Friday First Look! Goodguys 8th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals

Goodguys pointed their compasses east for the first time this 2023 season for the 8th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The Carolina’s are always beautiful this time of year, as are the state fairgrounds, and this event is a kick-off of sorts as Goodguys hunkers down in this half of the country for the remainder of the late-Spring / early-Summer months before returning back to the West Coast in August.

As always, the North Carolina Nationals event kicked off on Thursday with a party hosted by our friends at Raleigh Speed Shop. They opened their shop, welcomed us in, and the bench racing got underway. Today we opened the gates and a steady roll of color and chrome filled the grounds. It was a laid-back morning that quickly became a busy afternoon. The indoor car show was hoppin’, deals were being made in the swap meet, the vendor midway was a happenin’ place, and we fired off the first session of Nitro Thunderfest dragsters that shook the ground and filled the air with sweet nitromethane fumes.

We’re optimistic we’ll have a good Saturday on tap with our variety of Special Parking Areas, including the Builders Choice lot with the Top 10 selections being made by Goolsby Customs. The tire smoking burnout contest is always a hit at this event, and we have five of the Top 12 regional finalists categories being chosen tomorrow: Custom of the Year, Muscle Car, Truck Early, Truck Late, and Custom Rod of the Year. We’ll cap tomorrow off with the popular Demo Derby that you won’t want to miss!

Here’s a glimpse of some of the rides that caught our eye today. And remember, all Goodguys events are rain or shine…so don’t worry about what that forecast might say. The show will go on and we’ll see ya out here!

Photos by Damon Lee

Director of Media & Marketing

A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.