Subscribe to the Free

Year One's Fall Automotive Nationals - Three Days In Thunder Valley

Chevys Dominate Year One's Bristol Bash

May 12, 2003

Year One's Fall Automotive Nationals came back to Tennessee's racing mecca. Over 400 vehicles made it to Bristol Dragway. Rain did end up cutting out most of the events on Sunday, but attendance doubled from last year; word is spreading fast that the Bristol Bash is an event not to be missed.

Amongst a sea of Bow-Tie winners, the biggest catch of the weekend was made by Doug Nichols of Statesville, North Carolina. Doug and his father spent 18 months painstakingly restoring his '67 Nova SS. During that time, they custom-fabricated several pieces and added a 346ci LS1, mated to a T56 six-speed transmission. As the Year One Cup winner, Doug not only won the cup itself, but a $5,000 gift certificate from Year One.

Close competition was present on the dragstrip. Racers "run what they brung" in the Muscle on the Mountain classes and challenge all comers in the True Street class. Muscle on the Mountain racers were split up with each Year One catalog line having its own class in addition to an open class to make sure everyone who wanted to compete had the opportunity. True Street entries were limited to fully licensed and insured street-legal vehicles, including D.O.T.-approved tires and full exhaust--no cars with gutted interiors or non-functioning lights, wipers, horns, and windows. Competitors went on a 30-mile cruise, followed immediately by three consecutive passes down the track. Tire pressure and safety-related adjustments were the only changes allowed prior to any of the runs. Winners in Muscle on the Mountain were determined by the quickest e.t. in each class, while True Street winners were determined by the quickest average e.t. after three runs.

The Factory Appearing, Stock Tire (F.A.S.T.) invitational shootout was a big hit with the Bristol crowd. Cars that appear to be factory stock from the golden age of performance ('55-74) duke it out on the track for top honors. The reality is these cars are highly tweaked with extensive internal engine modifications and porting to extract maximum performance without compromising their stock appearance or sound. It's amazing to watch these cars hook better on narrow repop redlines (chemically treated, of course) than many late models with the latest in drag radial technology. Nitrous oxide is strictly forbidden and punishable by a lifetime ban.

A huge Manufacturer Midway was packed with the latest in go-fast and reproduction parts, while a swap meet held the possibility of yielding hidden gems. The car corral tempted everyone to make a little more space in their garage, and the NASCAR driving simulator allowed people to live out their racing fantasies, if only for a few minutes.

Mark your calendars now for the third weekend in October and check Year One's Web site for updates (, because the Bash will be back at Bristol for another great weekend.


0305sc_01zoom Chevrolets Group_Shot 2/16

The Bash is well worth the drive from Florida, but offering a police escort made it even more attractive. Year One President Kevin King's own LS1-powered '69 Camaro led the charge up from their Atlanta headquarters. All cruise participants were invited onto the legendary half-mile oval at Bristol for a photo opportunity and a few laps around one of the most popular racetracks in all of NASCAR.

0305sc_02zoom Chevrolets Group_Shot 3/16

From 283-powered cars all the way up to monster 502s, dozens of Chevelles were in attendance at the Bash, as well as ACEs President and Horsepower TV host, Chuck Hanson.

0305sc_03zoom Chevrolet_Camaro Front_Driver_Side 4/16

Year One brought in two portable chassis dynos, ensuring everyone had an opportunity to hit the rollers. Ron Lamothe's '98 Z28 put up some impressive numbers, laying down 422 hp and 621 lb-ft of torque. Ron later discovered a bad wire connection had contributed to his relatively low horsepower numbers. John Phillips put up the biggest numbers in his Chevy-powered 260Z, coming up just shy of 700 hp.

0305sc_06zoom 1959_Chevrolet_El_Camino Rear_Passenger_Side 5/16

Fins are in and Don Smith brought his fins and the rest of his gorgeous '59 El Camino in from Bunker Hill, WV, to pick up First in Class at the car show.

0305sc_05zoom Chevrolet_Dragster Driver_Side 6/16

The flames shooting out of the "Jungle Jim" nostalgia Funny Car gave just enough warning for spectators to cover their ears before the engine roared to life.

0305SC_YEARONE07zoom 7/16

Competition for the Year One Cup was fierce, but a distinguished panel of automotive dignitaries eventually gave the nod to Doug Nichols of Statesvlle, NC. Doug's black '67 Nova SS is another outstanding example of classic styling seamlessly blended with the modern performance of an LS1.

0305SC_YEARONE04zoom 8/16

Several youngsters were bitten early by the racing bug, as the slot car track turned out to be a popular attraction for the pre-teen crowd. We even saw a few adults sneak in, but they couldn't compete with the quick reflexes of these seasoned Playstation veterans.

0305sc_08zoom 1969_Chevrolet_Camaro Front_Driver_Side 9/16

Daniel Caufman picks up his trophy from Year One President Kevin King for winning the '67-81 Camaro class in Muscle on the Mountain with a quick e.t. of 9.786 at over 136 mph. Daniel's '69 was also the fastest car overall in the Muscle on the Mountain competition.

0305sc_09zoom 1973_Chevrolet_Camaro Passenger_Side 10/16

The Bristol Bash was very successful for Bakersville, NC's, Silver family. John and Misti's '64 Impala SS was a runner-up in their car show class and John captured the open division of Muscle on the Mountain with his '85 S-10. Sister-in-law Sherri contributed to the Silver success by driving her '73 Camaro to a Second Place finish in her Muscle on the Mountain class.

