"Start your engines' The 56th annual Montana 500 race begins - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

"Start your engines' The 56th annual Montana 500 race begins

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MISSOULA- Inspection day for the 56th Annual Montana 500 took place this afternoon outside of My Place Hotel in Missoula.

The Montana 500 is an endurance run for Ford Model T cars in Montana.

The racers met in Missoula today to have their cars checked and to go over the rules and regulations for the race.

Participants in this race come from all over the country, including California, Washington, and Iowa.

Many of the racers are friends and were invited by one another to participate, so there was a lot of excitement.

The participants will be driving their cars 500 miles in the next three days.

The Montana 500 takes place the same weekend each year, which always falls on Father’s Day weekend.

As many of the participants mentioned today, this race is supposed to be fun and it is a great hobby that brings friends and family together.

Bill Mullins, President of the Montana 500, said that some of the best memories with his oldest son is sharing this race with him.

Mullins said, “My oldest son, he has come over with me and has driven with me in the Montana 500 a couple of years ago and we had a great time. I really treasure it. It was a real special time for me to have my son.” 

Most of the racers brought their families today to check out all of the cars racing.

This year there are only four people from Montana racing.

The rest are from out-of-state.

Sergio Hernandez from Los Angeles, California has been participating in this race since 2010 and said that the main purpose for inspection day is to look out for the drivers safety since they will be traveling 500 miles in antique Model T cars.

Hernandez had some scary experiences in past races and said “I was on a highway and then there comes a big truck one with 18 wheels and I felt like I hit a wall and then I started getting pulled. I was pulled to the other lane, but luckily nobody was coming and he just scared me to death and I was like oh my goodness come on don’t leave me alone.”

Even though these are antique cars, these cars can go up to about 75 mph on the highway.

One of the racers described it as a “pedal to the medal race” because it tests the speed of the car and the driving ability of the participant.

This endurance race begins tomorrow at 9 am right at this hotel.

They will be racing to St. Regis and then will re-trace their way back to Missoula, which is where the race will end.

Racers are planning on driving about 250 miles tomorrow so they are trying to get as much rest as possible tonight. 

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