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Illinois

ILLINOIS

The Illini state

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From the travels and adventures of the “World’s #1 Trackchaser”

 

 

Highlights

 

All-Time Favorite Illinois Track:

 

 

Peoria Speedway (current and former location) – Peoria

 

 

 

Current lifetime trackchasing state rank:  1

 

 

 

Best Memories:

 

 

Wow! I grew up in Illinois. I’ve seen a lot of good stock car racing there. As this is written I’ve seen racing at nearly 2,600 different racetracks in 85 countries. Nevertheless, my all-time favorite track is the Peoria Speedway. The Peoria Speedway at the Mt. Hawley location was the first racetrack I ever visited. That would have been in about 1955 (age 6). Then in 1965, the track relocated to its current location on Farmington Road. Can you imagine seeing racing at that many locations and the FIRST track I ever saw is still my favorite today!

 

 

The first track I ever saw outside of my hometown was Speedbowl Park in Sterling. They raced on Sunday nights when I went there in the late 60s. Lots of tracks across the country raced stock cars back then. I’ll bet more than five of the drivers who competed at Sterling raced in NASCAR Cup events, however briefly, at one time or another. How many little tracks could lay claim to that fact? Sterling was the first place I saw my all-time favorite driver, Darrell Dake, race. Another track I discovered during my high school years was the famous Rockford Speedway. The Rockford Nationals was one of my all-time favorite “specials”. The best ever was seeing Ramo Stott and Dick Trickle go fender to fender for 200 laps.

 

 

The Freeport Raceway held their events on Sunday nights. I didn’t love the track so much but the competition Freeport drew on Sunday nights in the late 60s/early 70s was top shelf. From 1980-83 the famous but now-shuttered Santa Fe Speedway was our “hometown” track. They put on some great local programs as well as top sprint and stock car specials. Sorry to see that track go.

 

 

I’ve seen racing at more than 100 tracks in Illinois. Illinois has never been a big source of county fair or novelty racing for me. That means I’ve seen really good local “bullring” racing mainly on small dirt ovals. Tracks like Fairbury, Raceway Park, East Moline, Lasalle, Kankakee, Springfield, Macon, Quincy, Granite City, Belle-Clair, Jacksonville, Sycamore and DuQuoin have all been visited dozens of times. Those race visits featured some of my all-time favorite drivers including Don Bohlander (above), Ronnie Weedon, Ed Bolen, Lloyd Caldwell, Rocky Nohl, Herb Shannon and more.

 

 

 

I’ve seen about twenty figure 8 races in my home state. I’ve been to less than a handful of real road course racetracks. Illinois has been a state for short track oval racing, almost all of it on dirt. Maybe that’s why the Peoria Speedway has remained my all-time favorite track after all these years and dirt short track late model racing is still my favorite.

 

 

I’m also proud to have been inducted into the Peoria Oldtimers Racing Club Hall of Fame in 2011. I was able to join so many of my Peoria Speedway boyhood heroes in this club. The Peoria Oldtimers Racing Club was founded in 1981 by Scott Shults You can check out PORC by clicking on this link.

 

 

 

