From a fans point of view, the best sporting events take place when two rivals do battle. How many of us remember Ali vs. Frazier? Theres the Yankees vs. the Red Sox in baseball. In football, its got to be the Bears and the Packers. Some of the best basketball games ever were between the Bulls and the Pistons.
This Friday night, July 20, marks the return of another great rivalry. For the 38th consecutive year, the Loves Park Police Association will present the Police vs. Businessmen Grudge Race and night of racing thrills at the Rockford Speedway. The annual event has the two sides doing battle in several heat races, and at the end of the evening, more than 40 cars are expected on the track to take the green flag for their feature race.
Theyve also added a highway trailer race this year. That race will feature cars towing trailers on the track trying to impede the progress of the other drivers, a la driving north on I-90 at the start of a holiday weekend during the summer. The other drivers will have to try to maneuver around the trailers without hitting them.
In addition to their races, the association has made it a tradition to invite members of the media to take part in a race. I have participated in two of the past media races, and I have never had much luck. Im hoping this time will be different. Im relying on two things to help me win this year. First, my friend and local businessman, Jeff Klarman from KMK Media, is letting me drive his car. He assures me it is fast. Second, theres that third times the charm thing.
Whether you want to cheer for the police or the businessmen, be at the track Friday night, July 20. Proceeds from this years event will go to benefit the Barbara Olson Center of Hope. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the first race is at 7:07 p.m. Tickets for adults are $10. Children 6-11 get in for $5. For more information, call the Rockford Speedway at (815) 633-1500.
from the July 18-24, 2007, issue