Sycamore Speedway to host drive-by Pandemic Race Car Parade May 2

Sycamore Speedway in Maple Park has been closed since March due to COVID-19 pandemic. But the owners of the 56-year-old clay racetrack still want to maintain a connection with their fans, so they're hosting a drive-by Pandemic Race Car Parade from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 2.

“Due to this pandemic, our race season has been shortened,” said Tiffany Olson, general manager and promoter of the Sycamore Speedway. “To be honest, we don't even know when we'll get back to fully racing.”

Sycamore Speedway will host a "Pandemic Race Car Parade" on Saturday, May 2. Select drivers will display their race cars while spectators can drive by in their own cars. Daily Herald File Photo

So with social distancing in mind, parade organizers have dreamed up an unconventional way for race car fans to get a taste of what they've been missing. Race cars from the 2020 season will be on display in the Sycamore Speedway's parking lot, while spectators will be able to drive by them from the safety of their own cars.

“We thought, what can we do to highlight the drivers' hard work in the off season?” Olson said. “What can we do to bring some fun to our fans?”

Olson said the race cars will be spaced 10 feet apart. The drivers and one assistant will have the choice to wave from the interior of their cars, too.

“I think it's a good idea,” said Mike Nelms, a racer from Lombard. “It lets people get out of the house to go out there and see the race cars, even if it is just driving by.”

Nelms is planning to participate, depending upon the weather. Nelms would display his 1976 Chevrolet Malibu, which he drove to two championships in the Pure Stock Division during his four years of racing.

Sycamore Speedway wants to stay connected to its fans, so it will host a "Pandemic Race Car Parade" Saturday, May 2. Daily Herald File Photo

At age 70, Nelms likes to compete because “it gives the youngsters something to chase.”

Olson also stresses that none of the Speedway facilities will be open, except for The Winner's Circle Bar & Grill. It will only be offering curbside pickup for the “Speedway Steak Meal,” which includes a hot dog, a bag of chips and a can of soda.

“The great thing about our drivers is the fact that they are always looking beyond just themselves,” Olson said. “They love racing, and they're willing to do their part to keep the sport alive in whatever aspect that can be given the current pandemic.”

Pandemic Race Car Parade

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 2

Where: Sycamore Speedway, 50W226 Old State Road, Maple Park

Cost: No admission charge, but advance orders for curbside pickup from Winner's Circle Bar & Grill advised.

Details: (815) 895-5454 or

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