The smell of burnt rubber and smoke filled the air, blocking out the sun and the car racing through gas and tires while people edged closer to the barricade to watch.
Drivers showed off who could make the most smoke and the most noise by positioning their cars on the far side of Backside Brewing’s parking lot and spinning the tires until they blew out. Some drivers went and replaced their tires, then went back to burn through them again.
Chevy Duck, 2, sat on Amanda Hadwin’s shoulders and shouted for every car he saw burning through tires and sending up clouds of smoke.
“It’s his first year seeing Graffiti,” Hadwin, Chevy’s mother, said. “His name is Chevy so it’s appropriate. He loves anything cars so it’s just so cool.”
The burnout competition was one of several events happening all over town for Graffiti Weekend on Thursday and brought out people like Ryan Kocks in his 1985 Ford Bronco who said “tire smoke is fun.”
“Where else can you burn race gas and make smoke with no worries?” he said.
He felt good about his turn but had already paid for multiple runs, so as soon as he left the parking lot, he replaced a tire in the middle of the road and got back in line. He was prepared to replace more tires and to keep burning through them.
“I just brought a lot of tires,” he said.
He said he won first place last year but he just wanted to come out with his truck and have a good time.
The whole neighborhood around the brewery was packed with the parked cars of spectators looking to have a good time watching and competing. About 200 people mingled in the streets, in the parking lot, and outside the gate on the far side of the property.
Juston Lanham was on his third year and brought out his 1946 Ford F1 with a Toyota bed.
“I just burn off everywhere else,” Lanham said. “Here, I can burn off and I don’t get a ticket.”
He said the prize of $300 and a $250 gift card to Les Schwab would barely cover the cost of new tires for his truck, but it’s all about who can make the “best smoke and the most noise.”
His tires were specially designed for burnouts and spewed pink, green and yellow smoke, which earned his car first place.
Jake Meyer has seen burnouts from Las Vegas to South Dakota, but he wasn’t sure what the judges were actually looking for.
“You go until the tires blow out,” Meyer said. “How radical can you get with your car?”