0305sc_15zoom 1999_Chevrolet_Camaro_SS Front_Driver_Side 11/16

Competition was fierce in the show car compound, especially amongst the Chevrolets. Jonathan Human brought his exceptionally clean '99 SS up from Lawrenceville, GA, for the show. Jonathan's car is packed with subtle but effective modifications including Enkei Winsome wheels highlighted by body-colored pewter spokes.

0305SC_YEARONE12zoom 12/16

There was no thunder in the valley on Sunday, but there was plenty of rain. The view from atop the dragstrip tower reminded us why they call these "The Smoky Mountains." Track personnel remained optimistic and worked on drying the track for a few hours, but it just wasn't meant to be.

0305sc_11zoom 1966_Chevrolet_El_Camino Front_Passenger_Side 13/16

Herb and Carol Lumpp are the proud owners of this stunning '66 El Camino. Herb dropped a 460 in his beast, backed by a Richmond six-speed transmission. We're probably not supposed to say who we voted for in the Year One Cup, but when we saw Herb take his spotless El Camino out on the strip for a good thrashing in the Muscle on the Mountain races, he had our vote locked up tight.

0305sc_10zoom 1966_Chevrolet_El_Camino Engine 14/16

Herb didn't win the cup, but he did take Second in his class on the dragstrip.

0305sc_13zoom 1969_Chevrolet_Nova Front_Passenger_Side 15/16

Bob Haas' LT1-powered '69 Nova was the quickest Bow-Tie qualifier in the F.A.S.T. Shootout and the only Chevy to advance beyond the first round of eliminations. Unfortunately, his 12.58 pass was not enough to get past Joel Nystrom's '67 GTX, which ran a 12.03 to advance to the semi-finals.

0305sc_14zoom 1969_Chevrolet_Nova Passenger_Side 16/16

Greg Grindstaff was another one of Bakersville, NC's, many residents who attended the Bash. In addition to his '69 Yenko Nova, Greg also brought a '57 Chevy. The 406-powered Nova spent most of the weekend tearing up the strip, where his low-10-second e.t.'s would have put him in the running for the True Street title. Unfortunately, the Nova was DQ'd when Greg missed True Street tech inspection.

0305SC_YEARONE16zoom 17/16

Earl Ruhlman of Stainless Steel Brake Corporation was one of many manufacturing reps on hand to answer questions about their company's latest offerings.

Bristol Bash Winners

Year One Cup

Winner Doug Nichols 1967 Chevy Nova SS
Finalists Lee Barnes 1965 Pontiac GTO
  Ed Vannoy 1966 Chevy II Nova
F.A.S.T. Winners 1st Greg Gessler 1972 GS Stage 1
  2nd Joel Nystrom 1967 Hemi GTX
True Street Winners: 1st John Phillips 1974 Datsun 260Z
  2nd Nick Yarber 1995 Mustang
Muscle on the Mountain Winners 1964-1972 Chevelle/El Camino/Monte Carlo 1st Bob Perrot 1967 Chevelle
  2nd Herbert Lumpp 1966 El Camino
1962-1974 Chevy II/Nova 1st Jason Newton 1967 Nova Wagon
  2nd Greg Grindstaff 1969 Nova
1967-1981 Camaro 1st Daniel Caufman 1969 Camaro
  2nd Sherry Silver 1973 Camaro
1978-1988 Chevrolet Malibu and Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass/442, Buick Regal/Grand National/GNX, and El Camino/GMC Sprint 1st David Allison 1987 Grand National
  2nd Dustin Hollingsworth 1986 Grand National
1967-1987 Chevy and GMC Trucks 1st Freddie Coleman 1972 Chevy C-10
1982-02 Camaro and Firebird
1st Skeeter Breeden 1993 Trans Am
  2nd Chris Dixon 1993 Trans Am
1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
1st Don Dixon 1996 Impala SS
  2nd Terry Kehne 1996 Impala SS
Open Class for vehicles that do not fit into the above classes
1st John Silver 1985 Chevrolet S-10
Car Show Winners  
1964-1972 Chevelle/El Camino/Monte Carlo
1st Jeff & Dawn Spencer 1969 Chevelle SS
  2nd Billy Moose 1970 Chevelle
1962-1974 Chevy II/Nova
1st Ed Vannoy 1966 Nova
  2nd Doug Nichols 1967 Nova
1967-1981 Camaro
1st Bill Duncan 1969 Camaro RS
  2nd Jim McDowell 1970 Camaro
1958-1972 Impala/Bel Air/Biscayne/Caprice/'59-'60 El Camino
1st Don Smith 1959 El Camino
  2nd John & Misti Silver 1964 Impala SS
1978-1988 Chevrolet Malibu and Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass/442,Buick Regal/Grand National/GNX, and El Camino/GMC Sprint 1st Paul Carter 1987 Buick Grand National
  2nd Steve Kovacs 1981 Malibu
1967-1987 Chevy and GMC Trucks
1st Jerry Rogers 1972 Cheyenne
  2nd Jim Bright 1971 Cheyenne
1982-02 Camaro and Firebird 1st Roy Fender 1991 Camaro
  2nd Mike Hill 1999 Firehawk
1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
1st Kevin Munsey 1996 Impala SS
  2nd Don Dixon 1996 Impala SS
Open Class for other show vehicles that do not fit into the above classes
1st William Dover 1957 Chevy Bel Air
  2nd Jeff Brekke 1965 Corvair
  Chuck Miller 1961 Pontiac Ventura
Dyno Winners 1st John Phillips 1974 Datsun 260Z
  2nd Ron Lamothe 1998 Camaro
Autocross Winners 1st Bo Barr 1986 Porsche 944
  2nd John McLutcheon 2000 Firehawk


Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print