Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 16, 2004
Photos By: Michael Johnson

As members of the 5.0&SF staff, we attend a ton of events each year. Of course, the majority of those are NMRA drag racing events, with SEMA and PRI mixed in at the end of the year. At each race venue, we hit the ground running, catching up on the latest gadgets, cars, and performances. We arrive at the track early and leave late, only to get up and do it again with smiles on our faces. At PRI and SEMA, we check out the latest in performance and styling, and bring that news to you. If we get to hang out and talk to people between loading up Editor Turner's car and tracking down features and cool parts, it's a rarity.

As do most of you, we love attending events where the atmosphere is casual and loose. Thankfully, Year One's Bristol Bash at Bristol Motor Speedway is just what the speed shop ordered. Here there's fun to be had by all ages and both genders. There's autocrossing, drag racing, two chassis dynos, and kids' activity areas. And for those not interested in such amenities, there's a manicurist and even a shopping shuttle to ride to the mall.

We've found the Bristol Bash to be the perfect event to carry out our King of the Street competition. Our fellow

Primedia cohorts at Car Craft hold their Real Street Eliminator at the Bristol Bash as well. There's also a huge car show with top-notch automobiles of all makes. Making a return appearance this year was the True Street competition, in which several Mustangs participated. There were also musclecar drag classes, which made it possible to see cool, rare musclecar iron go down the track.

The Bristol Bash is the perfect way to close out a season of racing or spectating, and we can't wait to go back in 2004. Maybe we can have a cool car to drive up to Bristol Bash next year instead of the rental we took this time, though even a rental can boogie along at 80 mph. We had that certified less than 10 minutes from home on our return trip by a Florida State Police officer, with a one-time charge of $148. Up to that point, we considered the weekend a huge success. Oh well, we'll see if we can outdo ourselves next year. We're sure the event will be better as well.

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There's always something interesting on the Werx Motorsports dyno whenwe come to the Bristol Bash, and this year was no different. The Roushguys brought out a stable of Roush 380R Mustangs. They even ponied oneup for a dyno flog for the Dream Car Garage TV crew that was inattendance. I know--what did it make? Well, the Roush guys were proud oftheir 380R when it belted out 374 hp, only 6 horses off theirnamesake--and that's without the X-pipe, they told us. We also kept theWerx guys busy on Friday dyno testing our King of the Street cars.Thanks for your help, guys!
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Every year, Jeff Colvin brings his '85 GT to the Bristol Bash. Thisyear, while his ultraclean GT was still wearing it's four-lug wheels,Jeff and his wife were sporting a new baby in the Colvin household. Jeffgets his money's worth every year running the dragstrip, the autocross,and the car-show sections of the show. We need to get more Mustangs outthere for Jeff to compete against.
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The hard-working crew at Year One continues to surprise us with newevents and activities. One of the more popular stops for NASCAR fans inthe crowd was the Yellow Racing pit-stop simulator. Awards were givenout during the course of the weekend for the best times. The line grewlong for this one as people lived out their pit-crew dreams.
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The kids' play area moved to a different spot this year, but it wasstill packed with fun activities including slides, a bounce house,coloring, face painting, and more. The slot-car track was here againthis year for the would-be circuit racers--and kids--in all of us.
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For the third straight year, the busiest part of the kids' play area hadto be the climbing wall. We all know kids love to climb trees, fences,and whatever else they can. Adult supervision allows Bristol Bashattendees to do it in a safe environment, while mom and dad enjoy theother car-related events, or even a mini-manicure. (The manicures were abig hit. Just ask Associate Metrosexual Johnson.)
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Expanded this year was a general sales area where you could find justabout any car-related product on display (waxes, die-cast cars, and soon), as well as a swap meet and street-rod-specific sections.
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It was nice to see more vendors that deal in musclecar and late-modelparts rather than only engine or performance products. HotchkisPerformance showed off its suspension products, including late-modelMustang offerings. We also came across Eaton Detroit Springs, StainlessSteel Brakes, and a few others that offer goodies for Mustangs.