I've heard of this, but not seen much about it. It's coming pretty close to me. So what's the deal? There are 2 cities that I could go to the events. Are the events at the cities the fun part, or is there a cruise between cities? What should I look for?
Wow, where do I begin..... It's the most amazing time that I've ever had and I've done and participated in some pretty spectacular things. It's not really so much Hot Rod that makes it fun, it's the people you meet along the way and lifelong friendships that you'll make.
Each day there is a drivers meeting hosted by Hot Rod. Itís not mandatory, but if youíre traveling ďaloneĒ and never been on the PT, then I highly encourage you to attend. Hot Rod officials go over the route, if there are any lunch stops along the way, and if there are any detours and/or construction. The drivers meetings are usually the same time every morning, unless you are switching time zones, which weíll be doing this year.
Now the actually route hasnít been released yet, and last year we waited until May before it was ďofficiallyĒ released. Of course info gets leaked out, just like with anything else, but I wouldnít believe until you see on the website or in the Magazine. The route is suggested, not mandatory, so donít think you have to follow it turn by turn. Iíve followed the route and Iíve taken my own way. It just all depends on how far the next venue is and what time we leave from the hotel in the morning. Sometimes I feel like cruising the interstate and sometimes I like getting the next venue early, especially if something is going on; for example auto cross, drag racing, or the chance to drive around the most famous track in the world. The leg between Gateway International Raceway and Miami OK is going to be brutal, and if I were going, I would take nothing but I44. In fact, the only time Jade would detour off the interstate would be to get gas and/or bathroom break.
Once you arrive at the venue, someone from Family Events will park you. They park everyone together, including the Long Haulers, which always seems to be an issue. Both years that Iíve done the PT, Iíve been a Long Hauler, and the most frustrating part is when you drive all day, 6 plus hours, to get to the next venue, only to be parked miles away from the main stage and sponsor set-ups. Why do you get parked so far away? Because local cruisers, or people that are only doing one or two stops get there first, and usually show up before the vendors; so, they pretty much take every spot thatís remotely close to all the action. Then when the entire convoy shows up, all the spots are taken, so youíre forced to park literally miles away and walks. It sucks!!
Once you get the venue, there is every sponsor that you can imagine with anything and everything that youíd need for sale. If youíre taking a brand new Camaro, chances are you wonít need anything but cleaning supplies. But when youíre taking a 45 year old RS/SS Big Block on the PT, you tend to use things up and/or encounter some issues along the way. If youíre a Long Hauler, you get a ďgoodie bagĒ at each and every stop to help you out along the way. For example, Mothers, will give Long Haulers free detail spray and what nots to help get your ride shining during the entire tour. Lucas Oil does the same thing. Around 4:00 at every stop, Hot Rod opens up the Main Stage and they give away a ton of free things. For example, in 2010 I won a full custom exhaust from Magna Flow for any vehicle I want. It was a blank check, sort of speaks, signed and dated by Magna Flow. GM, Chevrolet, also gives away a TON of things. Grand prizes include crate motors, both small block and big block, and a new 2SS Camaro. In 2010 they gave away a coupe and last year a convertible. They are fully loaded 2SS with aftermarket products on it from all the sponsors of the tour.
Once the venue closes, usually around 6-7, then the fun starts. Each and every hotel parking lot for as long as the eye can see, is nothing but a HUGE car show and block party. There are burn-out contest, people socializing, and of course deals to be had there. Thatís when Iíd spend my time going over Jade, making sure nothing vibrated loose and just relaxing watching all the craziness. Some people just cruise from parking lot to parking lot drooling over all the cars. Some people go to bed early and call it a night. Me, I was up till two in the morning relaxing in a lawn chair drinking some ice cold ones in Montgomery. Itís your vacation, use as you like.
Itís a weeklong car show event that rolls on wheels. Youíll never see so many cars in your life, or meet some of the greatest people. And youíll never have or experience the feeling when you roll through some of the small towns that make up this Great Country and they are all standing on the sidewalks waving the American Flag as you cruise through. Some stores beg the cars to stop, offering free water, discounts on gas, free food with a fill up. You name it, youíll see or experience it. The first time I rolled through a small town and saw all the American Flags waving, it took me back to the first time I came home from Iraq. Itís that powerful!!! Thatís what the Power Tour is all about!!!