Rocky Ragusa's Speed Week
An avenue to competing in motorsports is through kart racing. There were 120 students from Prairie Central Elementary who participated in the first Muscle Kart Racing event Tuesday on the schools grounds.
There were also 19 volunteers from the Fairbury American Legion Speedway racing family — ranging from race drivers, crew members, track staff and sponsors — who helped with the construction of the kart bodies. The wooden karts were pre-assembled by students from Illinois State University.
Under the guidance of race director and teacher Lisa Lange, the third graders raced in bracket competition. In the finals, it was Mike Petersen, a hobby-modified driver, and his team taking the trophy over Mario Vietti, crew chief for late model driver Derek Chandler, and his young group.
Vietti, whose family has been a long part of the area racing scene, saw the event has a way of giving back.
“It is about the kids. Hopefully, we can bring some new fans into the sport,” said Vietti. “The enthusiasm the kids show makes it all worthwhile. Win or lose, it has been all about having fun.”
Celebrating after the win, Petersen shared his thoughts on the day’s festivities.
“I was glad to have the opportunity to build the karts with the kids. It was all about friendly competition and we were fortunate to come out on top. I am already looking forward to next year so I can defend my title.”
Farmer City Raceway
Last Thursday-Friday, the annual Farmer City 74 was held. On Thursday, in street stock action, Pontiac’s Tanner Sullivan claimed his first career win, while A.J. May took the $1,000 top prize pro late model feature.
In Friday’s program before a near capacity crowd, Shannon Babb passed Billy Moyer on the final lap to take the $10,000-to-win feature event. Defending modified national champion Mike Harrison was the winner of the $2,000 special.
This week will be a full show, plus the B-modified class. Racing will start at 7:30 p.m. The track is located at the Farmer City/Dewitt County Fairgrounds, west of U.S. 150.
Grundy County Speedway
One of two Illinois paved tracks, Grundy County Speedway will feature a program of late models, Mid-Am Sportsman, street stocks and pure stocks. The speedway is located on Rt. 47, one mile north of I-80 at exit 112. Racing starts at 8 p.m.
Kankakee County Speedway
A.J. May took his second feature win of the week in the pro late model race. Jamie Lomax (modified) and Jerrad Krick (street stock) also claimed wins.
This week the sports compact will have a $300-to-win show, along with action in five other divisions. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m. The track is located on Airport Rd. at the Kankakee Fairgrounds.
Racing returns this week headlined by the Big 10 Super Late Model series. Modified, street stocks, midgets and hornets round out the card. Racing starts at 7 p.m. The track is located at the Logan Co. Fairgrounds in Lincoln.
Former UMP national champion Ryan Unzicker has plans to be in attendance for the super late model race.
In addition, Hendren Motorsports of Gridley, will have a race party this Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. Hendren Motorsports fields an ARCA car that is driven by Ryan Unzicker. The funds will be used to help the team at Springfield and DuQuoin. A meal will be provided and auction will start at 6 p.m. There will be a $10 donation at the door.
Fairbury American Legion Speedway
Last week's racing was cancelled due to wet grounds and rain in the forecast. The FALS Frenzy special has been rescheduled for Aug. 11.
Five divisions of racing are planned for this week along with the Vintage Racing of Illinois series. Hot laps arfe at 6 p.m., time trials at 6:30, and racing will follow.
California’s Logan Seavey captured the POWRi National midget race last Saturday night. Jake Little (pro late model) and Darrell Dick (street stock) added their name to the winners circle.
This week, the Midwest Street Stock Series highlight the racing card, along with a full show. Hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7.
Bob Gardner was the late model winner last week. A full show is planned in six classes this week. The track is located on Farmington Rd. in Peoria. Race time is 6 p.m.
Bohmer's Rt. 66 Speedway
Under the direction of Robby Bohm, the Pontiac Rt. 66 Speedway, with the new name — “Bohmer’s Rt. 66 Raceway” — will once again offer Kart racing. An open practice session is scheduled for this Sunday from noon- 4 p.m. The first race will be the following Sunday.