Pony Wars: A Showcase of American Pride
The 4th Annual Pony Wars event exceeded expectations once again this year with a tremendous outpouring of the best pony cars from Ford, Chevrolet, and Mopar. Conceived as the ultimate pony car showdown, the annual Pony Wars event – sponsored by Steeda Autosports and LSR Performance – brought together performance loving gear-heads from all around to enjoy a weekend of car shows, drag racing and pure automotive excitement.
With exceptionally strong attendance, the event most certainly had something for everyone. It all started on Friday evening at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Valdosta Georgia when the octane faithful showed up for a car show, dinner, and a few “red pops” – all in preparation for the main event the following day at Steeda Autosports and at the South Georgia Motorsports Park.
On Saturday morning, Steeda Autosports President Dario Orlando hosted a facility tour at their Valdosta facility, showcasing their ISO 9001:2008 Certified manufacturing processes and also providing some insight on how Steeda supports the performance needs of Ford vehicle owners with products proudly designed, engineered, and manufactured here in the USA. In depth discussions and behind the scenes tours provided insight about our world-class CNC milling & machining capabilities, computerized hardened steel tube bending, TIG welding operations, component fabrication, high temperature powder coating operations, product assembly and packaging, and warehousing operations.
Following the facility tour, the City of Valdosta’s finest – the Valdosta Police, brought out one of their big guns from their fleet, a specially prepared Steeda Police Interceptor Mustang, and led a 1.5 mile long procession of Pony Cars to the South Georgia Motorsports Park. These Steeda Police Interceptors normally see high-speed highway patrol and specialized pursuit service, but this time a Steeda Police Interceptor was used to lead the Pony War attendees in their processional drive. Taking the scenic way to the motorsports facility, the procession vehicles were treated to some really great roads that provided the winding and twisting that made for a really enjoyable drive.
Once at the motorsports facility, both Jackie Jones Ford and Stingray Chevrolet had displays that showcased their performance cars and each had their event staffs available to provide sales support to all of the event attendees. Jackie Jones Ford, an official Steeda Serialized Dealer, also brought a new Steeda vehicle to showcase and sell – a beautiful 2013 Steeda Q350, awaiting a new proud owner!
There was special parking for the Pony Wars Car Show, where tons of vehicles were on display – all showcasing the personal attention to modifications and detailing that make American Pony Cars stand out in the crowd. After the judging was completed, the following owner cars received special recognition for their award winning rides:
- Chester Speed: 1971 Mach 1 Mustang
- Chester Speed: 1970 Mach 1 Mustang
- Randy Thomas: 2010 GT500
- Clint Symons: 2012 Supercharged V6 Camaro
- Robert Schultz: 2013 Camaro SS
- Alex Franklin: 2010 Camaro SS
- Adam Parker: 1972 Charger
Best in Show
- Willard Nipper: 1968 Camaro
For those that were more inclined for some racing, the dragstrip action was non-stop. It all started with a test and tune session where you could prep your ride and dial it in for the days action. Next up was what is called “Grudge Racing”, where cars line up against each other for a blast down the ¼ mile asphalt. You could race against your buddy’s car, a vehicle you wanted to challenge to race, or just face off against a random vehicle…..they key idea is to have some fun and see what you and your car can do. After about 3 hours of the Grudge, cars were then divided into three categories base on their quickest runs of the day, for the next series entitled “Open Comp” drag racing. In this series, cars with times that are relatively close to each other compete in a like class to find the quickest driver/car combo in each group. After several hours of noon stop excitement, it was time to determine the “Quick 8” – where the eight fastest cars faced off to see who had the bragging rights to the quickest car at the track and who would take home the bragging rights for the fastest. Eventually, Tony Whetstone from Tallahassee piloting his Fox bodied convertible took top honors. With the track preparation perfect, and Tony’s car dialed in, he ran his first ever 8 second pass and continuing running in the 8’s all day long with a best of 8.89 @ 153mph with a remarkable 1.24 short time on drag radials. His launches were spectacular, lifting the front end of his convertible easily off the ground and throwing the weight on his rear tires for maximum taction.
All in all – it was an action packed day of non-stop excitement for everyone. It didn’t matter if you were a spectator, a novice competitor, or a die-hard racer, there was fun and excitement for everyone as we all were paying homage to a uniquely all American icon – the Pony Car.
Needless to say, we are already making plans for the 2014 edition of the Pony Wars, and we have a few ideas to make it even better next year. So start making plans, because it will be here before you know it!
Steeda – Speed Matters