For all the rain that we got in the afternoon, it turned out to be a beautiful night. The track was extremely wet, however Team Demo and track personnel worked very hard to get it ready. The start had to be delayed a half an hour to ensure the track was ready. The National Anthem consisted of a guitar rendition that was fabulous. Kudos to Team Demo! There was a shocker in the first round when two time season winner Mean Green Machine was eliminated. Throughout the evening Reel Steel looked like the team to beat and in the end it was Real Steel pulling out the victory. I normally shoot from the back stretch looking towards the main grandstand, however it was extremely muddy. I thought I could do it until this happened!
While this may not be the greatest or even a good shot, the backstory was pretty funny. I saw the car coming, but when I went to get out of the way, I found my feet had sunken into the mud, like quicksand, and were stuck. I was struggling to get my feet out of the mud and the only thing I could think of was, "This is going to hurt!". Thankfully, the wall did its job. At that point, retreat was the better part of valor and I moved my position. The rest of the night I shot from a safe position on the frontstretch by turn one.
In the Figure Eight Car race it was Rob Hess taking home he checkered flag and in the trucks it was, again, the #13 of Donnie Lutz continuing his dominance.
There was also an amateur demo race, but to tell the truth, it wasn't all that impressive. You can really tell the difference between the pros and the amateurs.
Here are a few from the night.
The day started as a beautiful warm, but foggy morning. When we arrived at Route 66, we learned there was a major storm brewing. The track went into a hurry-up mode by going directly into time trials, foregoing practice. In the Sportsman Division, Bobby Churchill was eliminated in the first round of eliminations causing the Championship to go to Jesse Lasik. Jesse was not at the races today because of a prior commitment and was awarded the Championship in absentia. In the Modified Division, TJ Trench had a slim nine point lead over Bobby Bode. In the third round, they were matched head to head. TJ redlighted allowing Bobby to take a one point lead and the Championship. It was disappointing to TJ and his family, however they had a great season. Bobby, early in the season, was way behind in the points, but came on in the end to win the Championship. In Saturday's races, Kamryn Schubbe won in Sportsman by beating Braden Bowden. Bobby Bode won in Modified by beating Jake Lucky. Twenty minutes after the conclusion of the event it began to rain which turned into a deluge. Which leads to the second event of the day, Team Demolition Derby.
We want to congratulate all this year's winners and champions.
Here are some photos from the Junior Dragster action.
Well, I guess my prayer was answered. As ominous as the weather report was, it turned out to be a beautiful, warm night at Rt. 66. All day, we were in contact with staff whether the event was going to be held and the possibility of a low car count. At the last minute, Janet decided I should go and she would hang back at the house. When I arrived it was indeed a low car count, but did grow gradually. I'm guessing there was 50-60 cars. One of the families told me that, in some communities, Friday, was the start of High School football. The night was highlighted by Rocky Ausec's nostalgic funny car, Solid Rock. I left before the event ended but here are a few images from the racing. Please click here to see all the images.
This morning we are off to the Junior Dragsters followed by Team Demolition Derby. Please check back to see the images we capture from those two events.
The weekend schedule for Route 66 includes a Friday night Test & Tune followed by Saturday's Junior Dragster #5 and Team Demo Saturday night. Weather wise, the only good news is on Friday. The percentage for rain has dropped to 60% from 80%. The bad news is the forecast states it is supposed to start raining at 4:00 p.m. and go through 11:00 p.m. The exact times of the event! Saturday calls for 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms. Lets hope we can get these events in. For Saturday, the schedule is very tight because the two events share the same parking lot. The Juniors need to clear the lot prior to re-opening the lots for the Demo crowd.
Now that the ET Bracket Season is over, I've been told by several drivers they can unleash all their horsepower and really see what their cars can run. These next few T & T's could be fun.
The Junior Modifieds have a very close championship battle between TJ Trench and Bobby Bode. TJ leads by a mere nine points. In the Sportsman Class, Jesse Lasik leads Bobby Churchill by thirty points. It should be a competitive and fun race.
In Team Demolition Derby, after two rounds, the Mean Green Machine has been unstoppable with two wins. Who can break their streak! Will it be Orange Crush, Damage Inc., Stranglehold, Junkyard Dogs? The only way to know is to be there. In the Figure 8 Car, Doug McCarty holds a slim one point lead over John Klimek. In the Figure 8 Trucks, its #13 Donnie Lutz running away with the championship.
