Route 66 Classic...Yes it was!
The talk going into Saturday's D'Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic was the weather. The day before, the forecasters were called for 90% chance of rain, some severe. As Friday wore on, the weather started looking better. The Track decided to start the event a couple hours later to allow the bad weather to clear before starting. Right at 4:00 the Run Tuff Eliminator cars hit the track for their one round of qualifications. With the qualifications nearing an end and the JDRL cars waiting in the tunnel, The sky opened with a sudden, but short, down pour.
As soon as the rain stopped, staff started drying the track and getting it prepped. Staff did an excellent job of getting the track dried in a relatively short period of time.
As soon as the track was ready, the cars hit the track again. They finished the qualifications for both Run Tuff and the JDRL. In the Juniors it was Braden Bowden taking the Best Reaction Time in Sportsman and Liz Manaseri in the Modifieds. This was Liz' second event in a row with Best Reaction Time.
Eliminations started as soon as Qualifications were completed. We then started preparing for the Classic show. Besides the cars, a racing grudge match between Will County and Grundy County was scheduled. D'Arcy Buick GMC represented by Terry D'Arcy provided the GMC and Chevrolet trucks to be used for the races. The following was the lineup:
Bob O'DeKirk, Joliet Mayor vs Richard Kopczick, Morris Mayor
Joe Formhals, Joliet Fire Chief vs Tracey Stefes, Morris Fire Chief
Mike Kelley, Will County Sheriff vs Keving Callahan, Grundy County Sheriff
James Glasgow, Will County States Attorney, vs Jason Helland, Grundy County States Attorney
Larry Walsh, Will County Executive vs David Allen Welter, Former Grundy County Board Chairman
Brian Benton, Joliet Police Chief vs Brent Dite, Morris Police Chief
The first Classic show started shortly after 7:pm with a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem by actress Cory Goodrich.
Ms. Goodrich is starring as Carol Brady in the play "The Bardy Bunch" at the Mercury Theater starting in September. And no, the title is not misspelled! The play is a situation comedy about the The Brady Bunch vs The Partridge Family.
The Classic show was led off by the nostalgic nitro funny cars, followed by the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit. We also had nostalgic pro stock, super stock and the Midwest Super Stock Mafia racers.
While all this activity was happening on track, the Midway was hopping with a nostalgic car show, the Bug-a-Palooza car show and the band Arra Classic Rock performing. The TV show Garage Squad's Joe Zolper and Heather Storm were signing autographs and taking photographs with the fans. Jim Luckett with the Beat the Heat dragsters were also on display.
In between the Classic shows, The Grudge Match was run with Will County defeating Grundy County, 4-2.
Following the Grudge Match, the eliminations continued and the second part of the show started. We had Rick Ream's 1950 Studebaker Hot Rod Fire Truck Wheelstander. The last car in the Classic show was Barry Richter's jet funny car Hypersonic.
After the Classic show, we completed the JDRL season with winners and champions. In the earlier run Sportsman Class, it was Braden Bowden taking the win over Brooke Becker and claiming the Championship. Braden had 4 wins and a runner up this season. In the Modified Class it was a family affair with Liz Manaseri defeating her brother Zach. I was laughing as their crew chief grandfather, John Schober, ran between the two cars on the start line. John also drives a dragster in the Rockett Brand ET Bracket Series at Route 66. With Liz' win, the Modified Championship went to Allie Furman. Unfortunately, Allie lost in the first round today. Allie's images below are from her earlier season win.
In Run Tuff Eliminator, it was Jerry Hayes defeating Rick Brown to take the win. Jerry had dislocated his finger the week before and wasn't able to race. So what happens as he was getting ready to race again, he closes the door on his car and re-injures the finger. This time he raced.
I want to congratulate everyone on a great show and especially our winners and champions!
To see all the images from the Classic, please click here.
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