We often make the joke around these parts that there are two seasons here in the upper regions of the Northeast: frozen and humid… or something along those lines. This last winter seemed determined to abide by the old adage, attempting to consume our spring and threatening to nibble at our long-awaited summer.
But it’s finally over, which means it’s time to get the cars out, and we’ve got the perfect venue for fans of factory muscle to celebrate the American performance car. Hemmings Musclepalooza will again return to Lebanon Valley Dragway in West Lebanon, New York, on Sunday, May 25, amid this Memorial Day weekend, for another round of drag strip and show competition. This will be the 19th such event we’ve hosted (we also do it again every Labor Day weekend), and weather permitting, we should have another full house of Detroit steel ranging from traditional hot rods to late-model muscle cars.
The schedule of events remains as it has for the past several seasons: The gates open at 8:00 a.m., and participants can enter the show, the bracket drags or both. Show registration will close at noon and judging will begin at 1:00 p.m. Awards will be presented for first- and second-place for each of the popular muscle car brands, as well as for late-model GM, late-model Ford and late-model Mopar; we will also continue awarding Best Modified Muscle. In addition, we will present awards for Best Engine, Best Paint and of course, Best of Show. The awards will be presented in our usual parade format in front of the grandstands on the return road.
Drag racing will be organized into a variety of bracket classes to accommodate a broad variety of cars. Time trials begin at 10:00 a.m. and eliminations start at 1:00 p.m. Racing awards will also be presented, following the final round of eliminations.
The Factory Appearing/Stock Tire racers have also become a regular part of the Musclepalooza program, and will return with their showroom-stock façades concealing blazing E.T. potential – some of these cars have broken into the 9-second range on reproduction stock-type tires. The F.A.S.T. organization also includes the Factory Stock classes for cars that are held much more closely to true original specs.