Weekend Rewind! 24th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals presented by Barrett-Jackson

Whoever said you should save the best for last must have had Goodguys and Arizona in mind, because our finale event of the 2021 season – the 24th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals presented by Barrett-Jackson – proved to be a sun-filled, fun-filled highlight of the year!

This season-ending spectacle is always a bright spot on the Goodguys calendar and was back in top form this weekend as thousands of hot rods, cool customs, classics, trucks, muscle cars, and more packed into WestWorld of Scottsdale for three days of Goodguys Good Times. Fantastic weather, a full schedule of activities, good friends, and cool cars made for an ideal way to wrap up another great Goodguys season.

One of the coolest parts of the WestWorld weekend was having the Goodguys Meguiar’s Top 12 winners on display and shining in the desert sun. These coveted Of the Year champions are some of the most elite creations to come from shops across the country this year and represent the utmost in creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation. Having them all in one place was truly a sight to behold!

One Top 12 spot was still waiting to be filled when we arrived in Arizona: the hard-charging CPP AutoCrosser of the Year title. Longtime Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series racer Josh Leisinger claimed the title after a series of successful shootout appearances and PRO-X class wins in his Summit Racing-sponsored ’64 Corvette. Josh duked it out with his brother Jared all weekend long, and the two faced off in the final round of the Duel in the Desert Shootout presented by Speedway Motors, Lecarra, and Optima Batteries. Jared claimed the shootout victory, though Josh’s accumulated season points earned him the AutoCrosser of the Year honor.

Goodguys 2021 AutoCrosser of the year, Summit Racing AutoCross, Jared Leisinger

Goodguys 2021 AutoCrosser of the year, Summit Racing AutoCross, Josh Leisinger

Joining the Meguiar’s Top 12 were the Chevrolet Performance Builder of the Year winners – Bobby Alloway and the ’70 Chevelle built at Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop, and Roger Burman and the ’35 Ford built at Lakeside Rods and Rides. We also showcased the Goolsby Customs Next Generation winner for the year, 25-year-old Logan Adkins and his ’54 F100.

Speaking of winners, Dean Livermore from Hot Rods by Dean came out to select the Builder’s Choice Top 10. Dean takes his time talking to car owners, inspecting all the rides closely, and putting plenty of thought into his choices. Quality, craftsmanship, cleanliness, and variety are all considerations for Dean, and his selections reflect all of those qualities. Check them out.

Along with the dozens of other awards handed out on Sunday, Goodguys looked ahead to the 2022 Meguiar’s Top 12 by selecting Keith Adelsberg’s 427-powered ’67 Impala SS as the Billet Specialties Muscle Car of the Year finalist. And the Goodguys media team singled out Bill Raper’s ’67 Galaxie for the Goodguys Feature Pick, and Wayne Collard’s Chevy pickup as the Fuel Curve Pick.

For some people, winning involves scoring a great deal on a car or hard-to-find parts. The massive swap meet and Cars 4 Sale Corral along the south border of the facility provided acres of cool finds and great bargains for enthusiasts. Others tasted the thrill of vicarious victory during multiple Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions, which included the restored Frank Pedregon Fiat Fuel Coupe among the lineup of vintage drag machines. Those same quarter-mile warriors made an appearance a Squeeg’s Kustoms in Chadler for a fun-filled TGIF party on Friday evening.

On Sunday we welcomed the All American Sunday late model rides and a flock of American-made Muscle filled the AutoCross pits. However it was a 2021 Tesla Model 3 driven by Bruce Hanson that doubled up with the fastest time for the Wilwood Brakes class win as well as the All American 8-car AutoCross Sunday shootout.

The entire weekend was bustling at WestWorld, from the rollout of the Hot Rod Cruise on Thursday morning, all the way through the awards ceremony Sunday afternoon. With thousands of vehicles, hundreds of vendors, live music, kids activities, a smokin’ Burnout Competition, lots of cruising, and countless opportunities to catch up with friends and fellow hot rodders, the 24th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals presented by Barrett-Jackson was a fantastic finale for the 2021 season and reinforced the notion of saving the best for last.

Photos by Damon Lee, Steven Bunker & John Jackson

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.