Springfield This Weekend.

Paul Carruthers | August 26, 2008
The following is from the Springfield Mile…

Springfield is the truly the Mecca of the American motorcycle sport of dirt track racing. It is the most historic and most prolific venue in today’s AMA Flattrack Grand National Championship Series. It all started in 1937 when the first AMA Class C National Championship was held on The Springfield Mile. In fact, until 1954 if a rider won The Mile he was rewarded the most coveted prize in Dirt Track competition, the National Champion’s number 1 plate. This year we honor the history of the track while honoring our Grand Marshal Carroll Resweber who won the mile in 1959 and 1961. He will be on hand all weekend to meet fans and sign autographs.

The Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, has hosted more Grand National Championship races than any other venue in the history of the sport. 97 Nationals have been held at the prestigious Fairgrounds. Not only does it offer a rich tradition in dirt track racing but Springfield has also hosted a variety of racing disciplines. With 78 mile races, 9 short tracks and 8 TT races, it’s no wonder Springfield is known as the flat track fraternities racing capitol.

The weekend kicks off Friday night Aug. 29th with the amateur short track. The stars of tomorrow get a chance to race on a professional quality track. They might be young but they are fast and put on a good show. Saturday night, Aug. 30th , it’s the rough and tumble action of National Championship Short Track racing that will have fans on the edge of their seats. The new design of the track will provide some super fast racing action. Henry Wiles won it last year but 3 time past winner JR Schnabel will be fierce competition for him.

On Sunday afternoon, August 31st at 1pm, the rolling thunder show moves to the track that made Springfield famous, the lightning fast mile. The list of past winners reads like a “Who’s Who” of AMA racing, Joe Leonard, Carrol Resweber, Ricky Graham, Scott Parker and Jay Springsteen. The top of the podium at Springfield has been the exclusive property of the series veterans but the current group of young guns is poised to steal victory from the veterans. Adding to the drama on The Mile is the conga line racing where intense in your face drafting wars result in multiple lead changes every lap. After 25 furious miles the flash of a photo finish camera usually decides the winner. Will it be one of the series veterans that adds another notch to his gun? Or will one of the promising young lions merge from the pack to win flat track’s ultimate race? At The Springfield Mile no one will know until the dash for the checkers on the last lap.

Monday Sept. 1st at 12pm, the riders haul out the fire-breathing 750 twins for another chance at the sports pinnacle, the 140 mph Springfield Mile. Thousands of race fans made the traditional trek for the Memorial Day weekend double header and unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate. The Memorial Day mile and the tickets from that race will be honored Monday Sept. 1st Labor Day weekend.

This will be the perfect racing trip and the “must see” event of the summer. Fans can drive to one destination and see three points paying nationals in one weekend. For tickets call 217-753-8866 or 888-462-1622.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.