'The Great Race' rolls through Plainfield for first time ever

Some classic cars were rolling into the southwest suburbs Wednesday night.

It was the first time "The Great Race" had passed through Plainfield.

The event can draw huge crowds and planning for it took months, but the fire chief said they were ready.

"This started planning two months ago. Right now, we have our medics down here. We are going to have a crew here and bike medics down there, so we are gonna take care of all the downtown areas so if we get a call down here, we can respond immediately," said Plainfield Fire Chief Jon Stratton.


The fire chief was expecting three to five-thousand people to fill downtown Plainfield for the event.

People traveled from all over the Midwest to catch a glimpse of the historic race.

The Great Race stretches from Rhode Island to North Dakota, with Plainfield as the only stop in Illinois.

It is not a speed race, but a timed road rally — almost like a treasure hunt for very specific directions.

The cars involved are vintage. The oldest was from 1916.

"This is gonna be a cruise night on steroids. It’s gonna happen in four hours. They will come in parked along Lockport Street … 122 cars will be on display for two to four hours depending on what time they get into town and people are welcome to mill around, talk to the drivers. The drivers love to talk about their cars," said Michael Lambert of the Plainfield Historical Society.

The event didn't last long, but was very good for business.

Why a stop in Plainfield you ask? One reason is this is the only spot in America where Route 66 and the historic Lincoln Highway share a stretch of road for about three blocks on Route 59.