Saturday night was a short sleep night after the Classic ended and the final ET Bracket race of the season began at 09:30 (the '0' stands for "Oh my gosh its early!"). Weather wise it was a beautiful day and everything was going smoothly. Late in the afternoon a Motorcycle exploded its engine at about the 1000 foot mark. Besides the shrapnel there was a considerable amount of oil laid down. After the cleanup it was back to racing, when suddenly the Fire Department was summoned to extinguish a fire. Apparently someone dumped some hot coals from a grill and started a fire. Upon the Fire Department's return, it was back to the action. The rest of the competition was completed without a hitch. Congratulations to our winners:
High School - Ben Grant
Sportsman - Bill Northup
Motorcycle - Greg Darm
Pro Eliminator - Dave Meccia
Super Pro - Brian Lane
Midwest Top Sportsman - Jim Tacchia
Congratulations to our Track Champions and good luck to the ET Bracket Team down at Indy in two weeks. Here are some photos from the day. To see all the action please click here. You will notice there are some black and white photos and what is called Bleach Bypass which "bleaches" the color. We were experimenting to gauge reaction, so if you wish to comment, please do. Also we can stylize any photo to give it a painted look and other special effects.
This Saturday is the fourth annual Route 66 Classic sponsored by the Hollywood Casino Joliet. The "Classic" brings back the nostalgia of "Back in the Day"! There will be all sorts of nostalgic drag racing cars, from wheel standers, slingshot dragsters, Nitro Funny Cars to the jet cars. The action starts at 11:00 a.m. with the start of qualifying with showtime starting at 7:00 p.m. followed by the jet cars at 9:30 p.m. to complete the day. The early weather report shows some scattered thunderstorms, however since this is the Chicagoland area that can change in a heartbeat. Janet and I will be there all day, so if you see us stop and have a picture taken and then come back to the website. We are looking forward to a wonderful exciting day of old time racing!
Here are some photos from last year:
Remember, on Sunday there is the Rockett Brands Racing Fuel ET Bracket Race #9 featuring the Midwest Top Sportsman Series. See you at the track!
What started out as a beautiful day for photographing drag racing, turned into a very long day when about half way through the Pro ET first round eliminations it began to rain and rain and rain! We persevered and were rewarded with an excellent job of track drying by staff. With just one short interruption caused by a scoring malfunction, the rest of the day/night went off like clockwork. Congratulations go out to our winners:
High School - Austin Headrick
Sportsman - Cory Dunkin
Pro Motorcycle - Mike Krueger
Pro ET - Ryan Alley
Super Pro - Nick Cryer
An interesting sidebar is that this was our High School winner, Austin Headrick, first ever drag race! The family was super excited for Austin. The family owns and operates Raceway Pizza. And by the way, the pizza is great!. Here is some more of the action from Sunday's event;
To see more of the action please click here.
To see our complete portfolio, please click here.
The next action at Route 66 is next Saturday, August 16th, for the Hollywood Casino Joliet Route 66 Classic followed by the ET Bracket Race 9 on Sunday. The "Classic" is just that, a classic night of nostalgia combined with some great racing topped off with the running of the jet dragsters.
The weather report for the ET Bracket race on Sunday appears to be a repeat of today. That means another spectacular day. Janet and I, both, will be at the Bracket race. Come out and enjoy another fabulous day of racing at Route 66 Raceway.
To see all of today's action please click here.
To see our complete portfolio please click here.
I hope to see everyone Sunday and check back here often to see and read about our activities.
There is no racing for me this weekend due to my Granddaughter's thirteenth birthday party and family coming in from out of town. So there will be no new pictures this weekend. I encourage everyone to get out to their track of preference. Route 66 is having a it's Beat the Heat Test & Tune tonight. I spoke with Ofc. Jim Luckett and he is looking forward to taking on all comers. Tomorrow, 66 is having ET Bracket race #6 combined with the Jr. Dragsters. I really hate to miss the Jr.'s.
Rockford Speedway is having the "World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Races" Saturday night. This is a "bucket list" event.
Grundy County is having a full stockcar program tonight and for you open wheel fans, Saturday is the Stars Promotion Open Wheel Midgets Fan Appreciation Night..
It looks to be a great weekend of racing in the Chicagoland area.
For those who missed our photos from last weekend, please click here.
Come back next week for our plans for our next planned races. It will probably be Route 66 all weekend highlighted by the inaugural Monster Truck Mayhem at the Dirt Oval.