Written & Photographs by Kayla Ringle
Wide awake at 5:30 am, I am dying of excitement to attend my first Battle Creek Speedfest in Battle Creek, Michigan. As I arrive to the group meeting, I am greeted by many cars of different makes and models all idling while owners converse over coffee. Everyone is revved up and ready to leave at 7:00am and we are lead by a police escort to the airport.
Upon arriving at the track, I strolled through designated paddock area and watched the racers clean and prep their vehicles before the first session of racing.
Speedfest is a half-mile racing event. With new records being set earlier this year, half-mile racing has become the recent trend in the drag racing industry. For this weekend, the quarter mile is put on the back burner and racers are taking their turn at the half-mile.
One of the coolest elements about Speedfest is the entire event takes place on a functional airport. This means that during the racing sessions you can actually catch aircrafts taking off on the runway next to the provisional track, making the experience that much more memorable.
With a significant time gap in between racing sessions, racers and spectators can feel free to enjoy the festival environment. The smell of elephant ears and sound of F-22 Raptors in the sky stimulate every one of your senses as you walk the paddock.
The media team was even able to snag some photos of the cars next to the F-22 Raptor.
As you might guess Speedfest was a total success. Although the flight show/festival side was a great aspect, the best part to me was witnessing these car enthusiasts gather and enjoy a great weekend of racing. The racing environment was friendly and positive and everyone was having a blast. Speedfest is a fairly young event but I can already see it developing into a huge event in the near future; it displayed a unique and creative aspect that car enthusiasts look for in great racing events.