Weekend Rewind! 2nd RaceDeck Salt Lake Nationals

It looks like we’re onto something good here in Utah! In just its second year, the Goodguys RaceDeck Salt Lake Nationals is quickly starting to realize the potential we saw when we first decided to host an event at the scenic and historic Utah State Fairpark. With a sea of colorful rods, customs, muscle cars, classics, trucks and other cool rides packed into the facility over the past three days, there was little doubt Salt Lake City was the premier destination for enthusiasts from throughout the West.

After kicking off the weekend festivities with a scenic Hot Rod Cruise through some beautiful mountain highways on Thursday, followed by a fun-filled kickoff party at RaceDeck, the Fairpark quickly filled up with fine rides on Friday. The showin’ and shinin’ was accompanied by the rumble of a Nitro Thunderfest exhibition and plenty of action on the Goodguys CPP AutoCross track. Even a few afternoon showers couldn’t dampen the spirits of the gathered gearheads.

Things really took off on Saturday, as an even larger contingent of cool machines streamed into the grounds for a day of fun-filled, sun-filled mechanical merriment. The Saturday Specialty Parking Areas were filled to the brim with cars angling for awards. This included many vying for some coveted Builder’s Choice Top 10 Awards selected by Dave Kindig and Kevin Schiele of Kindig-It Desgin. These celebrity builders took a lot of time to greet fans and talk to car owners while selecting their favorite rides – a lineup that would garner strong ratings anywhere.

Goodguys had some hardware to hand out, as well. In addition to dozens of picks and awards, we selected two Top 12 Of The Year finalists – Eric and Deborah Bennett’s ’63 Galaxie for the Billet Specialties Muscle Car of the Year, and Dave and Tracy Maxwell’s Kindig-built ’67 C10 for LMC Truck of the Year Late. The C10 also earned Kindig-It a Builder of the Year finalist nod with the Chevrolet Performance GM Iron Award, while HS Customs earned the GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year finalist selection for Ron and Cary Zipperer’s ’39 Ford sedan.

Not to be left out, the Goodguys media team made a couple of awards selections, too. We tapped Chris Mull’s pint-sized ’63 Datsun NL320 pickup as the Fuel Curve Pick, and Brian and Valerie Fluetsch’s ’36 Ford woodie for the Goodguys Feature Pick.

The Goodguys CPP AutoCross course got moved closer to the show car area this year, with an exciting new layout that kept engines revving strong and tires squealing under duress. Team Speedway had a great weekend of competition, with Robby Unser doubling up and winning both the PRO-X class and the PRO-X portion of the Fuel Curve Great Salt Shootout in the Speedway Motors-sponsored ’70 Camaro. Teammate Brian Martin did the same double-up trick in his ’86 Corvette in the PRO class. In the Forgeline Street Machine class, Bill Graves Sr. took the class win in his ’66 Corvette, while Scot Spiewak claimed the shootout win in his ’87 Corvette. Alex Giesey and Richard Giesey traded time in their ’69 El Camino in the LMC Truck class, with Alex taking the class win, while Tom Adjutant claimed the FiTech Challenger class and the Truck/Challenger portion of the Great Salt Shootout in his ’64 Acadian Invader wagon.

The rest of the weekend was filled with all the energy and excitement you can expect from Goodguys, with a great lineup of vendors, an indoor car show, treasure hunting in the swap meet area, multiple Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions, a smokin’ Burnout Contest, live music, and much more. You can tell the car community was happy and excited to be out enjoying their rides, and even more thrilled to be soaking in the sun and scenery around Salt Lake City. Thanks to all the rodders who came out to make it a wonderful weekend. We look forward to bringing the same energy and momentum to Nashville next weekend for the 15th BASF Nashville Nationals!

Photos by Damon Lee & Todd Ryden

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.