Street Rod Life

Fire It Up: A Favorite Day

Fire it Up 1

Do you have a street rodding favorite day? 

During Xceleration Media staff meetings, which includes the editors of Power  and Performance News, Drag Racing Scene, One Dirt, and Gearheads 4 Life, we throw a lot of ideas on the wall. A considerable number of these suggestions drip down and fall off, but there’s generally a few that stick and come to fruition in some form.

In a recent meeting, Todd Silvey, editor of Drag Racing Scene, suggested the nifty idea that each of the editors should focus their columns on the same subject. Various subjects were bantered about, from our favorite cars, to events, engines, and so on, until it was decided we should all write about ‘Your Favorite Day.’ The subject seemed to give everyone enough latitude to be able to focus on their title’s tone, subject matter, and opinion.

Kicking back on the Salt. Yup, that makes for a favorite day.

Kicking back on the Salt. Yup, that makes for a favorite day.

So, it is game on for each of the XM brands, and you can check them all out online, or in print. I’m curious what Todd Silvey, Jeff Smith, Cam Benty, and Ben Shelton will be sharing for their Favorite Day column, and also have been thinking about mine.

To me, a favorite day begins at an event of some sort. Almost any event works, from shows to races. For me, there are two favorite parts about any event: getting in the venue early and being there late. I love rolling into nearly any event when the air is cool and cars are just rolling in. Everyone is getting set up, from the vendors to the participants wiping the dew off their car and doing some detail work, or getting ready for the next run.

The day goes by. We shoot pics, do interviews, eat fairground food, sweat, and work the booth. Then, if the weather cooperates, you find a quiet area on the grounds to shoot a car for a feature. It’s fun to end the day one on one with a proud owner of a rod and learn the story behind the build. Then, when the sun is just right and you peer through the lens at a fabulous shot, it’s been a good day.

However, if I have to narrow it down to a specific event, SCTA Bonneville SpeedWeek is at the top of the list. Just driving out to the Salt Flats is a unique experience on its own, but when you combine the location, the history, and the diverse gathering of racers running only for glory, it’s nothing short of phenomenal.

I’ve been fortunate for several years to tag along with friends that were racing, which gives you a different experience than simply attending the event. Spreading out a couple blue tarps on the salt, unloading the tools, and getting the car up on jack stands for a prerun inspection is an enjoyable ritual at any track, but then to look around at the barren surroundings, the mountains, and sheer space, it gives you reason to pause and freeze that moment.

It’s important to note I’m a notoriously impatient guy and like to get things rolling, moving, and going with haste. However, Bonneville is not the place for hurriedness and in a day or two, the concept of time wanes to sunrise and sunset.

Mmmm...Bonneville.

Mmmm…Bonneville.

Speaking of sunrise, my favorite day at Bonneville starts far before the sun shows itself. When you qualify for a record at Bonneville, you park in a special impound area, and come back at dawn to attempt to back up your qualifying run. Driving out on the Salt in the dark, seeing the lights of the impound area, and watching the sunrise with racers prep- ping for their record runs is absolutely awesome. For anyone that runs their number, it’s icing on the cake.

Bonneville is definitely a favorite day.

Got a favorite? Share it with us at: tryden@xcelerationmedia.com