NASCAR driver joins Elkhart community for Grand Prix

NOW: NASCAR driver joins Elkhart community for Grand Prix

ELKHART, Ind. --- A driver with NASCAR paid a visit to Elkhart’s Riverwalk Grand Prix on Saturday.

Tyler Young, a NASCAR truck driver, shared some pro-level advice with over a hundred driver participating in the Grand Prix in downtown Elkhart.

“Keep working hard, stay focused, anything can happen,” said Young.

This was the first time the event’s been back in town after being gone since 1996, that’s over 20 years. Elkhart Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police raised money to get Young to come out, speak to fans, and spend the day out with the community.

Young said he was most impressed with the track drivers used during the weekend.

“It’s pretty cool to see what they’ve done as far as a community to actually shut the streets down and just come race,” said Young.

Mike Hayes, one of those go kart drivers, said the last time he raced in the Grand Prix in Elkhart was in 1994.

“Once I heard they were coming back to Elkhart this was one of my wish lists that I had to come back to Elkhart just to be here for it,” said Hayes.

Hayes said back in the day racers from as far as Canada to as close as Greenwood came to compete. He said he hopes they can build this event back up to that level of crowds made up of 40,000 people and national coverage done by ESPN.

Cameron Parr, 18-year-old driver from Terre Haute, was not even alive during the events golden days but said that everyone who’s a driver knows about Elkhart and its Grand Prix.

“This place is absolutely amazing I love it,” said Parr. “This was a huge event back in the day and it still is and it’s just absolutely amazing that we were able to be a part of it.”

This year, the event organizers really focused on the street racing aspect. Drivers raced on a more than a half a mile track with u-shaped hairpins, S-shaped roadways, and long stretches allowing for speeds up to 80 miles per hour.

Parr said the track really got his adrenaline jumping after placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in three separate heats.

“To get hard on the brakes stop and be airborne sometimes it’s crazy,” Parr said.

More than 10,000 people came out to Elkhart’s Grand Prix this weekend, according to an officer with Elkhart Police Department. Many of the drivers telling ABC 57 News that they were just happy to give fans a show and put Elkhart back on the map.

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