Holtville prepares for race participants

June 19, 2002

HOLTVILLE — The 20th anniversary Great Race will run from San Antonio, Texas, to Anaheim through Saturday.

Once again Holtville was asked to be one of the lunch stops. Staff, crew and participants will start rolling into the city at 12:30 p.m. Friday. The last of the 100 vintage vehicles entered in the race are scheduled to pull out of town by 4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to talk to the drivers and check out the restored pre-World War II cars and later models around Holt Park.

The Great Race is a free, family-friendly, timed-endurance rally-race. It is a contest about precision driving and navigation, not speed. A wristwatch, analog clock, speedometer, pencil and paper are the only instruments racers use to chart their miles and follow course instructions at predetermined speeds.

The Holtville Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event. The Holtville Athletic Club will prepare lunch for the 350 crew members and participants at the Civic Center. The Valley Inn will offer barbecue plates and drinks for sale to the public in the park. The cost of the barbecue is $6. The HAC will have its popular ice cream machine available and KXO Radio will do a live remote from the park.


Dana Hawk, Chamber of Commerce office manager, said she is "really excited about the race. It is great publicity for our town."

Chamber President Sylvia Nelson echoed Hawk's sentiments, and said: "Everyone is being so cooperative."

Over the past two decades the race has racked up more than 5 million miles with no accidents, visited more than 700 cities, and awarded more than $3.5 million in prize money.

For the eighth consecutive year Focus on the Family will participate in the race. This year's car is a 1941 Cadillac convertible donated to the ministry. Dr. James Dobson, founder and president of Focus on the Family, said the ministry stands "ready to assist you and your loved ones in tackling the challenges facing families in today's troubled culture." The Focus on the Family car will be one of the first cars coming to the gate in each city.

Participants in the various race categories are vying to win $290,000 in prizes. Drivers and crew members aren't the only ones eligible to win a prize. Prizes are available to cities hosting the race. A total of $15,000 will be shared by the cities hosting the best overnight stop, best lunch stop and best pit stop. The driving teams are made up of married couples, some fathers and sons and fathers and daughters, brothers and other combinations.

Direct Auto of El Centro is a sponsor of the race. The Imperial Valley Sun Runners car club will serve as official greeters and assist in parking the race vehicles.

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