TRACK CITY STATE COUNTRY DATE TRACK TYPE
1 Peoria Speedway – Mt. Hawley Peoria Illinois United States Pre-1980 (circa 1955) DO
2 Peoria Speedway – Farmington Road Peoria Illinois United States Pre-1980 (1965) DO
3 Speedbowl Park Sterling Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
4 Rockford Speedway  Rockford Illinois United States Pre-1980 PO
5 Rockford Speedway  Rockford Illinois United States Pre-1980 PRC
6 Freeport Raceway  Freeport Illinois United States Pre-1980 OUTER-DO
7 Sycamore Speedway  Sycamore Illinois United States Pre-1980 OUTER-DO
8 Fairbury Legion Speedway Fairbury Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
9 Grundy County Speedway Morris Illinois United States Pre-1980 PO
10 Santa Fe Speedway  Hinsdale Illinois United States Pre-1980 OUTER-DO
11 Santa Fe Speedway  Hinsdale Illinois United States Pre-1980 INNER-DO
12 Illinois State Fairgrounds Springfield Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
13 Champaign Motor Speedway Champaign Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
14 Farmer City Raceway Farmer City Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
15 Knox County Fairgrounds  Knoxville Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
16 Raceway Park Blue Island Illinois United States June 16, 1981 PO
17 Kankakee Fairgrounds Speedway Kankakee Illinois United States July 17, 1981 DO
18 Springfield Speedway Springfield Illinois United States August 14, 1981 DO
19 East Moline Speedway East Moline Illinois United States August 23, 1981 DO
20 Charleston Speedway Charleston Illinois United States July 31, 1982 DO
21 Joliet Memorial Stadium Joliet Illinois United States June 4, 1983 PO
22 Casey Park Casey Illinois United States June 18, 1983 DO
23 Spoon River Speedway Canton Illinois United States May 19, 1984 DO
24 Vermilion County Speedway Danville Illinois United States June 7, 1987 DO
25 Bureau County Raceway Princeton Illinois United States August 21, 1992 DO
26 LaSalle Speedway LaSalle Illinois United States August 22, 1992 DO
27 Macon Speedway Macon Illinois United States August 19, 1994 DO
28 Quincy Raceway Quincy Illinois United States August 20, 1994 DO
29 Fayette County Raceway Brownstown Illinois United States September 2, 1994 DO
30 Tri-City Speedway  Granite City Illinois United States May 11, 1996 OUTER-DO
31 Macomb Speedway Macomb Illinois United States August 9, 1997 DO
32 Mercer County Raceway Aledo Illinois United States August 10, 1997 DO
33 Red Hill Raceway Sumner Illinois United States October 5, 1997 DO
34 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville Illinois United States August 6, 1998 DO
35 Gateway International Raceway  Madison Illinois United States May 29, 1999 DO
36 Mount Vernon Speedway Mount Vernon Illinois United States May 29, 1999 DO
37 Chicago Motor Speedway Cicero Illinois United States September 12, 1999 PO
38 Winnebago County Raceway Pecatonica Illinois United States August 8, 2001 DO
39 Boone County Fairgrounds  Belvidere Illinois United States August 12, 2001 DF8
40 Rockford Speedway  Rockford Illinois United States Retroactive – 2001 PF8
41 Sixty-Seven Raceway Park Godfrey Illinois United States June 13, 2002 DO
42 Sycamore Speedway  Sycamore Illinois United States July 12, 2002 DF8
43 Sycamore Speedway  Sycamore Illinois United States July 12, 2002 INNER-DO
44 Chicagoland Speedway Joliet Illinois United States July 14, 2002 PO
45 Route 66 Speedway  Joliet Illinois United States September 6, 2002 OUTER-DO
46 Freeport Raceway  Freeport Illinois United States September 27, 2003 INNER-DO
47 Coles County Speedway Loxa Illinois United States May 22, 2004 DO
48 Lincoln Motorsports Park  Casey Illinois United States May 22, 2004 DRC
49 Highland Speedway Highland Illinois United States June 8, 2004 DO
50 Belle-Clair Speedway Belleville Illinois United States June 13, 2004 DO
51 Charleston Speedway  Charleston Illinois United States June 13, 2004 DRC
52 Wayne County Speedway Wayne City Illinois United States July 16, 2004 DO
53 Soggy Bottom Raceway Greenup Illinois United States July 17, 2004 DRC
54 Warren County Fairgrounds  Roseville Illinois United States July 30, 2004 DF8
55 Warren County Fairgrounds  Roseville Illinois United States July 30, 2004 DO
56 Gateway International Raceway  Madison Illinois United States July 31, 2004 PRC
57 Clay County Fairgrounds  Flora Illinois United States September 26, 2004 DO
58 Clay County Fairgrounds  Flora Illinois United States September 26, 2004 DF8
59 Lincoln Speedway Lincoln Illinois United States September 26, 2004 DO
60 Southern Illinois Center DuQuoin Illinois United States January 16, 2005 DO
