Weekend Rewind! Goodguys 13th FiTech Fuel Injection Spring Nationals presented by Grundy Insurance
Like flowers in the desert blooming after winter rains, thousands of colorful cars and trucks emerged this weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona as Goodguys came to town for the 13th FiTech Fuel Injection Spring Nationals presented by Grundy Insurance. The WestWorld of Scottsdale grounds were awash in vibrant hues and filled with the healthy rumble of vintage V8s, marking the unofficial arrival of spring and the return of Goodguys Good Times to the desert southwest.
Even though Arizona rodders are blessed with comfortable cruising weather through the winter, the arrival of spring is still something to celebrate. The days start getting longer, the weather a little warmer, and the urge to get out and connect with friends is stronger. Enthusiasts responded by showing up in big numbers, filling the WestWorld polo field and upper parking lots with vivid hot rods, classics, customs, vintage trucks, muscle cars, street machines, and more.
One guy who knows a lot about color is Doug Jerger of Squeeg’s Kustoms, who has spent a lifetime building award-winning rods and customs and painting them in brilliant hues. We were thrilled when Doug agreed to select the Builder’s Choice Top 10 at this year’s Spring Nationals. He’s got a fantastic eye for style, detail, and the cool factor that makes an exceptional custom creation, and his Top 10 lineup reflected all those elements.
Doug’s not the only one with a good eye, though. The Goodguys awards team is well versed in finding winners and came up with dozens of them to showcase in Sunday afternoon’s award presentation. The winner’s circle included finalists for several Goodguys Top 12 awards, too. This included Randy McDaniel’s ’51 Mercury as the Fuel Curve Custom of the Year finalist, Butch Yamali’s ’65 Riviera as the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist, Jim Bazuik’s ’69 SS Chevelle as the Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year finalist, and Ron Brown’s ’71 Firebird as the Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year finalist. The media team, meanwhile, selected Rick Kiel’s tasty blue ’63 GMC as the Goodguys Feature Pick. Builders that earned the Chevrolet Performance Builder of the Year finalist spots this weekend were Charly’s Garage with a ’70 Chevelle earning the GM Iron spot, and AVS Motorsports‘ ’32 Ford claiming the GM Retro Iron spot.
Over on the Goodguys CPP AutoCross course, awards were earned by clocking fast laps and finishing more quickly than your fellow competitors. Mike Ahlstrom topped the Speedtech Performance PRO-X class in his ’65 VW dune buggy with the quickest time of the weekend, but it was Keith Corrigan winning the PRO-X Shootout in his ’68 Chevy C10 pickup. Eric Sheely dominated the Summit Racing PRO class in a ’72 Corvette claiming the overall class win, as well as the shootout victory…and then repeated that double-up victory in the Forgeline Street Machine class wheeling a ’62 Ford Ranchero. The Sheely family continued the winning weekend as Pat claimed the double up wins in the No Limit Engineering Truck class driving a ’59 Chevy Apache. In the Sports Car class, it was a split decision weekend as Bob Gawlik claimed the class win in his ’91 Corvette, but Valerie Pichette won the Sports Car shootout in her ’88 Pontiac GTA. Mike Jakubowski won the FiTech Challenger class driving his ’84 Pontiac Trans Am. On Sunday Jon Bickford sealed the deal in his 2020 Tesla winning both the class victory and All American Shootout event.
When you really think about it, though, everyone who took part in the Spring Nationals weekend was a winner. Beyond the thousands of fine rides to check out, there was a full schedule of activities and happenings to help shake off those winter blues and get in the swing of spring. We’re talking about a massive swap meet, a fantastic vendor midway, multiple Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions, a smokey Burnout Competition, live music, activities for the kids, great food, and lots of fun meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. Combine that with comfortable weather all three days, and you had the makings of a spectacular spring hot rod weekend.
And the fun doesn’t stop there! Goodguys is halfway through our spring fling of events to open up the 2023 season, and we’re coming to California next! Stay tuned for the 39th Grundy Insurance All American Get-Together next weekend in Pleasanton, followed by the 22nd Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals the weekend after that. The Goodguys Good Times are off to a fast start for 2023, and we can’t wait to see you at an event sometime soon!
Photos by Todd Ryden & Terry Lysak