as the Goodguys 28th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals gets underway today at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. The American spirit is high, the sun is shinin’, and enthusiasts from throughout the Midwest are flocking in for a fantastic few days of car-focused fun!

The action began yesterday, as a few early arrivals celebrated the 4th of July by taking part in the Poker Run around town, visiting local shops and collections. The celebration spilled over into Thursday evening with a laid-back kickoff party in the parking lot of the West Des Moines Marriott host hotel.

The action on the fairgrounds started early this morning and never let up, as thousands of vintage rides filled the facility’s picturesque streets and tree-filled open spaces. The same held true on the AutoCross track, with racers running nonstop to get a feel for the track and find their best times to try to qualify for Saturday’s Duel in Des Moines presented by Speedway Motors.

There’s much more in tap for the rest of the weekend, including new features like an Apple Pie Contest and Watermelon Eating Competition, the popular Nitro Thunderfest and Burnout Contest assaulting your senses, plus kids activities and live music. And don’t forget Twilight Cruising Saturday evening, followed by a special Nitro Thunderfest at dusk and our annual Fireworks Extravaganza!

We’ve lit the wick and it’s definitely going to sizzle through the next two days. Come join us if you can and enjoy this photo gallery to get you in the mood for some all-American hot rod fun!

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.