For the past 37 years, the Loves Park Policemen have had an annual grudge race with the businessmen from their city. It began when former police officer Darrell Williams and his buddy, Duane Higar, brought the idea to Hugh Deery at Rockford Speedway. Deery agreed to give it a try. Higar reminisced, We started with two heat races and five cars during a Wednesday night show.
Since then, the event has grown to 40 to 50 cars annually, and no longer is an addition to any other program. It is a show capable of standing on its own.
Last Friday night, July 28, the groups gathered once again at the track to decide who would claim the bragging rights for 2006. The policemen were in the cars painted blue, the businessmen painted theirs white. After 10 races, the drivers of the blue cars were this years winners.
In addition to the police and businessmens races, there were also three special races for members of the media and public officials. The evenings festivities concluded with a demo derby and fireworks show.
Carrie Lynn Childrens Center was the charity selected to receive this years proceeds. Higar was unsure of the amount raised due to the fact that all of the tickets sold had not been counted at press time. He projected the amount would be somewhere in the $3,000 to $4,000 range.
In a preview story I wrote about this event, I predicted my victory in the media race. It didnt actually pan out that way. The car I was slated to drive, a super-charged Thunderbird, owned by Jeff Klarman of KMK Media, developed mechanical problems during the trophy dash and was unavailable for the media race. Higar offered to let me drive his car in the race, and I was able to finish fourth out of 11 entries. Doug Goodman was the winner. Thanks to Klarman and Higar for allowing me to drive their cars and have a ton of fun.
Plans are already underway for next years event, and the businessmen want revenge.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Aug. 2-8, 2006, issue