The 15th annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour was held from 6/6 - 6/13, 2009 and traveled through Madison WI, Racine WI, South Bend IN, Mt Clemens MI, Dayton OH, Somerset KY, and Bristol TN.  I was joined on the Tour by fellow car club member and long-time friend Jeff P.

Click HERE to be taken to my photo & video gallery for the 2009 Power Tour.

The 2009 Hot Rod Power Tour was the second Power Tour that I've done, and it was even better than the first.  The Atom was driven through seven states for a round trip of 2327 miles.  Some things I'll remember for a long time from this year's event:

* The press in attendance seem to like vehicles that are rare or different, and the Atom fits into this category well.  Jeff and I were both the subject of interviews and video footage throughout the week.  Some of the interviews & coverage that took place:

      * Woohoo!  I made it into Hot Rod Magazine!  Scans from the October 2009 issue of Hot Rod Magazine can be viewed HERE (at bottom).
      * RideTech interviewed Jeff with the Atom in Madison, WI along with filming one of my runs on the autocross course. You can see RideTech's video HERE.
      * Hot Rod Magazine in South Bend, IN.  Spent about 45 minutes with videographer Jeff which resulted in a nice video on the website.
      * A local newspaper in Toledo, OH (Toledo Today?)
      * Local chamber of commerce in Somerset, KY.
      * Cherry Bomb interview discussing the Atom's custom exhaust fabrication.
      * Dave & Amy from ARS Promotions were filming video for a Power Tour DVD they were putting together.  Here s a picture of Dave filming video from the Atom's passenger seat as I lapped Bristol Motor Speedway.  They ended up including several video clips of me & the Atom on the DVD and you can see them here: Cherry Bomb's Matt Graves talking about my exhaust, Interview while unpacking the car in the rain, View of Bristol Speedway from the passenger seat.

* I now know the true definition of the word vacation.  When you don't know what day it is, don't know what state you're in, and have no cell phone service - THAT's a real vacation.
* Being reluctant to enter the RideTech autocross in Madison due to the long lines and rain showers, but eventually participating.  I thought I did alright, and later found out from Bret at Air Ride Technologies that I earned a first place finish with a nice trophy and serious gift certificates from Air Ride and Painless Performance. Thanks a lot guys!
* After 5 minutes of conversing with another Tour participant in Madison in our hotel lounge, Jeff was offered the keys to a Corvette Z06 in exchange for his spot in the passenger seat of the Atom.  Oh man, how can you pass THAT up?
* Hearing the really cool story of the Plymouth Fury Wagon that is the nunrunner.
* Eating at McDonalds in Racine WI during a Cruise-In where a local photographer took a few shots of my car.  When I arrived home, I was greeted by THIS in my e-mail inbox.  Wow.
* All the spectators and fans along the way.  They waved, yelled, offered food & beverages, and displayed signs to make us feel welcome.
* The road behind the hotel in South Bend, IN being turned into a burnout exhibition.
* Not having the patience to wait in line for the autograph of Vic Edelbrock Jr., and then having him sitting in the table next to us at an Outback Steakhouse in Bristol, TN.
* Rolling through the main street of a small town and having a man on his front yard spraying the street with a garden hose.  Meanwhile just up the street, a cop had stopped a Tour participant and was writing him a ticket (presumably for doing a burnout).  With the cop about a hundred feet away, car after car did a burnout as they rolled through.
* Seeing a number of spectacular views along the way: #1, #2, #3.
* Lapping Bristol Motor Speedway at speed.
* The owner that didn't have time to get the car painted before the event.  It's nothing a handful of markers can't fix.
* The hard work and dedication of the entire event staff and all the guys & gals at Hot Rod Magazine.  The planning and coordination that went into the event must have been staggering.


--> Click HERE to be taken to my photo & video gallery.

Links to others with photos/videos from Power Tour 2009: 

Mothers Car Care ProductsForrest's daily writeup is outstanding - you absolutely must read it.
Hot Rod Magazine, with daily photos and video.  My interview video is presented with the day 3 coverage HERE., with high-resolution unedited video of Hot Rod Magazine's daily reports.

Eric's Madison Autocross photos
The Muscle Car Place
Minnesota Motorhead - days 1&2, days 3&4, day 5, days 6-8, videos
Herb Turner
Blood Sweat & Gears

Nick Grant
1320 Video
Brown Dog Welding
Michael Morris
Ryan's photos

If you have a site with photos or know of any I don't have listed here, please drop me an e-mail from my main page so I can add a link here.