Big Rig Challenge Begins at Onaway Speedway

ONAWAY – The second edition of the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge starts this weekend at Onaway Speedway, with uphill, side-by-side racing of semi-trucks. That’s right. Semi-trucks.

“We are out here and going to do one of the most wildest things, taking a loaded semi-truck revving the RPM’s way above a factory rev limiter and we’re going to haul weight and dump the clutch and we’re going to see wheelies and smoke and just beat on these trucks and see who can do it best,” said Wade Lalone, the manager of Diesel Freak.

Travis VanKessel will be one of the many drivers participating in the event.

“This weekend is one of the funnest weekends of the year,” VanKessel said. “Over 200 trucks show up, a lot of fun, family-oriented and you never know you might win.”

This weekend’s festivities at Onaway Speedway are one of a kind in the United States, which brings drivers, racers and spectators from all over North America to this northern Michigan town.

“It’s a 24 hour drive, a long drive, but we came last year, we had a blast,” said Rick Hernandez, a competitor from San Antonio, Texas. “Everybody gets along with everybody, everybody helps everybody out”

“Just get here. You gotta be here. You gotta come witness it. You can’t explain it,” Lalone said.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $25. Children ages 11 and under get in for free.

Here’s a schedule for this weekend:

Saturday, May 18

9 a.m. – Driver’s meeting

10 a.m. – Driver Intro

11 a.m. – National Anthem w/fireworks

11:15 a.m. – Racing Begins

11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Carnival

2 p.m. – Burnout Contest begins

2:30 p.m. – Racing Resumes

7 p.m. – Complete Racing for the day

8 p.m.-12 a.m. – Jedi Mind Trip

9:30 p.m. – Flames out pipes

10 p.m. – Fireworks


Sunday, May 19

11 a.m. – National Anthem

11:15 a.m. – Racing begins

Burnout Contest periodically throughout the day

11 a.m. – Carnival begins

Approx. 6 p.m. – Award Ceremony at the conclusion of racing