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Southern Illinois hosts indoor auto races

USAC midget races to bring tourism dollars to region       Send a link to a friend

[JAN. 15, 2005]  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 and click on "Non-Fair Events."

[Illinois Department of Agriculture news release]


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