Elkton Mini Grand Prix to return for second year
Event to be held Oct. 14, 2017
— After a successful first event last month, the town board gave the green flag on Wednesday night to hold a second Mini Grand Prix next October.
Brandon and Nicole Hollenbaugh, owners of Premier Auto & Tire, came before the town board to give a presentation on the first Mini Grand Prix, which was held on Oct. 22 in the down-
town. The couple also suggested Oct. 14 as a possible date for next year’s event and were happily surprised when the board moved to approve that date right away.
We’re super excited,” Brandon said of next year’s race. “We have a date, so we’re ready to move forward with it.”
This year’s event raised money for Union Hospital’s new cancer center and consisted of four go-kart races through the downtown streets. Each race consisted of 12 laps with all 12 racers participating in the first race, then nine in the second race and seven in the fourth race, which was the main event. The third race acted as a consolation race.
During the presentation, Brandon noted that the event also brought more people to the downtown area.
He said he and Steve Fangman, director of business development, spoke to business owners on Main Street to receive opinions and feedback about the event. The two handed out papers to the commissioners with signatures from 17 business owners who said the event positively impacted their business that day.
“They loved it and they would love to do it again,” he said.
Commissioner Mary Jo Jablonski said she sent emails to several business owners in the area asking two questions: did they have more business than usual and did they want to have the event downtown again. Many businesses, including Spork and Lyon’s Pharmacy, reported seeing an increase in business and customers, she said.
“Everyone had sales that day,” Jablonski said.
Brandon said they also met with Elkton Police Chief Matt Donnelly and Capt. Joseph Zurolo to discuss their feedback and he asked for feedback from the commissioners as well.
Mayor Rob Alt asked how much money was raised from the event. Nicole said that more than $5,000 was raised, but a final figure is still being figured out.
“I think the community, everyone I spoke to, really enjoyed it,” Alt said. “They thought it was one of the nicer events that we’ve ever had in our town.”
Alt said some spectators may have thought the event was over after the first race because it took a bit longer to start the next race due to to some go-kart repairs. But after those issues were fixed everything went smoothly, Alt said noting those were “hiccups.”
Brandon agreed that the go-karts had a few mechanical issues but said the crew was able to fix the issues and everyone was able to race.
Alt noted that Zurolo mentioned to him the route should go the opposite way and that there should be better protection for the racers going around corners. But he said those are things that can be worked out.
Commissioner Earl Piner suggested advertising a few months in advance as well as putting up a banner at the hospital and other areas to let people know about the event.
During the presentation, Brandon also thanked all of the volunteers from the community who helped with the event, including the Boy Scouts and the Cub Scouts as well as local sports teams.
Looking forward to next year’s event, Brandon said they’re considering holding an all-female race, which would increase the event from four races to five races.
A rough cut of a video about the race was shown during the presentation as well.
Go-kart racers speed down Main Street during the first Elkton Mini Grand Prix last month. The event will return for a second year on Oct. 14, 2017.