By Mark Gregory
Route 66 Raceway in Joliet features many different events all year for those who love to watch cars go fast – very fast.
On Saturday, Aug. 19, Route 66 will hold another one of those events, however there is a twist.
The 2017 D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic, which promises an ‘unprecedented level of content that pays homage to the early days of drag racing and hot rod culture,’ will provide entertainment to gear heads, but there are also events for everyone else.
“The heart and soul of this event is the drag racing and the nostalgia with the 1979 cars and older that will be on the track,” said Sara Palya, Route 66 Communications Director. “But, we have revamped it so now it is not only about the cars on the track, it is about the cars in the car corral. It is about that hot rod culture, so we incorporated a group called the Chicago Brush Masters who are known for being at the World of Wheels and they do the almost dying art of pin striping, lettering and air brushing. We have a vintage faire that has anything from vintage records to clothing to furniture. There is a pin up contest, we have two live bands playing vintage music, there is a Mystery Machine bounce house and temporary tattoos for the kids. There really are things for kids to do, for females to do and for gear heads to do. There is something for everybody.”
The price is also something that suits families well.
Tickets for the event are $20 per person, however, for every adult ticket, a children’s ticket can be purchased for a child 12-years-old or less for only $5. If you have a classic vehicle, parking in the classic car corral is $20 per vehicle from 11 a.m. until 2 a p.m.
Gates open at 11 a.m. and parking is $5.
One of the on-track events will be the second running of the Will County vs. Grundy County Grudge Matches.
Local officials will be equipped with vehicles provided by D’Arcy Buick GMC, and will select a local charity to benefit from their participation in the event. In 2016, Route 66 Raceway’s charitable foundation, Racing Advocates for Community Enrichment (R.A.C.E.) donated $21,000 to 11 community organizations as a result to the Route 66 Classic Grudge Matches.
Charities to benefit from dignitary participation in the event are as follows: Joliet Mayor O’Dekirk (Miracle League of Joliet), Morris Mayor Dick Kopczick (Grundy Resource Organization), Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton (Easter Seals Joliet Region), Morris Police Chief John Severson (Morris Police Benevolent Society), Joliet Fire Chief Joe Formhals (Muscular Dystrophy Association), Morris Fire Chief Tracey Steffes (Team Make A Difference), Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley (Special Olympics of Illinois), Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan (Grundy County PADS), Will County States Attorney Jim Glasgow (Will County Children’s Advocacy Center), Grundy County States Attorney Jason Helland (Coal City Soccer Club), Will County Executive Larry Walsh (United Way of Will County), Grundy County Executive Chris Balkema (Grundy County Community Foundation).
More donations will be made from the original artwork being done by nearly 30 artists on hand.
The artists that will donate a piece of art and they will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald Charities.
Also included in the daily events will be a Miss Classic Pin-Up Contest.
Contestants will perform in front of a live audience and panel of judges in two sessions highlighting both their vintage-inspired fashions and a brief Q&A. As part of the contest, the ladies will be challenged to enter the pits and solicit donations benefitting Pits for Patriots. The contestant that earns the most in donations will be crowned the Queen of Hearts.
Pits for Patriots rescues and trains pit bulls to be service dogs for veterans and first responders with physical and emotional needs. The organization works to alter the negative public opinion surrounding the pit bull breed while simultaneously delivering veterans and first responders with the support they require. Pits for Patriots provides a trained animal to the recipient for no cost.
Tickets for the 2017 events at Route 66 Raceway are on sale now and will be available by visiting www.Route66Raceway.com or by calling 888-629-RACE. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.route66raceway.com.