Being from the Northeast-New Jersey to be exact-we'd only heard a thing or two about Southern hospitality. Living in this neck of the woods, one is prone to witnessing large amounts of traffic, extremely long wait times at local hot spots, and one single extremity being displayed in anger from either hand of choice-Fugettabowtit! With this being said, we were hoping to witness some of that Southern hospitality sooner rather than later.
Upon our Friday arrival to Richmond, the scene had already proven to be more laid back, unlike the usual hustle and bustle attitude back home. Traffic was kept to a minimum and someone had actually addressed me as "Sir."
After heading over to Virginia Motorsports Park, our views had shifted slightly. Drag racers were making last minute preparations in order to dial in their land missiles for battle, on the very grounds where our forefathers duked it out during the Civil War. While we knew head-to-head battle was imminent, a conceding handshake would take place in the end.
At the other end of the competition spectrum was the car show crowd. Despite the extremely hot and humid temperatures, many people feverishly made last-minute detailing efforts in order to maximize their chances at receiving a trip to the podium for some precious metal.
Saturday morning: There's nothing like the sound of open headers coupled with the smell of race fuel (after the initial cup of mud, of course). Associate Editor Thomas J. Lyman and I saddled up the Super Chevy magazine 5hp killer golf cart and began to canvas the joint.
As the day wore on, the show cars kept multiplying. One of our duties (yes, we actually work) is to choose the Top 10 Editor's Choice Award winners. While circling around the show corral like squirrels trying to get a nut, this can be a difficult task as there are many deserving candidates. After covering some drag action, chatting with the participants, and taking a boatload of photos, the Saturday session had come to an end.
The Sunday session moved some racers closer to victory, and some closer to their trailer. In the ProCharger Bracket One Brawl, it was a pair of dragsters, as William Marshall topped Keith Cox by running a 7.45 on a 7.41 dial at over 181 mph. In the Jeg's Bracket Two Battle, Robert Clay went red, giving Jersey resident Dave Nahill the win in his Nova.
In the DOT Street Fight finals, a pair of Virginia residents lined 'em up, with Rock Bates coming out on top of Kenny Beauchamp. Rock cut a .001 light, which resulted in a 12.05 on a 12.00 dial in. Congratulations to all.
In the Aeromotive Nitro Coupe Challenge, Cody Barklage piloted his '05 GTO to take out Tony "Sandman" Williams in his '69 Camaro by running a 6.307 at 208.94 mph to Tony's slowing 8.018 at 181.62 mph. Cody took the road to the top by defeating his brother Zach Barklage in the semifinal round. This win put Cody in a tie for the points lead with Tony. We can't wait to see what happens down the stretch.