Quad City Speedway Marks 50 Years of Stock Racing - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Quad City Speedway Marks 50 Years of Stock Racing

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For many families across the Quad Cities Area, Sunday night means heading out to East Moline to watch dirt track stock car racing. The Quad City Speedway has reached its 50th anniversary. There have been some changes over time, but those involved say the tradition is still going strong.

"Nothing against NASCAR, but dirt track is very exciting," said Brad Hines, the Quad Cities Speedway's PR Race Director. "It's very entertaining, they race side by side. They go into the corners, and you think they turn the wheel left, but they slide around the corner, and they actually turn the wheel the other way."

Many people come to watch the races every Sunday night of the season.

"The grand stands are huge," he said. "They're great for watching racing. You're right on top of the track. It's just a great, family-oriented spectator sport."

"The action, the competitiveness, and watching my husband win," said Dawn Crampton, a spectator.

Officials say now, around 1,000 people locally and from across the US attend. The Quad City Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon to mark the milestone. Over the years, the sport has changed. The cars now look more like race cars, and less like common cars driven on the street.

"They're lighter, they're faster, they're a lot safer as well," Hines said.

In 1968, Hershel Roberts joined in on the tradition.

"He had shoe polish, and that's what he used to put his number on," said Ken Roberts, his son.

The East Moline man was a well-known driver who died of cancer in 2011. In addition to celebrating the speedway's jubilee, they're marking the loss.

"This is their fourth annual memorial race and ironically, my race team has won it three years in a row," Roberts said. "We're just thankful that they're doing something like this, and the fans are here, and the race teams are here, and we're excited."

Races are tentatively scheduled to continue at the East Moline track every Sunday until Labor Day weekend, with additional races on most public holidays.

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