By Nick Licata
I’ve been going to car shows for well over 30 years now, and I have to say lately many of these shows have lost their luster and become somewhat uninspiring. Maybe it’s because it’s a case of seeing many of the same cars over and over. Or it’s possible that longtime promoters have become content with doing the same thing at every show. Or maybe it’s just me.
That’s initially what I thought until I learned about a new event planned for September 8-9, 2023 called the Triple Crown of Rodding to be held at the Nashville Superspeedway. Months prior to the event there was a lot of buzz regarding the show as it was rumored the best would be attending—the best builders and the best cars in the country would all be there. What made it even more attractive is that this would be a two-day event as opposed to the three- and sometimes four-day shows. That alone makes it a winner in my book.
So, what is the Triple Crown of Rodding? It’s a brand-new event put on by longtime car builder Bobby Alloway and veteran show promoter Gary Case that includes three main awards broken in two groups: trucks and cars. For the truck group there are three awards for various year breakdown (Best Truck up to 72, Best Truck 73-87, Best Truck 88-98). The car awards are broken down to Best Street Machine, Best Cruiser, and Best Street Rod. How could this not work? Well, it did work, and it worked out great.
But it wasn’t just the awards that drew the top builders from all over the country, it was also about supporting a couple guys, Alloway and Case, who between the two, have built great relationships and have earned mutual respect from their peers in the hot rod industry over the years. It was obvious these top car builders weren’t there because they had to, they were there because they wanted to. They wanted to be part of something special and to support the hobby. One prominent figure in the industry said of the event: “This is like a high school reunion, but better. All the guys who used to go to car shows are here and having a great time!” Yeah, it was like that.
So, what was the big draw to the Triple Crown? I believe the idea of taking a fresh approach to doing a car show just sounded fun. Another reason was the pre-event hype that high-quality, big-name cars would be there competing for one of the Triple Crown awards—not to mention the over 40 awards given out by numerous builders and aftermarket companies.
Over 1,600 cars and trucks were lined throughout the Nashville Superspeedway infield, and even the cars not in contention for an award had something cool going on, and some of those car owners brought along their southern hospitality and those looking thirsty a bottle of water, and in many cases, a beverage with a bit more “octane.”
To me, the Triple Crown reset the mechanics of how to put on a car show, with the main focus set on everyone having a good time. I learned a long time ago that the vibe in any situation, whether it’s work or any other activity, comes from the top, and the positive energy created by Alloway and Case was contagious. Every person I spoke with at and after the event said the Triple Crown of Rodding was the best car show they’ve been to in years. I myself, give it a five-star Yelp review.
Needless to say, I, for one, am looking forward to attending the 2024 Triple Crown of Rodding. You in? See all my “Firing Up” Editions Here!