Elvis and Graceland. Those are the two words most people think of when the city of Memphis is mentioned. Over the years, the town, with its musical history, has become a sort of Mecca for Elvis fanatics-as well as people wishing to tour Beale Street, the claimed birthplace of the blues, and Sun Studios, which is sometimes recognized as the source of rock 'n' roll. What many people don't know is that Memphis is an absolute hotbed for the Chevy faithful, and they came out in droves for the 2007 Super Chevy Show tour stop. This show was actually the highest-attended Super Chevy Show at Memphis in the 21-year history of the event, a fact that really speaks to the surging popularity of the Super Chevy Show series across the nation.
The SC crew rambled in from both coasts on Friday, and went out to the Memphis Motorsports Park quarter-mile for the normal Friday afternoon reconnoiter. We were promptly shocked at the turnout. The showgrounds were packed-as if Elvis himself had showed-and that was just the Friday crowd. There were also a few special guests in attendance, including the famous Chicago Super Stock Outlaws, the magnificent street-legal wheelstanders that can top over 175 mph in the quarter-mile; and Clay Millican and his NHRA Top Fuel dragster, which would be on hand for some rib-rattling, 300mph passes Saturday and Sunday.
After leaving the track, satisfied that this would be one of the biggest events of 2007, Friday evening was spent out on famous Beale Street. With the Mardi Gras-like atmosphere of open-container alcohol consumption, Memphis was a welcome departure from the SC headquarters building.
Saturday dawned warm with a slight tailwind for all the participants lining up in the staging lanes, anxious to take their cars down the strip. We also took some time out to give out the much-coveted Editor's Choice awards for the show car portion of the event. At most of the Super Chevy Show gatherings, it is rather simple to pick just 10 cars that we, the editors, feel deserve at least some words in the magazine, if not a couple of photos. However, the Memphis car show was a different animal. The sea of vehicles appeared to be endless, and finding the winners was no small task. The winners that appear within these pages are truly owners of some of the best Bow Tie machines in the land. We also make every effort to publish as many as possible, although it can be difficult trying to fit 20 Editor's Choice award winners in, along with the various drag racing winners. Check out all the winners on www. superchevy.com.
Speaking of drag racing, there were so many entrants in the Saturday festivities that the SC crew actually had time to leave the track, wash off the layers of sunscreen, rubber, and Nitro Coupe residue, and make it back to the dragstrip to catch some late-night racing action. The motors actually continued roaring until well after midnight, at which point we decided to call it a night-but not before Associate Editor Harrington almost killed the author of this article and Tim Mason, from Dallas-based HCC Performance. Well, at least we thought we were dead, but apparently that's just how people from California drive.
On Sunday, the crowds were equally impressive. The SC crew spent most of the day searching out candidates for our drag race Editor's Choice awards, and following the awesome bracket racing action. In the ultra-close DOT Street Fight class (quarter-mile), Rickey Thomas edged Sammy Washington with a scorching 10.906 at 125.68 on a 10.88 dial-in. It ought to be noted here that we didn't even see a big brake lock-up from either competitor in the final, a first for the season in the DOT class.
The Jeg's Bracket Two Battle witnessed Bear Nichols in his Chevy II take out J.L. Blackard, also in a deuce, in the final. We'd like to note here that the Memphis event culled hundreds of these little beauties-the Chevy II really has a following in this part of the country.
Mike Hicks and his heavily modified Chevy truck won the ProCharger Bracket One Brawl (eighth-mile), when Jared Fulcher in (you guessed it) another Chevy II, redlighted. Hicks, not satisfied with the automatic win light, went out and cut a 5.381 e.t. on a 5.38 dial-in, with a perfect .000 reaction time.
Keep an eye out for the next Super Chevy Show stop near you for all the great action. With shows like Memphis, the tour certainly has a full head of steam now, and shows no signs of slowing down.