We have talked a few times about the upcoming Muscle Cars at the Strip event in Las Vegas, which will be the location of the World’s Fastest Hellcat Challenge. Muscle Cars at the Strip, or MATS for short, is based mostly around the drag racing program, but there is also an autocross program sponsored by Speedtech for those American performance car owners who prefer a track with turns.
The autocross action takes place on Saturday and Sunday of Muscle Cars at the Strip, starting with the opportunity to walk the course from 6-8am on Saturday, followed by a mandatory driver’s meeting at 8am and at 8:30, the autocross area goes hot with a day of American performance vehicles swerving through the cones. On Sunday, the autocross competitors will once again meet at 8am before the start of racing at 8:30. You can also check out the autocross course on Friday at noon, but there is no autocross racing on Friday. The autocross awards ceremony will be held at 2pm on Sunday. There are awards for the top 3 finishers in each class as well as some Special Recognition awards.
The autocross program at Muscle Cars at the Strip has a variety of classes including Classic Muscle (1982 and older), Modern Muscle and, new for 2022, the Jalopy class. In speaking with Rob Byrd of Racing Byrds Autocross Specialties, who oversees the autocross program at MATS, he explained that the Jalopy class is intended for “stockish” classic cars with drivers who are new to autocross. Byrd also pointed out that Chris Birdsong was responsible for the creation of this new class, going so far as to secure the prizes for the class.
We spoke with Birdsong, who shared the following input on the MATS Jalopy autocross class.
“I felt there was a big gap in the 2 classes available being Classic Muscle and Modern Muscle, both of which are open to heavily modified vehicles within the classes. I thought it would be fun to give the guys with more of your jalopy and daily driver type cars a goal to shoot for by having what we call “Jalopies” which is really anything from clapped out hoopties to nice restored type cars with hard street tires and stock-ish type suspension under them. Honestly I just wanted more peeps like me to play with.
Being a dirt circle track racer I know how you get people to show up is with cash and prizes so I hit up some of the businesses I know and then when word got out other businesses and fellow car guys started donating to the purse. So far we have a lot of swag, gift certificates and cash totaling $2500 to the top 3 so far (more prizes may roll in) which the winner may have a car that’s only worth $2500. A gutted body on wide street tires is the ticket. Myself, some celebrities and many friends are entered to just have a good time racing, laughing and hanging out watching ill handling hoopties shoot to be the fastest.”
Registering your car for one day of autocross at Muscle Cars at the Strip is $75 in advance or $85 at the gate while racing both days is $150 in advance or $160 at the gate. All of those prices include admission for one person. If you are bringing someone else with you in your muscle car, “crew” admission is $25 per day at the gate.
Of course, in addition to the autocross program, your admission to Muscle Cars at the Strip will allow you to check out the drag racing program, the car show and fun field, the swap meet, the car corral, the manufacturer’s midway and everything else to take in at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 18th through the 20th. Click here for a look at the weekend’s schedule.
We will be there covering Muscle Cars at the Strip, so we will be sure to get some footage of the action to share with those who can’t make the trip to Vegas.