Weekend Rewind! Goodguys 18th BASF Nashville Nationals

Tennessee lived up to its nickname as The Volunteer State this weekend as thousands of rodders from far and wide volunteered to get their cars and trucks out of the garage and on the road to join us for the 18th BASF Nashville Nationals! They made their way toward Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, where Goodguys turned the infield into a carnival of chrome filled with a virtual rainbow of bright and bold hod rods, customs, muscle cars, classics, vintage trucks, good-time automotive activities, and much more!

The event weekend got off to an early start for a group of enthusiasts who joined the Navigatin’ to Nashville caravan led by Goodguys Rodders Rep Pat Lennen, which cruised from Indianapolis to Nashville in the days leading up to the event. A Thursday night kickoff party at Charlies Custom Creations provided one more opportunity for rodders to tune up and get excited for the weekend.

An early-morning shower greeted us on Friday, but the rest of the day was mostly dry as we took a pack of more than 15 cars out for the Tanks, Inc. Hot Rod of the Year Reliability Run. The group made stops at Reviving Relics, Advanced Plating, and Chris England Concepts before rolling back to Nashville Superspeedway for some old-school drag racing runs on pit road.

By Saturday afternoon, the Hot Rod of the Year field had been narrowed down to a Top Five that included Chad Adams’ ’30 Model A coupe, Keith Hill’s ’33 Ford coupe, Robin Collier’s ’34 Ford coupe, JD and Jeni Keith’s ’32 Ford five-window coupe, and Kent and Lisa Matranga’s ’32 Ford five-window coupe. It was a stellar lineup of finalists, each with its own distinctive take on the classic hot rod concept. Opinions and speculation ran wild throughout the rest of the weekend until Keith Hill’s ’33 Ford coupe built by Pinkee’s Rod Shop was officially announced as the 2024 Tanks, Inc. Hot Rod of the Year. Watch for a fill feature on this mean, chopped, Cadillac-powered coupe this week on FuelCurve.com.

The Hot Rod of the Year contenders weren’t the only great rides getting attention in Tennessee. An incredible array of vintage iron was packed into the speedway infield all three days, leaving our friend Bobby Alloway of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop with the unenviable task of selecting just ten cool cars and trucks for his Builder’s Choice Top 10 trophies. Bobby’s a seasoned pro, though, and put together a roster of standouts that any enthusiast could appreciate.

The Goodguys awards team also had a busy weekend, as we searched for regional finalists for a number of our Top 12 awards presented by BASF. Winners included Gerry and Melinda Kennon’s ’55 Nomad as the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist; Mark Fuqua’s ’57 Chevy as the LMC Truck of the Year Early finalist; Rodney Harris’s ’79 Chevy quad cab as the Dakota Digital Truck of the Year Late finalist; Bob Satterfield’s ’70 SS454 Chevelle as the Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year finalist; and Michael Salser’s ’72 Camaro as the Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year finalist. Mike Goldman Customs picked up the Chevrolet Performance GM Iron Builder of the Year finalist nod for the ’57 Cadillac they built for Doyle Thomas; and Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop earned the Chevrolet Performance GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year finalist spot for the ’32 Ford coupe built for McKenzie Murphy. The Goodguys media team, meanwhile, went for some international flair by selecting Jesse Greening’s ’70 Porsche 911 as the Goodguys Feature Pick.

The Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series took over one end of the infield, using a portion of the Nashville Superspeedway road course to create a longer, multi-elevation track that presented new challenges and opportunities compared to our usual shorter courses. Top performers for the weekend included Josh Leisinger in the Speedtech Performance PRO-X class, Joe Gregory in the Summit Racing PRO class, Andrew Chenoweth in the Forgeline Street Machine class, Brian Johns in the Sports Car class and the All American Sunday class, Brian Finch in the No Limit Engineering Truck class, and John Curby in the Challenger class. We hosted the Music City Mayhem AutoCross shootout presented by No Limit Engineering in Nashville and all class winners claimed shootout victories with the exception of the PRO class where Brian Coney drove his ’69 Camaro to the shootout victory.

Every participant had an opportunity for some track time during the Saturday Evening Track Cruise, when the Nashville Superspeedway banked oval was opened up to rods, customs, muscle cars, and cruisers from the event. What a great way to cap off a fantastic Saturday!

We’re happy the gloomy forecast didn’t keep too many people away this weekend, because it proved to be a fantastic few days here in Tennessee, with minimal moisture impacting the event. Those who joined us were treated to plenty of Goodguys Good Times that included thousands of cool cars, dozens of vendors, happenings and activities like multiple Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions, kids activities, and a sizeable swap meet, and plenty of opportunities to just kick back and enjoy some time with your hot rod friends. Thanks to everyone who came out, and we can’t wait to see some of our East Coast friends in a few weeks when we bring the Goodguys party to an all-new venue for the Grundy Insurance Mid-Atlantic Nationals presented by R&M Performance in Dover, Delaware!

Photos by Marc Gewertz, Terry Lysak & 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.