AutoCross - the practice of racing a car around a twisty course in search of the quickest elapsed time - is back bigger and better than it was in the 1960s and 70s. Today's AutoCross scene, taken over by big and bulky, steel-bodied muscle car behemoths, will be on full display at next weekend's Goodguys Southeastern Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Celebrating 20 years at the speedway, the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals is a colorful event that celebrates classic American cars including hot rods and customs from the 1930s through the 1950s as well as the heralded muscle cars from the 60s and 70s. More than 2,500 1972 and older cars are expected at the speedway Friday through Sunday, creating a scene straight out of the movie American Graffiti.

Vendor exhibits, live music, track cruises, a swap meet and a car corral are all included in the price of admission. Set up in the middle of the infield of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, the AutoCross course  is the heartbeat of the event.

The Goodguys AutoCross has become so popular that five separate classes have been created to divvy up the entries. Street Rod (1954 and older cars), Street Machine (1955-1972 cars), Truck (all trucks through '72) and the PRO class all offer heated competition. The new All American Sunday class welcomes late model cars on Sunday only - opening up both the event and AutoCross competition to new generations of enthusiasts. There is no prize money at stake here. It's all passion based and bragging rights. Manufacturer bragging rights are also at stake as many newer companies have sprouted up as a result of the AutoCross craze.

The competition has never been hotter but the end goal is to have fun.

"It's all about having fun and putting your car through its paces," said Goodguys AutoCross Director Trent Summers, himself an AutoCross racer and enthusiast. "All event participants are eligible to compete and try it out. All they have to do is pass a basic technical inspection. Lots of guys start small and get a feel for it then eventually step up. They find the competition addicting. At Charlotte Motor Speedway, you'll see amateurs all the way to the fastest PRO drivers in the country. Grab a spot on the fence and watch these guys go. It's entertaining and exciting."

The AutoCross course is open daily starting at 9 a.m. with a break for lunch each day from noon-1 p.m. Afternoon AutoCross sessions run from 1-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The course will be open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday.

The Goodguys 20th annual Southeastern Nationals is open Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adult tickets are just $18; kids 7-12 get in for only $6. Charlotte Motor Speedway parking is $5. Visit to purchase event tickets or to register a show car. Call Goodguys at 925-838-9876 for more information.

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