Southern Illinois hosts indoor auto races
midget races to bring tourism dollars to region
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DuQUOIN -- The new Southern Illinois Center at
the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is set up to host its first nationally
recognized auto race Sunday (Jan. 16), Illinois Agriculture Director Chuck
Hartke announced Friday. The Ford Focus Midget Series is the first of two
United States Auto Club races to be held in the new building. The second
will be Feb. 19.
Making it a full weekend of racing in
DuQuoin, the Southern Illinois Center will also host the Winged
600cc Outlaw Micro Sprints today (Saturday).
"When Gov. Blagojevich cut the ribbon
on the Southern Illinois Center in September, we were confident it
would draw races and shows from across the country to southern
Illinois," Hartke said. "The USAC races will not only bring
thousands of spectators to the DuQuoin Fairgrounds this weekend, but
will also attract the kind of tourism dollars southern Illinois
needs for continued economic growth."
More than 200 drivers are expected
to take to the one-sixth mile dirt track in the Southern Illinois
Center this weekend. This is the first time in the four-year history
of the Ford Focus Midget Series that the race will be held indoors.
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"The DuQuoin State Fairgrounds could
very well be one of the most desired race locations in the Midwest,"
said John Rednour Jr., DuQuoin State Fair manager. "We already boast
one of the fastest outdoor mile tracks in the world, and as a former
driver myself, it is very exciting for me to be able to offer a new
venue that will attract these popular races, and the crowds that
follow them, to DuQuoin."
For more information on this
weekend's races and other coming events at the Southern Illinois
Center, go to
www.duquoinstatefair.info and click on
Department of Agriculture news release]