Classic Cruise

CJ Warson · Wednesday, June 14, 2017
During a hot Monday morning, June 12, West Liberty was treated to some welcom traffic thanks to the 23rd Annual Hot Rod Power Tour.

An estimated 3,000-4,000 classic cars trickled on through the heart of the community, traveling from Newton to Davenport.

Community members scattered around to watch the cruisers, which could be seen as early at 10 a .m. and continued on into the afternoon. Hours and hours of cars!

The 2017 Hot Rod Power Tour began Saturday, June 10, in Kansas City, Missouri and concluded in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

It was a seven day, seven city journey for many of the drivers. Of course, they didn’t have to start in Kansas City if they didn’t want to.

In fact, they could start and stop anywhere they wanted along the trek, as well as sign in at any of the checkpoint cities the tour stopped at along the way.

The cars came down Elm Street and passed through the downtown district, where they were met by a majority of West Liberty’s spectators. Daily life and traffic mingled into the line of cruisers.

Overall it’s estimated the tour brought in more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000 spectators through the course of the seven days.

The Hot Rod Power Tour doesn’t take the same route every year. In fact, it started exactly where it ended last year, something the tour does every year.

It gives more scenery and different activities for drivers once they reach their checkpoints. Martha Carrasco is in charge of setting up at different locations with vending for the tour.

“We’ve lined up drag strip days, dyno competitions, autocross and tons of music and fun for everyone,” she said.

Last year, the tour started in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveled through Texas on up to the Kansas Motor Speedway.

Also a year ago, there was over 5,000 drivers that met their designated checkpoints along the 1,400-mile journey. 3,800 of those drivers and cars made it on the Long Haul Gang for the entire week.

They even had 110,000 spectators walk through the stops throughout the week.

“Spectator entry is free, but spectator parking is located away from the show grounds. All vehicles brought to show grounds must register as a participant,” Carrasco said.

As drivers leave every checkpoint they are given a designated path. However, drivers do occasionally get surprised by detours due to road construction and can get lost.

A few got turned in the wrong direction in West Liberty, but the police department took control early on and made the pass through a smashing success.

In 2017 participants were treated to different events that included going to a night of Sprint Car racing at the world famous Knoxville Raceway.

In Davenport, drivers picked between a night-race at the Cordova International Raceway or going to drive-in movie night at the Blue Grass Drive-in. They also had the option, in Bowling Green, to go through the National Corvette Museum.
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