Detroit's First Legal Drag Race Is Happening Today!

The Motor City is getting its first legal drag racing event! The Motor City Showdown is happening on September 23, 2017 at the Coleman A. Young International Airport on the city’s east side. According to The Detroit Free Press, the event is being put on by professional Hot Rod Association Driver Brian Olatunji, a native of Detroit, in partnership with Leadfoot Events.

The Motor City Showdown boasts “wheel standing, fire breathing 2,000 plus horsepower cars and the fearless stars who drive them,” according to the event’s website. Gates open at 3:00 PM, beginning with a car show that runs until 9:00 PM. Racing activities will also be occurring from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, with the event conclusion at 9:00 PM. The races will taking place on a ⅛ mile drag racing track.

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There will be plenty for guests to do in addition to watching the events. Guests can get up close and personal with the cars and their drivers, as well as classic vehicles that will be on display. Taste of Detroit and local food truck vendors will also be on site to provide guests with food and drink options throughout the day.

If purchasing online, tickets for the event are $20 for adults, and free for kids under age 12. If purchasing onsite the day of, adult tickets are $25. Secure parking is $10. The event is located at 11499 Conner St, Detroit, MI 48213.

While this is the first drag racing event taking place within the city limits, Roadkill Nights in Pontiac, Michigan re-launched last year, was the first legal drag racing event to take place on Woodward Ave and was sponsored by Dodge.

While it is sure to be fun and exciting to watch the events at The Motor City Showdown, it’s important to remember that these drivers are professionals, taking place in a legal drag racing event. Drag racing on public roads is both illegal and dangerous. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog, recently wrote about an illegal drag race between a go-kart and motorcycle that took the life of one of the drivers. Have fun, enjoy the shows, but don’t try this at home. A joy ride is not worth getting in a car crash and potentially risking your life and the life of others on the road.


Drag racing is illegal, and should never be attempted. Drag racing puts the lives of both the driver and others on the road at risk. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving someone who was driving dangerously or illegally, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Go-kart And Motorcycle Involved In Drag Racing Accident

An accident in August 2017 in Detroit left one dead and one seriously injured. The accident was not a typical automobile collision however, as it involved a go-kart and a motorcycle. The drivers of the two vehicles were apparently drag racing (also known as street racing), along French Road on the Detroit's east side and according to the Detroit Free Press, were reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. Witnesses say the go-kart made a U-turn, ending up directly in the path of the motorcycle, which was what resulted in the automobile collision. The 21-year-old man driving the go-kart died and the 31-year-old man driving the motorcycle was seriously injured. Both drag racing and driving a go-kart on public streets are illegal in the State of Michigan.

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Go-karts are not “street legal” vehicles. They are mostly driven on private tracks and in large backyards. In order for go-karts to be deemed street legal, they need to undergo thousands of dollars worth of modifications. These modifications include adding headlights, turn signals, a windshield, tail lights, seat belts, a parking brake, rear view mirrors, license plates, a speedometer, an odometer, and a horn. More so, a go-kart is not allowed to reach speeds over 25 mph, which would be achieved through engine modification. It would also need auto insurance. Due to the time and money required to make these modifications, most go-karts are usually not street legal.

Like go-karts, drag racing on public streets is also illegal in the State of Michigan, but is a relatively common occurrence throughout Detroit. Michigan law defines drag racing as “the operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to out-distance each other” or “for the purpose of setting a speed record.” It appears as though the motorcycle crash in Detroit was caused by the drivers of the go-kart and motorcycle racing to a finishing point.

Detroit Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

It's for a good reason that drag racing is not legal, as it can be unsafe. There are many safety issues that arise from drag racing. Not only are the participating drivers at risk or being involved in a motor vehicle accident because there are no official rules and regulations, or any sort of safety provisions, but pedestrians are also at risk since there are no bleachers, guard rails, or any sort of crowd protection from powerful speeding vehicles. An additional cause of concern is that widespread use of drugs and alcohol that are typically known to be found at illegal drag racing events.

