My Thoughts



Racing happens to be the biggest family sport there is. 


I wrote a little last week on why race tracks closed. And today, I want to write a little bit about why race tracks stay open. Each racing experience is different for every individual.  Those experiences create memories and that is why we go to the races. For many folks it is a family event. Although some people outside of the sport may think weíre a bunch of rednecks down at the race tracks, racing happens to be the biggest family sport there is. 

I went to the Coles County Speedway ďthe little racetrackĒ between Mattoon and Charleston last week.  And got brought right back me to how much family was there. My grandson, Eric from Minnesota, went with me, and about half way through the night he said ďthis is all families doing this.Ē And it is!  If you talk to people in the grandstands most of them will say thatís my son, thatís my grandson, and thatís my nephew and thatís my brother, and thatís my uncle. Thatís racing.  And it doesnít make any difference what track you go to. Itís always that way. So I think families are the number 1 reason that race tracks are thriving.  Let me know what you think!

          I was lucky enough to go to my favorite race at Macon Speedway: the Herald and Review 100.  Itís the biggest, most prestigious race in the state of Illinois with.  There are Late Models from all over the country.  If you lift you lose!  100 laps of dirt track racing!  I drove 6 times from South Carolina to see this race, and got rained out twice. I drove 6 times from Texas to see this race, and it got rained out 3 times.

          Shannon Babb won this race handily. I think at one time he was 11th.  And he was patient, he ran the middle groove, he didnít run the tires off his car, and at lap 64 he took the lead. He knows the track better than anyone.  His home town is Assumption, IL which is 8 miles away.


 Iíve seen Shannon do a lot of great things at this track.  He won the Herald and Review 100 in a car she had never driven before. As he came out to get lined up Shannonís car dropped a valve and he pulled it into the infield. Virgil Bilbry was the last qualifier in the race.  He had the slowest car. He pulled into the infield, jumped out and put Shannon in the car.  Shannon started on the tail; it took him 79 laps to lead.  Gino Marchetti, from Taylorville, IL, told me that heíd been going to Macon since 1952 every week, and it was the greatest run he ever saw.

          When Shannon ran over the scales, he was 5 lbs light.  Virgil weighed 235 and Shannon weighed 165 and they didnít make any compensation for the weight because Virgil put Shannon in the carÖ.so Shannon didnít get credit for the win.  I missed that race

          The next Saturday night, Shannon quick timed a car and shouldíve started on the pole. As they lined up he sped around and went to the tail of the field. It took 3 or 4 laps for the officials to understand thatís where he wanted to start. And at 25 laps he passed everybody and won the race.  He pulled up in front of the grandstands and got in front of the car. Thatís when Larry Limback interviewed him.  He said ďeverybody knows who won that race Tuesday night. I just wanted to show that I could do it again.Ē 

          Rodney Stanford in #28 from the racing Stanford family in Sullivan was there. I hadnít seen Rodney for a lot of years. His dad was Pickle Stanford: thrillin people at Macon Speedway in the 1950s.  Howard Noland was also there.  Howard and I chased races together from Florida to Iowa and all the places in between.   Howardís probably seen more races than anybody I know. And heís a great set up man.  Hope you catch some more races with Howard before he heads to Florida for the winter. 

          Bryan Vickers won the NASCAR race after Kurt Busch dominated it.  I still think Kurt Busch is gonna win a race.  And I still think heís gonna make the chase. 

          Iíve griped about getting to the races here in Illinois, but you can get to a race every day of the week. Monday: the UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour is running at the newly reopened Peoria Speedway.  Tuesday night, 7 miles from my home, thereís a 2000 to win wingless mini sprint race at Coles County Speedway, which has been racing since 1952.  They had a race at Macon on Thursday night.  They had 5 tracks that were running within a 100 miles on Friday night. There are 3 tracks within 90 miles of my house on Saturday night. They ran at Vermillion County on Sunday night. This Thursday night, my brother Dan wants to go to Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana where the USAC Sprints race at that track.  So lots of racing up here you can pick on every night.  If you see me say ďHi!Ē   







If you weren't there you missed out.




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Revised: July 18, 2013