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NOPI Nationals 2016: A Car Enthusiast's Paradise

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is one of the top vacation destinations in all of the Southeast United States. The area lays claim to a rich and diverse history that dates back to the Native American settlers (pre-16th century). In 1526, European settlers from Spain attempted to establish a settlement here, but that ended a disaster and was abandoned. In the 1700’s, English settlers made their way to area and established colonies, trade and infrastructure. Myrtle Beach didn't come into its own until the 20th century when the city underwent massive growth due to business investments and the establishment of residential areas. Now the area has roughly 30,000 people and is packed full of culture, activities, attractions and pristine beaches.


While most of the country is still fairly cold in March, Myrtle Beach is sunny and pleasant, with temperatures in the low 70’s. This moderate weather makes the city an ideal location for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, sightseeing, fishing, sailing or just cruising the streets to soak up the beautiful natural surroundings. The arts and culture of the city are always on display at the museums, art shows, music clubs and galleries. If you're a fan of food and drink, Myrtle Beach is packed full of restaurants, bars, and fine dining establishments, that serve some of the best meals you’ll find in the region. The community here loves to gather and celebrate year-round with fun festivals and events. One of the most popular is the NOPI Nationals at the Myrtle Beach Speedway.


The NOPI Nationals have long been considered the standard for car shows and events. In previous years they held top car shows all over the country, awarding the top owners and their rides. Due to unfortunate circumstances, NOPI Nationals had to revise their strategy this year. They have taken all their national shows and combined them into two super events in Myrtle Beach. These events are packed full of unique rides, live entertainment, delicious food and plenty of like minded gearheads. Turn your next vacation into the ultimate car lover's excursion and visit Myrtle Beach for the NOPI Nationals 2016. We got the chance to interview Jill Vielhauer, Event Representative for NOPI Nationals, to talk about this great event.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

JV: NOPI Nationals is an elite car show that takes place over a three-day stretch, twice a year. We are not just a car show.  We’re truly looking to provide an entertaining and fun experience for all who attend. The first show will be in mid-March (11-13) and the second show will take place during late July (29-31). This year we are expecting between 3,000 and 5,000 people combined at both events. As far as demographics of the crowd go, we see everyone at our show. Car lovers come from all over the country.  We also see couples, families and groups at the show. We encourage everyone to head down, enjoy live entertainment, and have a great time. Since we decided to consolidate the NOPI shows into two events, we are expecting bigger crowds this year.


RAL: Walk me through the activities people will find at the event.

JV: The major draw to our event is the car show. We will have multiple divisions in the car show competition that include: Street Truck, Custom Truck, Street Car, Custom Car, Wild, and Speciality Vehicles. Each division has 27 different elite classes and the top 20 participants in each division are awarded points based on where they place. We take all the points from both shows and combine them to find our National Champions for each division.


In addition to the car show we will have an assortment of fun activities, competitions, and contests for all of our patrons to enjoy. A few of the things to do include a vapor cloud competition, burnout contest, hydraulics show, drifting program, and the car audio show. New to NOPI this year will be an autocross event, and for the summer show we will be incorporating a music concert. Also, all the concessions will be open and we will have a few outside food vendors in the infield area. Live music will be performed and the NOPI Chics will be on hand saying hello to the attendees. Here is the full breakdown of events:


Friday July 29th

12:00pm – 5:00pm – Exhibitor Set-up

4:00pm – 9:00pm – Gates Open for Participants

6:00pm – 9:00pm – General Admission, Drift Track Opens for field qualifying, Official event Photo Graffiti Wall is created, Stage goes live, Car Meet – no judging – everyone parks inside event.

8:00 pm – Glow-Off – Main Stage area


Saturday July 30th

10:00 am – Gates open for exhibitors/contestants

11:00 am – National Anthem, Drift Track Opens for Practice Day, Gates open to the public, Car Show Judging begins, Sound Contest Begins, Stage goes live

1:00 pm – Highway 20 Cloud Competition

2:00 pm – Burn-out Contest

3:00 pm – Swimsuit Preliminaries

4:00 pm – Highway 20 Cloud Competition

5:00 pm – Hydraulic Show

6:00 pm – Highway 20 Cloud Competition

7:00 pm – Swimsuit Semi Finals

8:00 pm – Glow-Off – Main Stage area

9:00 pm (ish) – Event is over for the day but may go longer depending on the crowd


Sunday July 31st

10:00 am – Gates open for exhibitors/contestants

11:00 am – National Anthem, Drift Track Opens for Qualifying, Gates open to the public, Car Show Judging begins, Sound Contest Begins, Stage goes live

1:00 pm – Highway 20 Cloud Competition

2:00 pm – Hydraulic Show (providing any cars still work after the Saturday event)

2:30 pm – Burn-out Contest

3:00 pm – Drift Eliminations

3:30 pm – Highway 20 Cloud Competition Finals

4:00 pm – Swimsuit Finals

5:00 pm – Car Show Awards

6:00 pm – Event is concluded – Exhibitor Breakdown


RAL: Tell me about the local lodging situation.

JV: The host hotel for the event is the Country Inn and Suites. They are offering a special rate for the event. That is not the only option to choose from in the area. There are many great lodging properties in the area for all budgets and group sizes. A few other options to consider include: Hilton Garden Inn Myrtle Beach, Bay View Resort and Compass Cove Resort.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

JV: NOPI Nationals used to be a nationwide event with competitions all over America. This year, following the death of the man that ran the show, we decided to consolidate all the NOPI events into our two Myrtle Beach shows. With only two shows, people will be coming from all over the country to participate. Having all the extra people in the community is great for the local businesses. From hotels to restaurants, everyone see a boost in sales during the event.


We have also partnered up with Dreams and Wishes of Tennessee for this years event. They are a 501(c)(3) charity that grants wishes to people between the ages of 5 and 21 who have relapsed from cancer. We are proud to support a great cause like this one.  


RAL: Why should people come.

JV: This is the only place where you’ll find NOPI events. It's a great opportunity to meet fellow car lovers and have a great time.

For more information about the NOPI Nationals, please visit their website.