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When Cleetus McFarland announced that he had bought the defunct DeSoto Speedway in Florida in February of 2020, the automotive scene did a collective jaw-drop. Somebody actually made the dream come true and decided that they needed to own their own racetrack. That's not an inexpensive endeavor, even before you consider how much cleanup work and repair was needed before DeSoto Speedway would become the vision that was the Freedom Factory, a place designed for the kind of aggressive driving that draws gearheads like a moth to a flame, complete with a 220 foot by 190 foot concrete burnout pad that required sound engineering and the skill of a heavy equipment operators who were not scared in the least to drive seven-axle concrete-pouring cranes onto a banked oval track. It was fun watching the formerly abandoned speedway come back to life, and it's certainly alive and well today.
Cleetus McFarland and James Taal cheer on the Motion Raceworks "Bald rEgal" as it works the burnout pad.
With a host of friends at the ready and plenty of people more than ready to party with Cleet' and the gang, the first Cleetus & Cars held on home territory with an audience watching was a riot of a success. Capping off the second day of a two-day automotive overload that saw Kevin Smith from KSR Racing taking the win in the all-Ford Crown Victoria Freedom 500 (with Randy Pobst hot on his heels) was a wild time in the burnout pit that saw limousines being drifted, engines being stress-tested and drivers cutting loose while cutting donuts. All in all, it's a fun time and there are plenty more dates on the calendar and across the country for Cleetus and the crew.
Mike Vargas of Angel Motorsports goes ballistic in his Mazda REPU. Rotary powered? You bet...everybody in five counties heard this flame-throwing monster at full song.
Adrian Berryhill stunned all in his Holley-equipped C5 Corvette known as "Possum" by holding the car on the rev limiter and not letting off until he saw 260 degrees on the temperature gauge.
Jim York of Pit Viper Sunglasses and Blake Wilkey of Shreddy Lyfe, hanging out and cracking jokes before the burnout contest driver's meeting.