More than 3,000 colorful cars and the passionate people who own and pamper them will gather at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the 12th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals.

One of the nation's largest street rod shows, the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals is a massive gathering of "car crazy" people, offering participants and spectators the opportunity to share the unique bond that accompanies the hot rodding hobby.

Jake Brinson of McDonough, Ga., is among those who enjoys the camaraderie of the Goodguys show nearly as much as the cars.

"It's just really exciting," Brinson said about attending the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals. "There are tons of good people and a lot of beautiful cars. People with cars just believe in helping each other. It's a good atmosphere to be a part of."

Brinson, his wife Mary and their tangerine orange and white 1955 Chevrolet cruised into Charlotte Motor Speedway's Fleetwood Camping Resort on Tuesday, getting an early start on the show which opens to the public Friday at 8 a.m.

"We've come to this show for the last 10 years;" Brinson said while carefully unloading his pristine Chevy. "It's just a great place to have a car show. We come early to visit the NASCAR race shops and to visit with friends."

Brinson has been toiling with cars for 12 years and his work has earned numerous awards at various Goodguys shows around the country.

Edward and Judith Shea of Tewksbury, Mass., were also among those arriving early for the three-day show.

"We aren't trophy people, we come to have a good time," Edward Shea explained. "We enjoy coming to Charlotte. It's a very well organized show. We just enjoy it and the people are great."

Members of California-based Goodguys organization are expected to bring more than 3,000 pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks to the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals.

Also included in the weekend-the fastest growing show on the Goodguys calendar-is a manufacturer's midway, swap meet, car corral area with vehicles for sale, model car and pedal car show and a chance to ride around the famous 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway oval at 130-plus miles per hour in the passenger seat of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race car.

Saturday night will see the return of the popular Cruise Under the Lights, where hundreds of hot rods and customs take to the 1.5-mile superspeedway for several laps. The cruise will serve as a fund-raiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Participants will be asked to make a donation and all donations will be matched by Golden State Foods and the Goodguys organization.

Tickets for the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals are only available at the gate. Adult tickets are $15 per day while seniors ages 60 and over are admitted for $12. Tickets for children ages 7 to 12 are $6 and children under 6 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5.

Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For information, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.good-guys.com or click here.