The "Great Race" stops in Peoria

By Chad Weber

June 24, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- It was an All American kind of day in Peoria.

Classic cars.

Classic tunes.

And hometown pride.

"If I'm not mistaken Peoria is the only All-American City that you are going to be going to," said Mayor Jim Ardis.

It was part of the 30th year of the Great Race which made its second ever stop in the River-city.

The race which is more of a mental challenge than an actual race, scores participants on their accuracy to hit checkpoints along the way from Minnesota to Alabama.

"If they go through a checkpoint at exactly the right time," said race announcer Brian Goudge, "that would be called a zero or an ace."

And on a day of hometown pride, no one exemplified that never say die American spirit like hometowner Rich McKone, navigating the #36 car.

"I got up Wednesday at 7:00 AM," said McKone, "told my wife I was going to have my appendix taken out on the way up there. She thought I was joking."

"He was with us by Thursday evening," said Goudge, "hospital bands still on but he didn't want to miss his 20th year."

Mckone joined hundreds of others who flocked to the Riverfront to get a fleeting look at a slice of American history.

"I really appreciate it from my grandpa," said 5 year old Silas Harshbarger. "The way their style is."

Style that continues to stay in fashion throughout the years and from generation to generation.