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Chicagoland's Route 66 Raceway Brings Professional Motorsports to the Midwest

JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- After much speculation about who would be the first to build a professional motorsports facility in the Chicago market, Route 66 Raceway is officially under construction.

Route 66, that great Mother Road that ran from Chicago to California and spawned so many a motorist's love affair with the automobile, is about to host the Midwest's most modern and multipurpose motorsports facility. The vision of a group of Joliet investors and the support of the City of Joliet have made this dream a reality. The approval process has been completed and ground has been broken with over 80% of the site work completed on the 250 acre facility located 2 miles south of Interstate 80 on Route 53 (Historic Route 66) in Joliet, Illinois.

"This type of professional sports and destination attraction will bring great benefits to the people of Joliet," commented Joliet Mayor Arthur Schultz. "With the concerts and special events activities planned for this facility, complimented by the river boats and hotel expansions, Joliet is fast becoming an entertainment and business hub for the Midwest."

The racing facility will open in May of 1998 hosting an NHRA National Event on May 28 through May 31. "It is very significant that we are able to bring NHRA Professional Drag Racing to the Chicago market," reported NHRA President Dallas Gardner. "This is the third largest market in the country and ranks No. 1 or 2 for the sponsors in motorsports, and we're delighted to accommodate them."

Located 23 miles from Chicago on the original Route 66, Route 66 Raceway will be owned by a group of area investors headed by Indy car team owner Dale Coyne. "This is an exciting project in the world of motorsports," reports President and CEO Dale Coyne. "There has not been a new drag racing facility built in over 1O years. This new facility will be the first true Stadium of Drag Racing."

The 20 million dollar "Stadium of Drag Racing" will consist of a 4 story, 38 suite complex complete with video and multimedia capabilities. Completely surrounding the start line will be a 40 row, fully backed grandstand for up to 30,000 spectators with expansion planned to 40,000 seats within three years. Extensive use of video and audio will give fans up close exposure to drag racing and entertainment. "The starting line will be center stage, giving participants a feeling never before experienced at other facilities," comments Coyne.

The drag strip will open with an NHRA National Event and host several other large events throughout the year including professional racing, car shows, special events and a host of concerts. Weekly racing for both amateur and professional enthusiasts will also be held at the raceway giving Chicago area racers a new modern home of which they can be proud.

Located 23 miles from the City of Chicago, the project will also include a l/2 mile clay oval for Professional racing and exhibitions including the World of Outlaws, Sprint Cars, SODA Off-Road Trucks, AMA Motorcycles, Monster Trucks and Tractor Pulls. A uniquely designed 3/8 mile paved oval will be located inside the clay oval giving multipurpose use for weekly racers of stock cars, truck and midget divisions an opportunity to compete at a safe and modern racing facility.

A two-mile road course, go-cart track and skid pad areas will provide many uses for the facility including racing, testing, driving schools and corporate outings.

"This is an exciting project for the racing fans of Chicago and the Midwest," reports Coyne. "We are proud to be building a modern racing entertainment facility that will meet the needs of a vast cross section of racers and fans."

SOURCE Route 66 Raceway
 -0- 08/20/97

/CONTACT: Route 66 Raceway, 815-722-5500/

CO: Route 66 Raceway ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:

JC -- DEW038 -- 8908 08/20/97 11:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 20, 1997
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