Great Race makes pit stop in Perrysburg


PERRYSBURG — Up to 18,000 spectators are expected to watch the Great Race cross-country antique car rally roll through downtown on Tuesday.

“We are excited to bring this unique event to Perrysburg for the first time ever,” race director Jeff Stumb said. “It will be the first time the Great Race has been back to Northwest Ohio since an overnight stop in Findlay back in 2012.”

It is expected that 130 drive teams from across the globe will converge in Perrysburg with their vintage automobiles.

The cars have a driver and a navigator, plus traveling pit crews of as many as nine, keeping the Great Race moving from Rhode Island to North Dakota.

Te racers will be followed cross country by their serious fans.

“We’re getting fans from everywhere. They could be anyone who lives nearby and people who are following the event itself,” Perrysburg Executive Director Christine Best said.

The Great Race makes an overnight stop in Perrysburg and the city is celebrating with a Great Race Pit Stop Party from 4:30-8:30 p.m.

Once the Great Racers cross the Hemmings Motor News and Hagerty Drivers Club Grand Arch on Louisiana Avenue, the vehicle and driver receive a one-minute introduction to the crowd. One vehicle each minute is timed out to two hours straight.

“They are vintage cars. They have to be at the 50-year mark, or older,” Best said. “It’s call the Great Race, but it’s a rally, with performance and precision, and they have different parameters that they have to beat at each leg of the race. They are actually penalized if they arrive early. They follow all the rules of the road, including speed limits.

“There’s also a $50,000 prize. So they are racing for cash,” she said. “There are 130 cars registered. But remember, these are old cars and some of them might not make it to the next destination, so we don’t know exactly how many will show up in Perrysburg until that night. A couple of them might break down along the way, or they might have to drop out of the race on the next leg.”

Spectators are encouraged to visit with the drivers and their crew, to check out the race and support vehicles. The event is free to the public.

A six-block section of the city will be used for the event, which also includes a 600-plus local car cruise-in near O-Deer Diner and the Wienermobile.

The Yark Chevrolet Kids Zone will have free inflatables for ages 10 and under, face painting and an interactive experience provided by event premier sponsor Mercy Health. There will also be live music by Johnny Rodriguez, circus-style street artistry and celebrity historians.

The Way Public Library will be showing “The Great Race” movie and downtown merchants will have a window decorating contest.

Both NASCAR Midwest Region and Safe Communities will have interactive displays.

A free shuttle will transport visitors to and from the Perrysburg Junior High School to the Commodore Building as well as nearby public lots at Witzler-Shank-Walker Funeral Home, city public parking lots and Frank Elementary. Handicap-only parking is available in the nearby Perry’s Landing parking lot.

An event map and information updates can be found on

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