61 Autobahn Country Club – North Elwood Illinois United States June 4, 2005 PRC
62 Durand Downtown Circuit Durand Illinois United States July 3, 2005 STREET-RC
63 Monroe County Fairgrounds  Waterloo Illinois United States July 27, 2005 DF8
64 Will County Fairgrounds  Peotone Illinois United States August 24, 2005 DF8
65 Jules Raceway Wilmington Illinois United States August 28, 2005 DO
66 Edinburg Veterans Memorial Park  Edinburg Illinois United States September 4, 2005 DF8
67 Blackhawk Farms Raceway Rockton Illinois United States May 21, 2006 PRC
68 Tri-City Speedway  Granite City Illinois United States June 25, 2006 INNER-DO
69 Pike County Speedway Pittsfield Illinois United States July 13, 2007 DO
70 Soil MX Bone Gap Illinois United States July 21, 2007 DRC
71 Warren County Prime Beef Festival  Monmouth Illinois United States September 5, 2007 DO
72 Warren County Prime Beef Festival  Monmouth Illinois United States September 6, 2007 DF8
73 Shepp’s Speedway Alexander Illinois United States June 28, 2009 DO
74 Knox County Fairgrounds  Knoxville Illinois United States August 6, 2010 DF8
75 Route 66 Speedway  Joliet Illinois United States August 25, 2010 DRC
76 DuQuoin State Fairgrounds DuQuoin Illinois United States September 6, 2010 DO
77 Avcom Park Speedway Avon Illinois United States October 9, 2010 DO
78 Henderson County Fairgrounds Stronghurst Illinois United States July 21, 2011 DF8
79 Route 66 Speedway  Joliet Illinois United States July 23, 2011 DF8
80 Route 66 Speedway  Joliet Illinois United States July 23, 2011 INNER-DO
81 River Bottom Raceway Deer Creek Illinois United States October 2, 2011 DO
82 Autobahn Country Club – South Joliet Illinois United States April 21, 2012 DO
83 Quad City Speedway East Moline Illinois United States July 14, 2013 DF8
84 Henderson County Fairgrounds Stronghurst Illinois United States July 20, 2013 DO
85 Iroquois County Fairgrounds Watseka Illinois United States July 21, 2013 DF8
86 Champaign County Fairgrounds Urbana Illinois United States July 26, 2013 DF8
87 Abingdon Fairgrounds Abingdon Illinois United States August 23, 2013 DF8
88 Ealyville Speedway Mechanicsburg Illinois United States July 12, 2014 DO
89 Clinton County Fair Carlyle Illinois United States July 16, 2014 DO
90 Southern Illinois Raceway Marion Illinois United States August 1, 2014 DO
91 Sangcris Speedway Edinburgh Illinois United States August 3, 2014 DO
92 K-3 Speedway Kankakee Illinois United States October 18, 2014 DO
93 Gateway Motorsports Park – Dirt RC Madison Illinois United States May 17, 2015 DRC
94 HBR Raceway Buncombe Illinois United States July 18, 2015 DO
95 Christian County Fairgrounds Taylorville Illinois United States July 22, 2015 DO
96 Champaign County Fairgrounds Urbana Illinois United States July 24, 2015 DO
97 Lake County Fairgrounds Grayslake Illinois United States July 31, 2015 DF8
98 Lake County Fairgrounds Grayslake Illinois United States August 2, 2015 DO
99 Multi-Purpose Arena @ Illinois State Fairgrounds Springfield Illinois United States August 21, 2015 DF8
100 Multi-Purpose Arena @ Illinois State Fairgrounds Springfield Illinois United States August 21, 2015 DO
101 Bedrock Raceway Belleville Illinois United States June 10, 2016 DO
102 Rockford Speedway  Rockford Illinois United States June 30, 2016 DO
103 Raceway Bar & Sports Complex New Berlin Illinois United States August 14, 2016 DO
104 Henry County Fairgrounds Cambridge Illinois United States June 25, 2017 DF8
105 Jo Daviees County Fairgrounds Warren Illinois United States August 6, 2017 DO
106 Coliseum Covered Arena Springfield Illinois United States March 22, 2019 DO
107 Tri-County Speedway Mendota Illinois United States September 1, 2019 DO

 

 

If you see a track link in the above list simply click on it to be transferred to my Trackchaser Report. Here you will be able to read about my adventure at this particular track. Not only will you learn about my time at the track but you’ll hear about all of the interesting people, places and things I encountered during the entire trip, coming and going, to that speedway. Most of my Trackchaser Reports will also include a photo album and YouTube video. Check it all out. Don’t be afraid to use the “search” box in the upper right corner of my website’s home page. Just type in the track name or whatever and you’ll be directed to the place you want to be.

 

 

 

 

Below is a key to surface types and track configurations so you can understand the above list just a little bit easier.

 

 

Surface types:  D-dirt; P-paved; M-mixed

 

Configuration types:  O-oval; RC-road course; F8-figure 8 track

 

 


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