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Battle of the Imports - Joliet, Illinois, September 14 & 15, 2002

What's the story?
The Battle of the Imports rumbled into Joliet, Illinois on September 14 and 15 and treated fans to the largest sport compact drag racing event in the Midwest. Thousands of fans filled the Route 66 Raceway, a beautiful $24 million dollar facility that has the distinction of being the world's only stadium dedicated to drag racing. The fans witnessed a full weekend of hardcore drag racing, live DJ music, and bikini contests, in addition to the Mother's Polishes Import Auto Tour Car Show.

Who was in the booth?
Our two-man car show team, Warren and Matt, had the Crutchfield tent poised and ready for action just outside the stadium walls. Greg Lew brought his Polk Audio-sponsored Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder to our tent and drew lots of attention from the fans.

Saturday was a beautiful day and the fans were out in force. Lots of folks signed up for the Polk MOMO component speaker system giveaway, and one lucky lady won herself a Kicker Comp 10" subwoofer. As always, we displayed a wide range of custom car and audio/video products, gave out plenty of catalogs and Crutchfield t-shirts, and enjoyed getting to meet lots of fellow car enthusiasts.

Show highlights
The racing action was certainly the highlight of the show. The Venom Performance race team made a typically strong showing as Grant Downing drove his Toyota Tundra to an impressive 6.958 in the quarter mile to win the Pro-Comp class. Bruce Mortenson took the Pro-Import class in his slick Honda Civic, posting an 8.77 in the first round. Other popular racers at the battle included Lisa Kubo, Dean "Hollywood" Herman and the Stormtrooper Team, Kenny Tran, Ed Bergenholtz, and Myles Bautista. To see a complete list of the winners from the weekend, plus car show highlights and more pictures, click here.

The Mothers Polishes Import Auto Tour Car Show was another huge success. Over 200 contestants competed for prizes in 21 categories. Classes included imports, modern compacts, trucks, and SUV's. Bob Mull's 1999 Chevy Cavalier took home the Overall Best of Show prize, as well as Best Performance Vehicle and Best Sport Compact.

Finestwomen.com put on quite a show for the fans in between the races. Supermodel Felicia Tang, co-star of such blockbusters as Rush Hour 2 and The Fast and the Furious, led an entourage of ladies across the stage much to the delight of the thousands of screaming fans. And much to the delight of Warren and Matt, Felicia stopped by the Crutchfield tent to check out the Polk Eclipse Spyder. Looks like you've got a tough job, fellas, but I guess someone's gotta do it.

By the end of the weekend everyone had a smile on their face and a little pep in their step. The Battle definitely lived up to its name — the races were incredible and the competition neck-and-neck. The show cars were a fantastic sight to behold. The tuners never cease to amaze us with their creative and innovative installations. It's no secret why the popularity of events like Battle of the Imports grows by leaps and bounds with each show.

The next time the Battle rolls into your neck of the woods, come on out and see what all the buzz is about. You can check our Event Calendar to see when a show will be in your area — you'll also be able to find out where our tent will be. If you're at one of those shows, be sure to drop by and say hello!

To see our gallery of more photos from the show, click here.

A bird's eye view of the Route 66 Raceway complex in Joliet.


The proud winner of a Kicker Comp 10" subwoofer, courtesy of Crutchfield and Kicker.


Grant Downing's Venom Performance Toyota Tundra set the track on fire with a blistering 6.958 in the 1/4 mile.


Creative custom installations were the order of the day at the Mothers Polish Import Tour Car Show.


Supermodel Felicia Tang (Rush Hour 2 and The Fast and the Furious) came by the Crutchfield tent to check out Greg Lew's souped-up Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

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