The third annual Petty's Garage Spring Fling Car Show and Drag Race Experience sponsored by the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) drew hundreds of people from across the United States and Canada over Memorial Day weekend. The event kicked off on Friday, May 24 with a "street night" at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, N.C., followed on Saturday with a car show at Petty's Garage, Richard Petty's custom hot rod shop, in Level Cross, N.C.
"We have sponsored the Petty's Garage Spring Fling since the event started in 2011," says R.W. "Bob" O'Gorman, ALI president. "It is a great venue for us to get out and talk to people about vehicle lift safety, the value of certified lifts and how important it is to have those lifts inspected at least annually by ALI Certified Lift Inspectors."
The ALI "Legacy by Petty" Dodge Challenger built in tribute to Richard "The King" Petty was featured at the Spring Fling Car Show entrance as part of the Petty's Garage 2013 Performance Tour display. ALI provided attendees with free posters of the Legacy car, ALI stickers and temporary tattoos. ALI and Petty's Garage also supplied trophies for both the drag race experience and the car show.
The Spring Fling Drag Race Experience was open to anyone who wanted to give it a try, resulting in several newcomers getting their first tastes of the track. You didn't even have to bring a car to get in on the fun: Roy Hill's Drag Racing School offered Spring Fling participants and spectators the chance to experience the thrill of drag racing in the school's three-seater ride-along dragster. A bracket race was held toward the end of the evening. Petty's Garage and ALI awarded the following prizes:
- Bracket Race Winner: Robert Moore
- Fastest Petty's Garage Car: Bruce Morin
- Fastest Non-Petty Car: Darryl Cagle
- Most Runs: Jay Smith
Some 200 cars turned out for Saturday's car show. It was a beautiful, sunny day that was perfect for strolling around the grounds checking out the wide variety of dream cars on display. Petty's Garage was open, so attendees could also explore the shop where Richard and Lee Petty's race cars were once built … and where many of the cars in the show were built or modified under The King's watchful eye. Live music, family entertainment and food rounded out the day.
Spring Fling judges selected the Top 50 cars at the show to receive award plaques. ALI and Petty's Garage also awarded a trophy to each of the following winners:
- Best Overall: Randy Mathews, 2011 Ford Mustang GT/CS
- Wildest Ride: Carl and Lynda Spivey, 1992 Ford Thunderbird
- Best Paint: Saadat Khan, 1971 Plymouth Cuda
- Best Engine: Tommy Haynie, 1965 Plymouth Barracuda
- Best Mopar: Joe Kelly, 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T
- Best GM: Ryan Shore, 2010 Chevy Camaro RS
- Best Ford: Mark Dumont, 2013 Ford Mustang GT Fastlane Edition Stage 1
- Best Other Make: Wally Melin, 1941 Willys Coupe
- Longest Haul: Steven Gawadzyn, from Ontario, Canada
Both ALI and Petty's Garage have posted albums of photos from the event to their Facebook pages so you can see many of the cars for yourself. Visit www.facebook.com/LiftInstitute and www.facebook.com/pettysgarage to check them out.