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posted: 9/13/2012 5:58 PM

Event to celebrate history of Meadowdale Raceway

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  • Meadowdale International Raceway near Carpentersville attracted some of the most popular racers from the 1950s and 60s, before the track closed in 1970. Saturday, the Meadowdale International Raceways Preservation Association will celebrate some of that history during its fourth annual event, "Motor Sports and Memories."

      Meadowdale International Raceway near Carpentersville attracted some of the most popular racers from the 1950s and 60s, before the track closed in 1970. Saturday, the Meadowdale International Raceways Preservation Association will celebrate some of that history during its fourth annual event, "Motor Sports and Memories."
    COURTESY OF DON DEVINE

  • Laps around the Meadowdale International Raceway are now just in memories and aging photos. Saturday, racers and track visitors will recall the raceway's glory days.

      Laps around the Meadowdale International Raceway are now just in memories and aging photos. Saturday, racers and track visitors will recall the raceway's glory days.
    COURTESY OF ROSS FOSSBENDER

  • The Meister Brau racing team in 1963 consisted of Harry Heuer (24) and Don Devine (26) in a Scarab.

      The Meister Brau racing team in 1963 consisted of Harry Heuer (24) and Don Devine (26) in a Scarab.
    COURTESY OF DON DEVINE

 
 

The free event, organized by the Meadowdale International Raceways Preservation Association, runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Raceway Woods Forest Preserve, the site of the former track off Route 31 north of Huntley Road in Dundee Township near Carpentersville.

It includes a car show on the old racetrack's straightaway, some of the drivers who used to race there signing autographs, vendors and film footage of the track's glory days.

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"Our mission, if you will, is to promote and preserve the history, not the physical track, but the history of racing at Meadowdale and in the Midwest," said Linda Daro, president of the preservation association.

This year's event will focus on the Trans-Am racing series that took place there in 1968.

The series featured cars like the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro and the AMC Javelin. It was one of the last racing series the track held before it closed in 1970.

"That was a big deal race," Daro said.

Tony Adamowicz, a racer from California who won one of the classes in the race, is expected to attend. So are Ronnie Kaplan, an association board member who managed the AMC Javelin race team for two years, and Horst Kwech of Lake Forest, who raced at the track for the (Ford) Shelby team.

The three men will be autographing posters, programs and other items at 1 p.m.

The car show will feature sports cars, race cars and classic cars. Registration for that begins at 8:30 a.m. and costs $15. Trophies will be presented by 2:30 p.m.

You'll also get a chance to talk with Don Devine, who raced a Scarab sports car and crashed it at the track because the gas pedal got stuck at 125 mph.

"It wasn't a major accident, but it was an exciting one," the 72-year-old Inverness resident said, adding that he wasn't hurt.

For a nominal fee, you can tour the grounds in a trolley. A $50 dinner follows the event at the Grand Victoria Casino and will include talk about how some of the racers cheated, Daro said. For tickets to the dinner, send an email to mirpa1958@aol.com

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