Saturday was a trip down memory lane and a blast from the past as Route 66 celebrated the car culture of the 50's, 60's and 70's with the Route 66 Classic. Besides a day of drag racing, there were numerous activities throughout the entire complex including the crowning of the new Miss Classic. At the Opening Ceremonies for the night racing and after two rounds of judging, the announcement was that Carolyn Ann Rose is the new Miss Classic. In addition, Carolyn raised the most money for Pits for Patriots, among the contestants, to win the Queen of Hearts!
Earlier in the day, all the classic cars rolled in for the Cruise-in.
Twenty of the best cars were selected to be parked on the "Red Carpet".
Throughout the day, five judges looked at the cars with each judge selecting their favorite. The winners were presented a unique trophy created by our own Larry Ament. Each trophy was made using car parts. Here are four of the five winners.
As you can tell by the below picture, the judges had quite a few beautiful cars to look at!
While this going on, there was music, displays, food and vendors in the "Culture District" (the big tent)! Here are samples of the activities:
Oh, and did I forget to mention there was a full slate of racing happening! One event that is my favorite, was the final race of the Route 66 Junior Drag Racing League season. This day would crown the JDRL Track Champions. The sponsors for this raceday are:
Route 66 Food N Fuel
Ingalls Park Practice Tree Nationals
Stony Tire Inc.
Fab Rite Sheet Metal
Northwest Mechanical Insulation
Bob and Wendy Churchill
Bob and Becky Churchill
I want to thank all the sponsors who not only sponsored this race, but all season.
As is customary at a bracket race, there are two time trials for each class, Modified and Sportsman, followed by round robin eliminations. As part of the Time Trials, Bobby Churchill and Jake Lucky made a Memorial pass. Bobby for his Great, Great Grandpa Art Lake and Jake for his Dad, Dave Lucky. They were followed by Samantha and Sydney Senko. The Senko family was very close to the Lucky family. Both men will be missed by family and friends!
Bobby and Jake.
Samantha and Sydney
Here are some images from the Staging, Time Trials and Eliminations.
The Junior Sportsman were the first to run its final. It was Haley Becker against the reigning Champion Cooper Hamelen with Cooper taking the win light and his second Championship in a row. The #1 Qualifier was Cole Campbell. Cole wasn't available for a photo.
In the Junior Modified final it was Allie Furman against Brandon Loeschen. Brandon wasn't driving his normal car as it had been sold and was driving the former Anarchy Racing Team car. Allie took the win light.
Winning the Championship was Ryan Elberts. Ryan wasn't available for a photo tonight but here is a photo of Ryan racing earlier in the day in the blue and white car.
The #1 Qualifier was Tori Trench. This was Tori's last Junior race at Route 66 as she is moving up to race Super Pro in 2019. Tori's car was in the trailer, so we did a little photo magic.
Another staple of the Classic is the Will County vs Grundy County Officials Grudge Match. This is the third and rubber match, as each County has won once. The Combatants:
The Grudge Matches are head to head, in equally prepared GMC trucks provided by event sponsor D'Arcy GMC Buick.
And the 2018 Champions are...Grundy County winning 4-1!
Grundy County States Attorney (and candidate for Secretary of State) Jason Helland was especially proud of his reaction... .013!
After the pomp and circumstances including the Grudge Matches it was time to bring on the Nitro Cars and the rest of the purpose built race cars. Included is the Finals of the Run Tuff Eliminator Bracket Race. First up, was the Tom Motry Fuel Altered, Drastic Plastic driven by Troy Martin vs the Nostalgia Funny Car Quickdraw driven by John Lawson. John was supposed to have driven his other car, Runaway, however he was involved in a scary looking wreck when the throttle stuck while doing a burnout. The car was a write-off, but using a backup chassis and body, Runaway is nearly rebuilt. Here are photos from both of there heads up runs.
The Great Lakes Funny Car Circuit was present with four cars:
Rocky Ausec-Solid Rock Mach 1
Ronald Ooms-Streaker's Ride
Mark Horvath-Kay's Mopar Missile
Chris Schneider-Brutus Mustang
Marina Anderson made a pass in her "A" Family Dragster.
And then there was Tony Zizzo driving his streamliner Top Fuel Dragster.
Dana Kleinhoffer in "Tremor".
We also had the Nostalgia Super Stock and the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association running along with Gassers and bracket racers. Here is a sample of all the cars running Saturday.
In the midst of all of this we also had "Run Tuff Eliminator". In the Final it was Mark Marusak vs Troy Bogner. The two are good friends, however only one can win and it was Mark taking the win light. They wanted a picture of both cars in the Winner's Circle.
The last run of the night was Barry Richter's Jet Funny Car, "Hypersonic".
And my personal favorite. Check out Brandon Brown's cell phone as he was video recording the run.
Route 66 did itself proud on Saturday staging an event with so much content it was really beyond description. It was a fabulous event and I'm already looking forward to next year.
To see all images from the event please click on following links. The photos are categorized into four albums.
Everything Race Cars
Classic Grudge Match
People and Activities
If you see something you like to purchase please click here or on the "Ordering" link at the top of the page.