MORRIS – On Saturday night, sprint car drivers from all over the United States will converge on the one-third mile Grundy County Speedway. The event is part of the Inaugural King of the Wing Sprint Car Shoot Out, which will pit the top winged pavement sprint car drivers in the country against each other in a series of six races that will earn one driver the title of “King of the Wing.” Fans will get a double-dose of highly entertaining open-wheel action with a full program for the D’Arcy GMC STARS National Midgets, which concludes with a 50-lap feature as part of the “Freedom 50.”
The sprint car race is the third and final event of the Midwest portion of the King of the Wing Sprint Car Shootout schedule. Leading up to the race at Grundy County, the series will compete at Toledo Speedway in Ohio and Winchester Speedway in Indiana. In late November, the series migrates to the west coast for a three-race California swing to close out the series with races at Madera Speedway, Irwindale Speedway, and Kern County Raceway Park. The driver with the highest point total in the three Midwest races will earn a $2,500 prize and takes home the honor of being named Midwest King of the Wing. The points earned during the round at Grundy County Speedway go toward the overall King of the Wing Sprint Car Shoot Out point standings in which the top point-earning driver will collect a $5,000 prize.
In an exhibition run at Grundy County Speedway on June 20, 11-time Indianapolis 500 starter, former Scott Brayton award winner and King of the Wing Sprint Car Shoot Out president Davey Hamilton took a few laps in a winged sprint car. Grundy County Speedway has not seen much sprint car action of any sort in recent years, but after Hamilton climbed out of the car, he was convinced that the track will produce a great race for the winged sprint cars. Timing in with an unofficial lap time of 13.1 seconds, Hamilton believes there still is much more speed to be found on race night.
“I think we will be in the mid-12s for qualifying,” Hamilton said.
The list of drivers expected to compete in the sprint car race at Grundy County Speedway are a who’s who of pavement winged sprint car racing drivers in the United States. Many of the drivers are traveling from locations all over the map, from the east coast to the west coast to Middle America. Included on the list are Florida drivers Troy DeCaire and Garrett Green; Mississippi’s Todd Fayard; Californians Jojo Helberg, Cody Gerhardt, Kody Swanson and Tim Skoglund; Indiana’s Aaron Pierce; Michigan’s Jason Blonde; Tim Cox from Illinois, and many others.
The addition of Grundy County Speedway to the King of the Wing series schedule provides one of only two opportunities to see pavement sprint car racing in Illinois in 2014. The event already has generated plenty of excitement among fans and drivers.
According to Hamilton, the appearance of winged sprint cars on pavement is an event that one simply should not miss. “I really feel these cars put on some of the best short track racing you will ever see,” he said.
On the schedule alongside the King of Wing Sprint Car Shoot Out and the STARS National Midgets will be the Classic Modfieds, INEX Legends, CSR Super Cups and the Midwest Legacy Series. Adult tickets are $25. Children between the ages of 5 to 12 are $10. Kids 4 and younger are free. Gates open at 4 p.m., and racing starts at 6:30 p.m.. Furthermore, the 110th annual Grundy County Fair also is going on at the Fairgrounds outside the track. Parking is free.
Just like the fair, or a traveling circus, this night of racing is the kind that only comes to town once a year. It’s the biggest open wheel pavement event in the Midwest. Grundy County Speedway is located one mile north of I-80 on Route 47 in Morris.