Join Us At The Street Machine Summer Nationals In St.Paul July 16-18

Who else is ready for “the biggest muscle car party of the year?” The Street Machine Summer Nationals put on by Bonnier Events in St.Paul, Minnesota is a show we look forward to every year and it’s rolling full steam ahead for 2021.

As always, attendees can expect a whole host of attractions, including an open-house kickoff and cruise at QA1 followed by the show’s performance marketplace, pro-judged show-n-shine, QA1-sponsored autocross, dyno challenge, a burnout competition, and plenty of cruising.

And, of course, the Street Machine Nationals will feature “stunning high-performance street machines, hot rods, street trucks, and the best dream machines from coast-to-coast, all on display. In addition to the cars, the performance marketplace will showcase products and services from industry leaders, many offering special show-pricing.”

QA1 Open-House

According to the house of suspension itself, “QA1 invites enthusiasts to get an inside look at their operations and manufacturing facility by spending the morning at the annual Open House and #goDRIVEit Cruise. Held the Friday morning (July 16) of Street Machine Nationals, the open house will feature tours of the new facility! Whether you’ve come every year or will be joining for the first time, we want you to come show off your car.”

“Then join the QA1 team #goDRIVEit Cruise to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds from QA1 to attend the 2021 Street Machine Nationals, where QA1 is encouraging people to #goDRIVEit at the QA1 Autocross. Those who have preregistered for the Street Machine Nationals and picked up their registration packet Thursday night will have preferred entrance to the show as part of the cruise. If you have not preregistered, you are still welcome for the cruise, but will not be granted preferred entrance at the fairgrounds.”

Pro-Judged Show-N-Shine

Of course, if attendees are more into eye-candy than autocross abuse, Bonnier reports one of the chief highlights of the show is the pro-judged show-n-shine.

According to the judges, “There’s no instruction book on how to build a Show-N-Shine Champion at the Street Machines Nationals. From mild to wild to downright sick, these competitors will be fussing over every detail on their machines before the professional judges check them out.”

“Awards will be given on Sunday to the best from the main stage in the Street Machine, Street Rod, and Truck. There are plenty of awards, from Best Make to Best Interior, Best Paint, Best Engine, and so many more.”

Street Machine Nationals Show-N-Shine Awards rules

“Bonnier Events offers a “Pick Style” awards program at all Street Machine Nationals events. At each event, the awards will be chosen by qualified Professional Judges, industry experts, and qualified Bonnier Events staff.” This means there will undoubtedly be a great mix of winners!

“Judging is done Saturday ONLY between the hours of 10 am to 6:00 pm. To be judged, please have your window card filled out and placed where it can be seen easily.”

“There are several classes within each category with awards for each. There will be first and second place winners in each class.”

“There are 3 “Grand Champions” chosen at each event. Grand Champions will be determined by the accumulation of points for each class within your category.”

“Grand Champions will receive an award, along with a special winners jacket.”

“There are also some awards open to all participants: Awards of Excellence (10 awards), Best Under-Construction, Best Personalized Plate, Best Club Attendance, and Staff Picks.”

SHOW-N-SHINE AWARDS CATEGORIES

Oldest Participant
Youngest Participant
Longest Distance

Outstanding Car
Outstanding Truck
Best Stance
Best Engineered
Cool Cruizer
Just Cool
Sweet Stance
Event Staff Pick

Award of Excellence (10- No Order)

QA1 Autocross

“The QA1 Autocross will highlight the Event Features at the Street Machine Summer Nationals at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Friday, July 16 through Sunday, July 18. Registered Street Machine Nationals participants can now sign up for a time slot.”

QA1 Autocross Rules

“Fun Runs Course ‐ No Class Breakdown. We encourage any licensed driver to bring their Daily Driver or Show Car to compete in a safe and fun environment where you can push yourself and your car to the limits on a timed autocross course. The course will be designed to provide a fun and challenging experience for the beginner to the most experienced drivers.”

You can find more info about the tech aspect of the autocross rules, here.

Dyno Contest

One of the really cool elements of the show is the Dyno. Bonnier states, “The DYNO is here and waiting to measure your car or truck’s torque and horsepower. So, after all the power-adders and extras are installed, after all the tricks and tune-ups are finished on a participant powertrain; the DYNO stands ready to reveal the results.”

“This is the “no brag-just the facts checker” that serves up honest, at-the-wheels…horsepower numbers.”

“By the end of the weekend, which vehicle will roll off the DYNO with the top horsepower? Stop by the DYNO to witness the high-revving tests and check the scorecard. Participants, get your horsepower number at the DYNO.”

Burnout Contest

There are few things we enjoy in this world more than a hellaciously good burnout. So, it’s no surprise that we look forward to the burnout contest at the Summer Nationals. The event staff told us, “Here’s a contest where showmanship and a little attention to detail can make all the difference. First of all, you don’t have to have a killer car to win the show. It’s as much about pleasing the crowd as it is about smoke. You absolutely have to have posi (traction) in the car that will spin both tires. Single-leg burnouts are lame. Cars with a strong exhaust note, especially big-block cars, can really deliver the sound. It should be loud, but it still has to come from mufflers. Think of your effort as thunder and lighting. The tire smoke is the lightning, but you still need to bring the thunder too. Route the exhaust to exit right in front of the rear tires to push the smoke toward the rear of the car so the crowd can still see you.”

The judges and staff offered even more tips for standing out in the crowd. “Come prepared.  It makes no sense to burn up a perfectly good set of drags when a wimpy set of older 15-inch stockers will do the job. Want to look professional? Mount the burnout tires on matching wheels. The contest is not about exploding tires, either. Especially since pressure or rubber shrapnel would damage your quarter-panels. Choose a pair of tires that really put out the smoke. Some tires are limp-wristed- stay away from them. You’re looking for grade-A smoke, the kind that will bring out the fire department during testing. Pump up the air pressure a little. That will make the burnout easier to maintain. We’ve seen competitors who can’t sustain a burnout because they don’t have the horsepower. Do that, and your buddies will never let you live it down.”

“Standing on the hood, banging your chest always gets the crowd going as well!”

There’s still time to get your ride ready, but hurry up, because it’s coming up quick – only three more days at the time of this article’s publish date. So, come and hang out with the Street Muscle Magazine crew – we’ll be out in full force! Who knows, you might even get your ride featured, here.

Discount tickets are available online at StreetMachineNationals.net.

Register vehicles at StreetMachineNationals.net. Pre-register by Wednesday, July 14 for $50. Register on-site starting Thursday, July 15 for $65. Registration includes one goody bag and weekend entry for a car and 2 adults and any children 15-under, riding in the vehicle. 

Article Sources

About the author

Vinny Costa

Fast cars, motorcycles, and loud music are what get Vinny’s blood pumping. Catch him behind the wheel of his ’68 Firebird. Chances are, Black Sabbath will be playing in the background.
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