Jacksonville, Florida will host the start of the 2017 Great Race on Saturday, June 24, and the community is used to huge car events. The Historic Springfield Main Street Cruise will be the venue for the Great Race start 11 months from now, and event director Jeff Stumb was in Jacksonville last weekend for the July Cruise.
When the Great Race stopped in Jacksonville in 2014 its course took it right through the middle of the Cruise. And the racers enjoyed it very much. When it came time for the 2017 route to be announced from Florida to Michigan, Stumb knew where he wanted to start.
The first thing I did was to call John Wells and see if we could join forces with the Cruise and have the start here, he said.
As soon as the 2016 Great Race ended Stumb made plans to go to the very next Cruise. Coming to Jacksonville was much more than just the Cruise, he said. John Wells took me to Josephs Pizza, an icon in the area, and I had the best food I have had in a long time. They also visited a brewery and a the zoo looking for great places to host the 500 racers, support crews and staff next summer.
Kevin Jacobs was a rookie in the 2016 Great Race and Jacksonville is his hometown. He was at the Cruise last weekend with his 240Z. I have had that car for 14 years and put less than 500 miles on it, Jacobs said. But we put 3,000 miles on it this summer on the Great Race and other trips.
Great Racers have enjoyed the pre-race festivities in recent years as much as the race itself, and 2017 will be no exception. Stumb said the pre-race activities are still being worked on and that there are a number of wonderful things to do in the Jacksonville area.
The Historic Main Street Cruise is always the fourth Saturday of the month, and the event is held every month of the year. Stumb said he plans on taking his 1973 Chevelle SS 454 four-speed car the next time he goes to Jacksonville for the Cruise.
Click the links below for more information on the Cruise and to see wonderful photos and videos of the event:
Cruise Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HistoricSpringfieldMainStreetCruiseJaxFL/
Photos of 2014 Great Race and the Cruise: http://photos.jacksonville.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=1818929&CategoryID=75342&ListSubAlbums=1&thisPage=1
Video of the 2014 Great Race and the Cruise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtkOuzWcx_4