PONTIAC, Mich. — The inaugural American Speed Festival takes place today through Sunday at the M1 Concourse.
Highlighting the event will be on-track action on Friday and Saturday on the 1.5-mile Speed Ring located at the M1 Concourse. Featuring drivers and cars from all eras of auto racing, six groups of cars — including Indy cars, stock cars and Cam-Am machines — will be in action each day.
Thursday features the exclusive “Dine and Drive” tour and behind the scenes looks at some of the great automotive history of the Motor City. It is followed by Thursday evening’s Motor Grille.
Friday and Saturday feature high-speed on-track activity utilizing the M1 Concourse Speed Ring. Speed Ring with single car time trials across six classes. Those classes are: Can-Am, Indy car, Endurance, Stock car, Feature and Super car.
Friday and Saturday activities on track will be livestreamed on M1 and American Speed Festival social channels with the broadcasts produced by SPEED SPORT TV and also available for free on SPEEDSPORT.TV. The coverage will be hosted by SPEED SPORT’s Ralph Sheheen.
The first Master of Motorsports award will go to Motorsports Hall of Fame racing innovator Jim Hall. Hall will not be in attendance, informing event organizers this week that he will not attend because of COVID-19-related travel concerns. It will be presented during The Checkered Flag Ball on Saturday evening. The ball is a fundraiser for Checkered Flag Challenge, which is funding a new initiative called M1 Mobility in partnership with Pontiac Community Foundation to provide transportation to Pontiac residents so they can access services.
Sunday will feature the American Speed Festival Exposition, a judged competition of the best of the best car classes during the weekend, and a chance for enthusiasts to get up close to some of the greatest cars in the world.
Four of Hall’s historic Chaparrals from the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas, will be onsite, including the Chaparral 2, 2E, 2F and 2K. All but 2K will hit the race track and be driven by Hall family members.
The 1901 Henry Ford Sweepstakes race car exact replica will be on site doing demonstration runs Friday and Saturday through a collaboration with The Henry Ford to celebrate the 120-year anniversary of Henry Ford’s first race car that he raced and won with on Oct. 10, 1901, in nearby Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Other cars on the run list include a 1966 Eagle Indy car that was driven by Jerry Grant and is currently owned by Bobby Rahal, who is expected to be on site during the American Speed Festival.
One of the signature stock cars will be the sole-surviving 1952 Hudson Hornet NASCAR stock car. This car was owned and driven by NASCAR Hall of Famer Herb Thomas.
In addition to Hall’s Chaparrals, among the noted Can-Am cars in attendance will be a 1970 Lola T222 that was fielded by Carl Haas and driven by Peter Revson.
The NPT-01 Nissan prototype that Geoff Brabham drove to consecutive IMSA championships in 1990 and ’91 will also be on the track.
Tickets for the American Speed Festival are $75 for adults and free for children 12 and under. To purchase tickets or learn more about the participating cars, log on to www.americanspeedfestival.com.
Watch the live stream of the event free on SPEEDSPORT.TV. Coverage begins Friday and Saturday at 9:30 a.m.