Nineteen cities along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast have been named as stops on the 2013 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty.
The start and finish cities of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Mobile, Alabama, respectively, were announced two months ago, and now 17 other cities join them, including a state capital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the second-smallest overnight stop in the history of the event in Hannibal, Missouri.
The Great Race will start in St. Paul, Minnesota, as part of the 40th annual Back to the 50s car show on Saturday, June 22, and cross the Mississippi River a dozen times during the nine-day, 2,100-mile event, driving on portions the famous Great River Road along the way.
The first overnight stop will be in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the banks of the Mississippi at Riverside Park, a popular recreational area on the water. The Sunday, June 23, overnight stop will be in Davenport, Iowa, again on the banks of the mighty river, this time at LeClaire Park. The minor league River Bandits baseball team will join in the festivities with a game that afternoon which will include Great Race-related promotions.
The Monday, June 24, overnight stop will be in Mark Twains hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, and will again be downtown on the river. A riverboat will greet racers as they pull into town with a whistle, and racers and spectators will be able to visit Twains riverside boyhood home.
Other Great Race overnight stops will be in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on June 25; in Germantown, Tennessee, on June 26; in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on June 27; in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on June 28; and in Covington, Louisiana, on June 29; before the finish in downtown Mobile on Sunday, June 30.
Lunch stops, in order, are Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Dubuque, Iowa; Peoria, Illinois; Washington, Missouri; Paragould, Arkansas; Monticello, Arkansas; Natchez, Mississippi; Crowley, Louisiana; and Irvington, Alabama.
The race started 30 years ago as a cross country event, but for the last three years the Great Race has run new themed routes, including the Appalachian Mountain Range from Tennessee to Vermont in 2011 and the Great Lakes in 2012.
Great Race officials believe they will break the record spectator attendance in 2013, in part due to the large crowd expected in St. Paul at Back to the 50s. Last year, more than 250,000 saw the race in the United States and Canada.
The start will be held at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul as the centerpiece of the Back to the 50s weekend. That event annually draws more than 15,000 cars and 125,000 spectators, making it the largest three-day car show of its kind in the world.
In all, the Great Race will cover 10 states before finishing on tree-lined Dauphin Street in Mobile, which is on the banks of Mobile Bay off the Gulf of Mexico. It is the original home of Mardi Gras, and it has been celebrated there every Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) since 1703.
Entry fee for the 2013 Great Race is $4,500 for private entries and $5,750 for corporate entries. The purse for 2013 will be $150,000, with $50,000 going to the overall winner and is based on 100 entries.
The Great Race is a controlled-speed/timed/endurance road rally open to all 1969 and older model year automobiles. A handicap system gives a competitive advantage to older cars, and there is a separate class with a separate prize fund for rookie teams.
The winners of the 2012 event were Barry and Irene Jason from Keller, Texas, in their 1935 Ford Coupe. They were challenged heavily by 91 other vehicles, including a 1907 Renault, a 1914 Ford Model T, a 1916 Hudson, a 1916 Packard Twin Six and a 1917 Peerless. The newest car in the race was a 1969 Saab, and there were dozens of 1950s classics like 57 Chevys and 60s cars like Mustangs and Corvettes.
Coker Tire, Reliable Carriers and Best Western are major sponsors of the Great Race, along with Hemmings Motor News and Hagerty.
For additional information on the 2013 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty, stay tuned to the Great Race website or contact Jeff Stumb at [email protected] or 800-989-RACE (7223).