Think you’ve got agility skills behind the wheel? Is Johnny Law preventing you from testing your grit as a driver? Not this time. The Goodguys 24th Heartland Nationals will be rolling into the Iowa State Fairgrounds this Fourth of July weekend. This is your opportunity to test that classic ride of yours on a closed course during the Goodguys AutoCross.
“The Goodguys AutoCross is a closed performance race course that is designed to give drivers a course that tests their driving skills and their vehicle,” said Betsy Bennett, communications director for Goodguys.
For those who have the need for speed, the shrill sound of rubber meeting pavement will fill the air as competitors meet to battle it out in a weekend-long, fastest-car-wins contest of speed and skill. While preregistration is closed, people can register their street rod, truck or street machine starting on July 2 all the way through the weekend. There is a simple tech process for each car, then you are set.
There are three classes competing: street machine, street rod and pro class. A street machine is basically any car from 1949 to today with any owner modification — whether that be a stereo, wheels or tires. Street rods are mostly based on 1948-and-earlier cars and trucks that came with solid-axle front suspensions and bolt-on fenders and/or running boards. The Goodguys AutoCross competition will be held all three days with the Pro Class at the top of the hour each day during the race sessions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Drivers are competing for awards and also to have a spot in the ‘Duel in the Desert,’ which is our final competition at the end of the year in Scottsdale, Arizona,” said Bennett. “We have all ages competing in the AutoCross and all levels of experience. Each event will have a winner representing it in the Duel.”
These cars may look like they’re just waiting to peel out — and who’s to say they aren’t — but this competition isn’t so much about speed as it is skill. These rides are going about 40 mph, which may not seem like much, but wait until you see them on a turn.
In addition to local participants, a couple of well-known professional drivers will be there as well. Two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and Robby Unser will be racing this year, too. “The Gofather of the Pro Touring,” Mart Stielow, will be on hand throughout the weekend with five of his most popular Chevy Camaros. The event is historic in that it marks the first time the five iconic Camaros will be gathered together in the same location.
Whether you’re putting rubber to pavement or just checking out the 4,000-plus autos on display, the Goodguys 24th Heartland Nationals at the Iowa State Fairgrounds will be a can’t-miss event. CV
Goodguys 24th Heartland Nationals
Friday, July 3: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, July 4: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 5: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
General Admission (ages 13 or older): $20
Kids (ages 7-12): $6
Kids (ages 6 and younger): free
Military Personnel: Show your active or retired military ID for $5 off your general admission ticket.