We are really into the heart of the summer car event season, with big shows happening seemingly every weekend. Fourth of July Weekend Goodguys took over the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals in Des Moines. A week later, the crew was in Columbus, OH, for the Summit Racing Nationals. Both events featured the usual car shows, burnouts, and autocross, including the Wilwood-sponsored All-American Sunday Autocross.


Wilwood EPB Wins Best New Product Award

Goodguys chose their Ohio Fourth of July show to showcase new 2021 products and give out awards to the best of them. Eight awards were given, with Chevrolet taking best exhibitor, and product awards given to Billet Specialties, Trick Tools, Meguiar's, VAIS Technology, Sparc Industries, and Wilwood Engineering.

The Wilwood Electric Parking Brake system was awarded Best New Suspension, Chassis, & Brake Component for the ease with which it can solve many parking brake issues when converting to four-wheel disc brakes. New applications are being developed constantly, but the basic stand-alone caliper and microprocessor controller can be adapted to most popular rear rotors. Once activated, it clamps with enough force to hold the car in place or even keep the vehicle from being stolen, yet uses no additional power from the battery.

Wilwood EPB Electronic Parking Brake
Billet Specialties won twice for their new LT5 front accessory pulley drive and Geometric Extreme Wheel. The Sparc Industries Righteous Deep Steering Wheel won for best interior part, with a reimagined version of the classic three-spoke steering wheel. To bring your classic into the modern era, VAIS Technology: SEER – Smart Entry/Exit Recognition allows hands-free proximity unlocking/entry just like many new cars do. For best new car care product, Meguiar's one-step Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax won. The Trick Tools Portaband Pro Band Saw Systems won for best shop tool for making all sorts of fabrication easier.

Award Winning Cars

Each weekend, Goodguys awards dozens of trophies to the best cars to come to their show each week. There are awards in many classes for each event and finalists that go into the running for car/truck of the year honors in several classes. We won't run through all of them here, but we will mention some notable winners.

Wes and Vivian Rydell's Rad Ride by Troy 1941 Chevy Fleetline

Rad Rides by Troy won yet another award with a 1941 Chevy Fleetline coupe, which was not a body style offered by GM in that line at the time. Troy and his team took a four-door formal sedan and substantially reworked it to develop a truly unique car. It is no wonder it was named Street Rod of the Year in Ohio, Chevy Performance GM Iron Builder of the Year finalist, and was in the Builder's Choice top 10 in Iowa.

Joe Nichols 1961 Chevy Impala Custom Rod of the Year

In the Heartland, Joe Nichols' 1961 Chevy Impala won Custom Rod of the year for a tastefully modified car with a stout LS motor dressed up like a 409. The metalwork on the body was so well done it would have looked great with no paint, but the paint was flawless too. Wilwood brakes are at each corner, and our master cylinder is under the hood.

You can see some other Wilwood-equipped winners in the slideshow below. These include: Muscle Car of the Year finalist Jedd Schola's '69 Camaro, Muscle Machine of the Year finalist Kyker Rod & Kustom '69 "Lone Ranger," and Chevy Retro Iron finalist and Roadster Shop Builder's Choice winner Fred Hardee's '52 Nash wagon.

  • Goodguys Summit Nationals 9
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  • Goodguys Heartland Nationals 2
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There are plenty of customs, hot rods, and street rods with Wilwood brakes at Goodguys shows. Go over to the autocross area, and it seems the majority of cars are sporting Wilwood. Part of the reason for that is how well our brakes work, but another big part is that the modular nature of the Wilwood hubs, hats, rotors, and calipers make it easy for a builder to create a custom kit for nearly any car.

1927 Ford Track T

Nearly 100 Autocross drivers showed up in Des Moines for three days of racing. Josh Leisinger won the PRO-X class and the elimination shootout in his Crusher II 1964 Corvette. Driving a 1963 Corvette, Ron Scott Jr. won both the PRO class and the shootout for that class. Chris Jacobs, in a clean C4 Corvette, pulled off a doubleheader in the Street Machine class. Preston Folkstad did the same in his square body 1984 C10 in the LMC Truck class. Kyle Bohling took to the course in a purpose-built 1927 Ford Model T based hot rod that looked more like a Lotus 7 and anything Henry Ford built and won the Challenger class victory.

All-American Sunday, sponsored by Wilwood, invites late-model cars and modern classics (post-1988) to hit the autocross course. Brendan King driving a 2015 Z06 Corvette had the fastest time of the day and won. But in the elimination shootout, he was bested by Chad Gates in his 2018 Camaro SS.

Columbus, Ohio, featured the regular Goodguys autocross, plus a sponsor shootout that saw 14 cars and drivers representing various brands go head to head in elimination rounds. Unfortunately, the threat of rain on Saturday and heavy rain on Sunday cut short some of the fun and canceled Wilwood All-American Sunday racing.

At the Friday sponsor shootout elimination rounds, Chris Smith driving his 1970 Camaro carried the torch for Wilwood (officially), but our brakes were on many of the other cars as well. The other drivers were Ron Scott Jr. for Optima Batteries, Josh Leisinger for Summit Racing, Bill Graves Sr. for Fuel Curve, Patrick McGinnis for FiTech fuel injection, Rob MacGregor for LMC Truck parts, Roger Burman for CPP, Karen Leisinger for Gearstar Transmissions, Bob Bertelsen for AutoMeter gauges, Richard Giesey for Proform parts, Dan Ballard for Forgeline Wheels, Brian Martin for Tremec transmission, Robby Unser for Speedway Motors, and Ryan Mathews for Kicker audio. A system of timing handicaps was figured out to make things even between the dedicated lightweight sports cars with pro drivers and the pickup trucks and amateurs. Bertelsen was the ultimate winner in a 1968 Corvette, but Graves in a Wilwood equipped 1966 Vette was right behind him.

Josh Leisinger won again in the PRO-X class at the Saturday autocross, but lost to Robby Unser in the shootout because of hitting a cone. In the PRO class, Ryan Mathews won but lost to Bob Bertelsen in the shootout. Street Machine went to Chris Jacobs, but Bill Graves Sr. bested him in the shootout. Challenger went to Rich Carpino, but Rob MacGregor won the Challenger shootout, the Truck class, and the Truck shootout.

  • Goodguys Heartland Autocross 2
  • Goodguys Heartland Autocross 5
  • Goodguys Heartland Autocross 15
  • Goodguys Heartland Autocross 1
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  • Goodguys Summit Ohio Autocross 1
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  • Goodguys Summit Ohio Autocross 7

All photos courtesy of Goodguys


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