SPEEDWAY — A hot rod invasion took over Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past weekend as the Goodguys Speedway Nationals made its second stop at the world’s most hallowed racing grounds.
The weekend featured the customary mega car show, a chance for entrants to drive their rides around the track, vendor booths, and a new event called the Auto Cross.
Since moving the event from what is now Lucas Oil Raceway Park, the pull of IMS has been felt.
“You’re at the racing capitol of the world,” said Harry Daviess, vice president of events and operations for Goodguys. “It’s a great venue, layout wise, for parking, and if it does rain, it’s not all grass and mud.”
Part of the newfound allure of the event is the opportunity to drive around the track, a significant moment even for veterans of the Goodguys circuit.
“I really had a rush getting on the track for the first time,” said Rod Gordon of Iron Mountain, Mich., who, with his wife Cynthia brought their 1962 Chevy Bel Air to the show. “Last year we had our Corvette here. This year is great. We’re going to do it again, that’s for sure.”
The event transformed from their track cruise, which they had been doing for 21 years at LORP.
Weather caused the shift to IMS.
“We had rain. Lots of rain,” Daviess said. “We got rained on like six years in a row, so attendance was dropping. So we were just looking for a change. At the time, they didn’t do special events here. They did their races — the 500, the Brickyard, and the Moto GP. Well, the economy kind of took a dump as we all know, and a lot of these facilities like IMS saw the opportunity to do special events. After years of bad rain at the drag strip, we decided to pull the trigger and make the change. It wasn’t an easy decision, but we think we made the right one.”