Unlike go-karts and drag racing however, operating a motorcycle is legal in the state of Michigan, but it still comes with risks. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2015 there were 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents - a 10% increase from 2014. Also in 2015, motorcyclist deaths increased in 31 states. Currently, only 19 states plus the District of Columbia require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Michigan is not one of them. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently discussed how the state's motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 2012. Motorcyclists groups supported the repeal of the law, calling it an individual rights issue, even though wearing a helmet has been repeatedly shown to keep motorcyclists safer. The GHSA is one of the groups who supports mandatory helmet laws, and has provided the following safety tips for motorcyclists.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

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  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, even when not required by state law.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to make it easier to be seen by other drivers.
  • Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • When purchasing a new motorcycle, opt for a model with antilock brakes. These have been shown to decrease fatal motorcycle crashes by preventing a motorcycle's wheels from locking during braking, and assisting with maintaining the stability of the motorcycle.

While following these tips does not guarantee motorcycle accidents won’t happen, they may help decrease the likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Drag racing , unless it's on Roadkill Nights, and operating a go-kart on a public street, unless it's been modified and certified to be legal, however are big no-nos. These activities can be extremely dangerous and come with the risk of being involved in automobile crashes. Not only are the drivers of the vehicles put at risk, but so are other drivers, and pedestrian bystanders as well.


Drag racing is usually illegal and can have deadly consequences. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free personal injury or motor vehicle accident consultationLet our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovering. 

Belle Isle's Detroit Grand Prix

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The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, a staple event in the Motor City for the last three decades, took place from June 2-June 4, 2017 on Belle Isle. The results ended in a weekend sweep for driver Graham Rahal, who became the first IndyCar driver to win both races in the Grand Prix doubleheader. Rahal has followed in the footsteps of his father, Bobby, who won one of the races at the event in 1992.

Over 100,000 fans from around the area attended the three-day event, gathered in bleachers near the track to watch cars race by at speeds up to 150 m.p.h. For fans, there is a fascination created from race cars zooming by combined with the classic Michigan location. The racers movements around the track are so elegantly sleek and the air on the track is so charged that it can seem as though anyone can just jump in a car and step on the gas pedal. However, looks can be deceiving as only the professionals are capable at taking round turns and switching lanes at high speeds without flipping their cars and causing serious injuries to themselves. This precaution leaves all other non-race car drivers to keep an eye on speed limits and follows the rules of the road in order to avoid motor vehicle accidents and even death. 

Detroit Speeding Car Crash Attorney

It's not news that speeding endangers the lives of drivers and those around them. In fact, in 2014, 9,262 lives were lost due to speeding-related crashes. Plus, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the factors that inspires people to speed is the feeling of detachment drivers feel when inside a motor vehicle. It is easier to disregard speed limits when one feels like their behavior on the road cannot be seen by others. However, drivers on local roads can be observed by others, and speeding does lead to severe crashes and fatalities. When getting behind a wheel of a car, people need to remind themselves that they are not on a race track and the high speeds like those at the Grand Prix are not suitable for everyday roads.

There are a variety of ways to prevent accidents caused by speeding. In general, drivers should pay attention to signs listing speed limits and go slower than what they believe the limit is, when they do not see any signs. People also need to go extra slow in highly congested areas and where there are many pedestrians. It is important for fans of race car driving to remember that these high speeds are made for tracks and experienced drivers, and that high speed driving should not be imitated on local roads.

The fast paced competition on Belle Isle this weekend provided endless entertainment for people as they took in the surrounding view of the Detroit skyline and cheered on their favorite drivers. It brought fans together from across the area, wondering who would be the one to pass all the other cars for the trophy and a victory lap. The big weekend winner, Graham Rahal, said to the Detroit Free Press that, “when you get a chance to win a race, you never take it for granted.” While enjoying the sport, fans of the Grand Prix and other high-speed race car competitions also need to keep an eye on the speed limits of local roads, so they too can enjoy safe driving without taking it for granted.   


The Motor City is known for its love of sports, including race car competitions like the Grand Prix. Fans of high-speed races need to make sure that they drive within the speed limits on local roads, and remember that they are not on a race track. Following speed limits and the rules of he road can help drivers from being involved in high speed car accidents. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a speeding car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation today. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM.