When it rains, it pours. with that in mind, the crew at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee, moved their seventh annual Mopar Thunder show and race from the usually rainy spring date to mid-September. Despite the date change, overcast weather punctuated by regular downpours literally put a damper on things in 2006

Thankfully, occasional precipitation didn't keep the diehard fans away: brave souls "weathered" the elements during the car show; vendors stood their ground in the swap meet; and 100-plus race cars waited patiently for a break in the storm. Unfortunately, the break never happened, and the track reluctantly pulled the plug at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the drag car program, but not before running the jet dryer out of fuel. Adding insult to injury, another storm quickly rolled in to ruin the hours of drying labor. they wisely did the car show awards on Saturday afternoon during one of the intermittent windows of sunlight.

The Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway is easily one of the nation's most scenic race tracks. Nestled in the northeastern Tennessee rolling hills, the Bristol facility soon earned the moniker "Thunder Valley," thanks in part to the tremendous acoustics that nearly deafens the spectators as cars roar down the 1,320-foot strip.

For the last seven years, Bristol's Thunder Valley has played host to droves of Mopar enthusiasts. With the facility opened for three dedicated days of competitive bracket racing, car show, swap meet, and a manufacturers' midway, Bristol has become the performance-geared Moparphites' annual event.

I set out with my plastic poncho and camera to capture some abbreviated coverage. Make sure to stay tuned for 2007's dates and attractions, and keep your fingers crossed for sunnier days.