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 this weekend’s Goodguys Southeastern Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The show, now in its 19th year at the speedway, 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 cars corral are all included in the price of admission. The AutoCross however, is the heartbeat of the event.

The Goodguys AutoCross has become so popular that four separate classes had to be instituted 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 offer heated competition. There is no prize money at stake here. It’s all passion based and bragging rights. Manufacturing bragging rights are also at stake as many newer companies have sprouted up as a result of the new AutoCross craze.

An entire segment of the automotive aftermarket industry has blossomed of late – the goal to make a bulky, heavy American muscle car – essentially designed for drag strip performance – corner like a Porsche on the AutoCross course.

“We’ve seen dozens of companies formed to cater to performance muscle cars,” said Goodguys AutoCross Director Ed Capen. “Detroit Speed and Engineering of Mooresville, Ridetech, Hotchkis Performance, Speed by Spectre, The Roadster Shop, Gateway Classic Mustang – they’re all doing big business manufacturing and refining muscle car performance and suspension products for AutoCross.”

North Carolina based AutoCross participants at this weekend’s event will include two fast females. Mooresville’s Stacy Tucker, currently tied with her husband Kyle for second place in PRO class points trailing Ridetech’s Bret Voekel. All three will be in action this weekend. Burlington’s Cheryl Herrick is another fast female tearing up the course. Herrick represent’s Jet Hot coatings in her 1967 Chevy Nova.

The AutoCross course will be hot all three event days. The 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 19th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at www.good-guys.com or at the gate on event days. Adult tickets are $18 per day. Children 13 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is $5.

Information about the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals may be obtained by calling Goodguys at (925) 838-9876 or the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or online at www.good-guys.com  or www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.