SuperNats roars back into town despite rainy first day

Thousands of people are expected to attend the Hot Rod Super Nationals car show in Canfield this weekend, meaning traffic along Route 224 could get hairy

Hot Rod Super Nationals returns to Canfield Fairgrounds.

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Many in the Valley are ready for this year’s Hot Rod Super Nationals car show at the Canfield Fairgrounds this weekend.

The show runs Friday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., followed by an after party each night until midnight at the Southern Park Mall.

There will be designated parking. Spectators can enter through Gates 9 or 2. Vendors, hot rods, and bikes can enter through the main gate.

Car Show for Every Generation

You might think car shows will eventually go away because they’re just for a bunch of middle-aged men trying to relive their youth. But Jay Heestand, of Alliance, is sure to keep them alive for future generations.

Rain spoiled the return of the SuperNats on Friday, with only a few cars willing to sit outside as storms approached. Jay was one of them, pulling out his 1970 Chevelle in hugger orange.

He got approximately $70,000 in this show car and 14-year-old Cody Thompson was watching and listening.

“It’s a great car. It sounds great. It probably has a thousand horsepower engine. It’s made for drag racing and show. It’s a great car,” Cody said.

He’s excited to see the AMC AMX along with every Mustang, Corvette, and Charger on display.

“I mean, just the sound of the engine, the sound of the car, how fast it goes and stuff like that,” Cody said. “How fast it can go in a quarter-mile and stuff.”

Other kids his age might be more interested to see the Batmobile or the DeLorean from the Back to the Future movies.

But Cody likes both the classics and newer cars. If it makes a lot of noise, he loves it.

He even said he was going to ride a monster truck.

“The things that monster trucks do, it’s great because you don’t see many trucks that weigh over two tons go into the air.”

Cody’s love for cars started by going to tractor pulls and working on cars with his dad and grandpa. Even though he’s not legally old enough to drive, he’s been behind the wheel and bitten by the car bug.

“Just the speed. If you’re going straight and you’re hitting the gas, it’s great,” Cody said. “You’re going over 100 miles per hour, it’s great.”

Be Aware of SuperNats Traffic Jams

The show attracts thousands of people.

“We expect 10,000 to 20,000 people should be out there this weekend,” said Principal Promoter Lee Hartman.

That means there will be some headaches on the road.

Show organizers want to avoid the bumper to bumper traffic that they had last year so they are bringing local law enforcement on board to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Jerad Sutton, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said Route 224 is one of the highest crash routes.

“We encourage people to drive safely and calmly whenever you’re backed up in traffic and not to drive distracted.”

The traffic jams on 224 happen as a line of SuperNats cars travel to the mall for the after party around 5:30 each night.

“We are going to be running the light up at 224 and Fairgrounds, Canfield police will be running the light, so we can get traffic flowing and get it moving so it’s not backed up on Fairgrounds,” Sutton said.

There won’t be any lane restrictions — just more officers out directing cars.

“What we are trying to do is keep traffic moving at a normal pace with this additional flow from the Fairgrounds without disrupting anyone else’s travel,” Sutton said.

Still, it might be best to avoid 224 and take Shields or Western Reserve roads instead.


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