Duluth Drag Races Tear Up Garfield Avenue

12th Annual Drag Races and Car Show draws over 200 drivers to Garfield.

DULUTH, Minn.- Garfield Avenue is the loudest road in town when the 12th Annual Duluth Drag Races rolls into town.

The roar of engines, the scream of tires on asphalt, and the smoke rise off of Garfield Avenue.

“It’s loud, there’s a lot of smoke from the tires,” said Ryan Kern, President of Kern and Kompany, who put on the event.

A record 200 drivers registered for this year’s drag races, anxious to tear down the closed street like it’s a race track.

“Anytime you can take an illegal event, or an illegal activity, and then make it legal over two days, it’s gonna draw some enthusiasm, people want to see what it’s all about,” Kern said.

So many people that for the first time, organizers had to open a secondary spectator area to accommodate all the fans.

“It’s nice to see the fans out, it’s great to see the kid interactions,” said Troy Bednarz, who’s been drag racing for 20 years. “It’s nice to experience racing in the street, that’s a big part of it and just giving back to the fans and giving them something to cheer for.”

Heads swivel left and right, watching the cars whip past, an entertaining sight for all ages.

“He’s a motorhead, anything with a motor,” Robbie Holt said.

Holt is attending the races for the first time with his son, Kolten. “Let the kid hang out and see what’s going on. Get him started young.”

“We just plug his ears when the big ones get up there.”

Many of the drivers here got started young, too. And they took it with them the rest of their lives.

“Over 20 years for me,” said Scott Miller, who’s on his third year at the Duluth Drag Races. “Like I say I was into it, got my dad into it and I got out of it for a little bit and now I’m back into this.”

Many like Miller just couldn’t do without the feeling they get behind the wheel.

“Gives you a piece of mind when you make a good pass and very satisfying at the end, ’cause you know you built most of this yourself and enjoy it,” Bednarz said.

The drivers of these suped up hot rods came from afar to put their hard work to the test.

“We’ve got four drivers that came down from Winnipeg this year, we’ve got people from Thunderbay Ontario, we’ve got drivers that drove up from Iowa, we have a guy that drove up yesterday from Indiana,” said Kern.

“So the reach of the event continues to grow and to grow.”

Filling Garfield Avenue with more cars, smoke, and sound each year.

Just make sure you don’t forget your earplugs, you’re gonna need them.

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