Sycamore Speedway closes doors on 45th season


On Saturday night, packed stands and a firework-lit sky signaled the closure of Sycamore Speedway’s 45th season.

After walking through the gate, fans were greeted by the smell of hot dogs and popcorn.

“Great atmosphere, great races, cheap beer, cheap popcorn, what more can you ask for?” said West Chicago resident Greg Lohse, a computer programmer and NIU alum.

As the first race began, the sound of screaming motors and squealing tires were heard as cars rounded the corners and the smell of rubber mixed with oil as engines were pushed to their limits, filled the grand stands.

There are several classes of cars that race at the Speedway, 50W086 Route 64 in Maple Park, including powder puff women’s racing.

The ladies didn’t disappoint Saturday as Megan Decker, a preschool teacher, of Palatine, flipped her car, in the only accident of the night. After flipping in her last race, Decker hopped out of her car and waved to the audience.

“I’ve got two flats and no spares,” Decker said.

The final race was the Demolition Derby, where cars line up in two rows facing away from each other. The object is to be the last car running. This is accomplished by smashing into other cars to make them stop running.

Cash prizes are awarded to the winners of certain races like the Demo, where the winner receives $100.

In order to be eligible to race in a demo, a driver has to be 16 years old, have a valid driver’s license and a helmet. The only cost for entering into a demo is the purchase of a pit pass.

“I try to keep the rules tight enough and cheap enough so that the average Joe can come out and race,” said General Manager Bill Coulter.

There is also a one-on-one drag race completion, where friends or foes can find out who has the fastest car by completing a one-lap race around the clay track.