Kettering University graduate creates Detroit’s first legal drag racing event

Brian Olatunji ‘05 has always had a passion for racing and on Saturday, Sept. 23, he will take that to a new level.

Olatunji, a mechanical engineer, entrepreneur and professional NHRA race car driver, created and organized the inaugural Motor City Showdown at the Coleman A. Young International Airport (Detroit City Airport) located on Detroit’s east side. Motor City Showdown event coming to Detroit Sept. 23

The Motor City Showdown is the first organized drag racing event in the city of Detroit. The event will feature 32 of the fastest and most technologically advanced American muscle in the world with hot rods in excess of 2,000 horsepower and the fearless drivers who wheel them.

Olatunji and the Leadfoot Events team are happy to bring an event like this to Detroit.

“I grew up in Detroit and the automotive landscape shaped the direction I took in life as both an engineer and race car driver,” Olatunji said. “Racing has been in my blood since birth and I want to share that passion with the city of Detroit and the world.”

Racing has been in Olatunji’s family for decades as his family was involved with both Detroit and Motor City. Olatunji’s grandfather, John Broaden, managed what were once the famous Detroit and Motor City Dragways. In 1971 Broaden became the first African-American to oversee a major National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) venue.

Olatunji began attending Kettering in 2000. He enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program in search of a marquee education that would complement his passion for drag racing.

For more information on the event, visit