Racers, local celebrities kick off Detroit Grand Prix week with fowling event

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DETROIT (WXYZ) — Right now, it’s Jefferson Avenue but this weekend, it’ll be the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. For the first time in 32 years, city streets are being turned into a race track where IndyCars will whiz by Detroiters at roughly 200 mph.

“I want to see how they navigate through here,” Detroit resident Isiah Dudley said. “It’s going to be interesting.”

On Tuesday at a kickoff event, drivers themselves said the same.

“It’s also interesting for us, like ducking in and out of buildings? It’s very unique,” IndyCar driver Marcus Armstrong said. “There’s not many circuits where you simply look up and there’s a skyscraper.”

Armstrong is racing in his first Detroit Grand Prix and says the track will be a challenge. He was able to get an up-close look of the track now that he’s in Detroit.

“It looks like it’s going to be quite a challenging circuit in many ways. It’s very bumpy, very abrasive and as well, it’s going to be very hot,” Armstrong said.

The IndyCar newcomer already has done simulator work and watched footage to figure out how to navigate the Detroit streets.

“Honestly, it’s my favorite type of racing because there’s no room for error,” Armstrong said. “You’re basically kissing the walls as you come past them.”

Armstrong joined Detroit celebrities like Red Wings legends Darren McCarty and Larry Murphy playing fowling, a game invented by Detroiters while tailgating at the Indy 500 more than 20 years ago. The founder of the Fowling Warehouse, Chris Hutt, is excited to have his game featured at his hometown race.

“This is going to be awesome. I can’t wait to hear the cars in the buildings again,” Hutt said. “I remember when I was a kid hearing them. It’s so cool.”

With race week now here and thousands of fans expected downtown for the weekend, race officials hope it brings a boom of business to the city, while also advertising its beauty to the rest of the world.

“Behind us is the Renaissance Center, which will be in ever single shot. The riverfront, the waterfront, the helicopters chasing the cars down Jefferson Avenue, imagine those sights to people around the world who’ve never been to Detroit,” Detroit Grand Prix Chairman Bud Denker said. “That’s the benefit we’re going to see that Detroit is going to enjoy.”

There are multiple events throughout the weekend from races to concerts leading up to the main race on Sunday. For more information, visit detroitgp.com/.

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