Billed as the summer’s biggest street machine party, the Car Craft Summer Nationals, or “Nats”, will take place in the Wisconsin State Fair Park in Allis, WI, from Friday July 15th to Sunday the 17th. Car lovers and custom enthusiasts can expect a weekend-long celebration of all things custom, from muscle cars to hot rods and everything in between.

Car Craft Summer Nationals

Driving tests

The Nats boasts the widest range of unique cars in the country, on display over the weekend, including classics dating from the 1920s and 30s up to present day super-machines. For those not content to just look at these machines, a cruise route circling the grounds is planned, where the incomparable roar of the custom engines can also be heard. Drivers of cars thought worthy of entry have the opportunity to test both their rides and themselves at the Nats, with a mobile chassis dyno to test vehicles’ horsepower, and an autocross course on the Milwaukee Mile infield. Aspiring race drivers can also pit their skills against the best local drivers in the Car Craft Real Street Eliminator competition.

Custom builds

The top car builders in the USA will be attending the Nats, in the hope of having their work seen, appreciated, and perhaps rewarded, as they compete in the Pro Builders Shootout. There’s also a category for as-yet undiscovered builders to present their work, and a trophy is at stake, the winner voted for via text message by visitors to the event. And the Car Craft ‘Editor’s Choice’ award is also up for grabs for a build that captures the host’s imagination.

Ain’t no drag

Other highlights of the weekend include a lap of the Milwaukee Mile for participating drivers, a burnout competition, and the hosts of Internet motor show ‘Roadkill’ who will be attending to meet fans and answer questions. For many, though, the main event of the fair will be the Midnight Drag competition on the Saturday night/Sunday morning. At the Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove a maximum field of sixty-four supercharged cars will be whittled down to just sixteen after one round of qualifying. The fastest sixteen will then go on to be placed into random pairs, to face off in quarter-mile, head-to-head drag races.

The Midnight Drag field is restricted to rear-drive, American machines that must use DOT-approved tires. The overall winner will receive a purse of $1,000, a one-off champion’s jacket, and plenty of adulation online and in print from Car Craft magazine. Last year’s event was won by a turbocharged, LS powered S10, so expect the standard to be high this summer. Entry to the Midnight Drag costs the driver and car just $50, though both are subject to rigorous safety checks. Those entrants who don’t make the final sixteen will be consoled with an evening of test’n tune on their vehicles.

Those wishing to participate in the Car Show with their own automotive labours of love can pre-register at a discounted price of $50 for car, driver, and copilot at until June 30th. After that date and at the event, registration costs $70. Spectator tickets are available from .