Take a minute to take it all in. My initial impression when you drive through the tunnel and into the infield of Texas Motor Speedway is one of awe and admiration for this venue. In early May of last year I attended the second annual ClassicParts.com C10 Nationals, and I’m glad I made the trip.
The promoters of this event hit a home run. If you’re going to have an all truck event, there is no better place to have it than in Texas, the truck capital of the world. And if you want to have the largest all GM truck event there is no better venue than Texas Motor Speedway. It’s got all the provenance and atmosphere needed for an event like this. Since 1997 when they hosted their first NASCAR race, the track has been one of the premier racing facilities in its lineup of super speedways.
It’s perfect for an event that has room to grow because the track has an almost endless amount of space for it to grow. Each participant or spectator couldn’t help but feel like the event was waiting for them as they came through the tunnels. Waiting to get in is like peeking through the tent at a circus. You can see, hear and smell just enough looking through the tunnel that your heart starts to tick up a bit and you feel the excitement that you have been waiting all year start to break free.
The ClassicParts.com C10 Nationals is a two day event that was started in 2018 by event promoters Chris Baker and Ken McCormick, both of which are no strangers to events or to the restoration and performance business. In it’s first two years the event was title sponsored by LMC before being picked up for a three year title sponsorship with Classic Parts of America (ClassicParts.com). This event keeps you busy all day with multiple activities happening throughout the day. Parking for spectators is outside the track, similar to the GoodGuys event that takes place there. Only event Participants with a truck and staff are allowed through the tunnel. All of the show trucks are on the left when you come out of the tunnel, this year there were almost 1000 Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs. The C10 Nationals is for 1947-Up Chevy/GMC only.
There was quite a variety of truck types. Some were lifted and some were low, some were old and some were new, some were big money restorations and some were all original. Seems like nobody cared what you brought, you were part of the family. That was the pretty much the overall feel I got too. Everyone was there to have fun and talk about trucks. This was not your typical Q-tip convention like most car shows. No grumpy old men that have had the same car for longer then I’ve been alive and don’t want to talk to you or the vendors about it. No. This was primarily people in there 30’s-50’s with a family and a truck that they love.
The sights and sounds are like being at the county fair back in the 80’s, minus the mullets… well almost. The roar of a pack of NASCAR rides is like a record player spinning Van Halen. It’s the perfect background noise to have at an event like this, not too loud, not too soft, but just loud enough to remind you that you’re inside a super speedway with thousands of other gearheads that have the same addition you have.
The waving flags near the vendor midway seem to be an inviting hello that welcomes you. As I entered the vendor area I immediately felt like I was going to walk out smarter, but with less money in my wallet. I know the feeling, I’ve had it before, like every time I walk into a Harbor Freight to just “look around” while she’s over at JoAnn Fabric. We already know what’s going to happen before we even walk through the door/gate. I counted over 70 different manufacturers and builders, all there to talk trucks, and that I did with many of them.
After talking myself out of many “almost” purchases and making a couple, I found myself at the swap meet. Just when I thought I had a successful self-therapy session after leaving the vendor midway, here I am, right back at Harbor Freight – and now there’s a sale. Tons of parts, collectables and even your next project truck.
I stopped and had a bite to eat I wondered down the the Autocross. It was put on by Classic Performance Parts, many of you know them as CPP, and the Texas chapter of the SCCA. It was a great compliment to the NASCAR roar, with the throaty acceleration of each truck and the screams those tires made just holding on for dear life. It gets me every time, like a 12 year old version of myself when I would hear my dad start his racecar in the garage after he did quality control on about half a 12 pack and then would ask me to hit the throttle while he tuned it. That’s good stuff right there. The Autocross was entertaining to watch and it was free to anyone that brought their truck to the event. They kept your time and trophies were awarded on Saturday during the awards ceremony.
Saturday I decided to check out the Dyno Challenge. It was also free to participate. The line seemed to be steadily moving, but was there all day. Later that day was their smokey burnout contest. It was exactly what I expected. Between guys (& gals) showing off what their truck had and others just trying to pop the tires, it was a lot of fun to watch, well what I could see of it.
There was also drag racing on pit road. It was supposed to be Friday night under the lights, but because of weather it was held Saturday morning. Heads up elimination and you could tell some guys knew what they were doing and some were there just to have fun.
Saturday evening they had the awards ceremony and had the drawing for the giveaway truck. After the awards ceremony you had the option to line up on pit road and drive your truck around the track. There were hundreds of trucks that did this, about a dozen at a time.
This event didn’t have the shade of C10’s in the Park or the size of the LoneStar Throwdown, but what it did have was a racetrack and a lot of things to do and see. The format seemed pretty loose and easy-going in a fun, controlled way. This is a fairly young event, so I can’t wait to see how large this event grows in the coming years. They said they doubled the truck count from the previous year and expect that to happen in 2020. The have a killer venue and location for this market, so I predict the future looks bright for the C10 Nationals.
Our truck market is the hottest market right now in the restoration and performance hobby, and with an event that focuses on such a targeted segment, they are able to elevate the enthusiasm in an already passionate market. I will be there this year (virus permitting) and look forward to making this show one of my annual “family reunion” events.