After nearly a week of traveling across the country, The Great Race contestants will arrive in Ypsilanti on Thursday, June 29. Join the racers in Depot Town and check out some of these rare vintage vehicles.
The Great Race is an endurance rally designed to complement the capabilities and condition of vintage cars built between the early-1900s and 1972. Contenders from all over the country compete for the title of Grand Champion and $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse. With over 2,100 miles to travel in the span of nine short days, making it to the finish line is no easy feat for these vintage automobiles. Each team, driver and navigator, is required to follow detailed instructions to reach each check point on time or risk hindering their overall score or eligibility.
Although the cash prize is enticing, the Spirit of the Event award is one of the most sought after prizes of the event. The award is used to honor dedicated teams who are enthusiastic about participating in the race, win or lose. The Great Race is about more than who finishes first; it brings communities together and encourages like-minded car lovers to connect with one another.
The Great Race has established a considerable following since taking off in the 1980s. Competitors roar through city after city, creating a festival-like celebration for those fortunate enough to be included in the route. Car enthusiasts will rejoice as racers rumble down Cross St., eager to interact with the drivers and get a closer look at the cars.
Before settling in for the entertainment, head to a local Ypsilanti hot spot for a delicious meal. You won’t want to miss out on local favorites like Chick-Inn Drive-In – a full service drive in restaurant famous for their milkshakes, burgers, and fries. For draft beer and flavorful food stop by Sidetrack Bar & Grill, or consider Gabriel’s Cheese Steak Hoagies for an unbelievable sandwich.
After competitors retire, take advantage of a warm summer night in Ypsilanti. Head to The Ypsi Alehouse for a craft beer, or check out ABC Microbrewery or The Wurst Bar for a late-night sack with your drink.
The event will coincide with Depot Town Cruise Nights presented by the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage held every Thursday evening June to August. Cross St. will be closed for the duration of the event.