CRUISIN’ THE SMOKIES – 2016
KODAK, TN – The 2nd Annual Cruisin’ The Smokies event is one of the smaller, independent events on the Ultimate Performance calendar but there’s definitely no shortage of action! With 100+ cars and competitors, JJ and AJ attended this event the weekend of April 29th-May 1st to support the Ultimate Performance banner carriers in the great Smokey Mountains. The event took place in the parking lot of Smokies Stadium, just off of I-40 in Kodak, TN. The track itself was a mixture of high speed sections and tight, low speed and challenging corners, just enough to get even the best of drivers outside of their comfort zone. The highlight of the track was the unique “donut turn”, a brainchild of Team UP driver Brian Finch. The temperature was a beautiful upper 70s, low 80s for the weekend, with mostly sunshine, although a few fast moving showers did pop up in the evening sessions and wet the track, but did not delay much action.
Representing Ultimate Performance in the Expert class at this event was the aforementioned Brian Finch in his 71 Camaro showcasing a Detroit Speed (DSE)/JRi Shocks suspension with BF Goodrich tires. The Pro class contained Kyle Tucker in his 70 Camaro, also showcasing his own DSE/JRi Shocks suspension planning his BF Goodrich tires to the ground. Tyler Powell entered his 63 Grand Sport Corvette, complete with JRi Shocks and PAC Springs. Finally, Ultimate Performance welcomes newcomer Joe Gregory, driving his beautiful 2007 Corvette Z06 displaying double adjustable Raft/JRi Shocks.
With most of the veteran Ultimate Performance drivers up to speed, JJ and AJ’s hope was to get Joe Gregory atop the leaderboard to join the likes of Kyle Tucker and Brian Finch by making shock adjustments to Joe’s JRi’s. Hope became a reality at the end of the event, with Joe Gregory taking his car and Ultimate Performance to the top of the podium with a lap of 42.271 seconds, a full two tenths ahead of second place finisher Tyler Powell, who added another Ultimate Performance car to the Pro podium. Brian Finch complimented Joe and Tyler by taking first place in the expert class with a lap of 42.928 seconds over three seconds faster than second place. This event is always a pleasure to attend and we can’t wait until next year’s where there sure to be more cars representing Ultimate Performance and all of our partners. Congratulations to our winners and we look forward to seeing you at the track again soon!