Main Street, U.S.A. came to life today as the rumble of performance engines and gleam of chrome-plated steel returned to Grand Avenue on the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the opening day of the Goodguys 27th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals. Summer cruisin’ season is definitely in full swing, as evidenced by the flood of hot rods, cool customs, muscle cars, and vintage trucks converging on Des Moines for this annual celebration of the great American automobile.

Mother nature turned up the heat today, with temperatures well above 90-degrees and a heat index well into the triple digits. Participants kept their cool, though, enjoying the fine rides shining in the sun, taking breaks in the air-conditioned vendor building, and enjoying fair food and beverages – lots of beverages! – from the great selection of on-site food vendors.

The weekend itinerary is jam packed. Beyond cruising, there will be multiple Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions, two freestyle motocross exhibitions, a burnout contest, kids games, valve cover races, plus live musical entertainment – including CMT artist Ashley Wineland on Saturday night. Cap it off with a Saturday fireworks exhibition and we’re talking dawn-to-dusk fun!

Speaking of fun, the AutoCross track has already been generating smiles for competitors eager to dodge cones and carve corners in the quest for the fastest lap times. They’ll keep pushing in an attempt to qualify for Saturday’s 16-car Duel in Des Moines shootout, presented by Speedway Motors. Plenty of heavy-hitting drivers are here to keep the competition fierce. Who will take the top spot? Stay tuned in to find out.

It’s sure to be a fun, full-throttle weekend here in Des Moines. If you’re anywhere close, you owe it to yourself to come check it out. If that’s not possible, stay tuned to good-guys.com and Goodguys social media for highlights of this midsummer tribute to Main Street, U.S.A.