Up Next – 32nd Pacific Northwest Nationals Presented by Griot’s Garage

Puyallup, Washington – a quaint town just 35 miles south of Seattle is the home of one of Goodguys’ hidden gems. This year Goodguys is celebrating 32 years of the Pacific Northwest Nationals presented by Griot’s Garage, and here’s what you need to know before heading over…or what you need to know to put it on your “list” for next year.

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Get there early. The Thursday Poker Run that leaves the event grounds in the SillyVille area at 10am is a great one! It treks the backroads through Washington carving through tall pine trees and has stopped at some awesome hot rod, drag race, and road race shops, private collections, and speed shop businesses in years past. This year it’s wrapping up at the Griots Garage kickoff party starting at 2pm…and the Griots team knows how to throw a party to get everyone fired up for Friday.

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Just like every national Goodguys event, Puyallup brings them in by the thousands…roughly 2,500 to be exact. The Washington State Fair Events Center has a spacious building set up for indoor vendors, a huge gathering of pinstripers in the Brush Bash, the largest model car show on the schedule, fun kid’s activities, as well as one of the best Indoor Car Shows Goodguys puts together.

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Outside, the fairgrounds stay busy with industry vendors scattered throughout the event, a swap meet and cars for sale corral, more fun for the youngin’s with a carousel open on Saturday, and great food and beverage vendors throughout including a 2-story bar to relax in, chill out, and get a birds eye view of the cars cruising below. There’s also an added Burnout Contest this year scheduled for 12:30pm on Saturday.

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What makes Puyallup unique? An unexplainable good vibe radiates through the event. The venue is on the smaller side – not small in the sense that the event is small or lacks participation, but small as in you can go from one side to the other and get a feeling you saw everything on display. Cars are consistently cruising from sunup to well past sundown – the Heartland Nationals in Des Moines is the only other event the schedule that sees late night action like Puyallup. Goodguys plays into that action with live bands rocking well into the night and a special Nitro Thunderfest session will be firing off at 9pm Saturday night which really turns the wick up on that attraction with header flames blasting from the pipes.

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When Deuce Days and the Pacific Northwest Nationals align the influx of Hot Rods is hard to ignore. On Saturday the Deuce Doins Specialty Parking Area will be bursting at the seams, but so will the Air-Cooled Corral which is always a big draw in the Pacific Northwest (close to 100 VW’s are expected this year). Also, the Canadian rodders roll down and pack the Canadian Corral for a taste of some north-of-the-border rides.

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On Friday night you need to make the 20-minute drive to the Friday Night Drags held at Pacific Raceways. This one-night throwdown draws hundreds of local racers and is highlighted with over eight 5-second 250mph Nitro Funny Cars. This year we’ll also be treated to a Fuel Altered vs. Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster match race between Randy Bradford and Tyler Hilton. For a one-night event it’s one of the best in the country, and discounted tickets can be purchased at the event registration office for $20. Time runs start at 10am with eliminations kicking off at 4pm. The Nitro cars are scheduled to hit the track at 6pm and 8pm.

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If you’re looking for some Northwest fun on July 26-28 roll over to Puyallup for the 32nd running of the Pacific Northwest Nationals, it’s a guaranteed packed weekend of hot rod happenin’s. More event information can be found here. Buy tickets online by clicking here.

Associate Editor

A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.