FARMER CITY - After a short hiatus, one of central Illinois' biggest racing events is back. And it's got fans in farmer city revved up for a big weekend. Racing fans missed out on the "Illini 100" last year after promoters struggled to get a contract in place. But now it's back for at least three years. And promoters hope a revamped raceway will keep it there even longer.
"This is the biggest race in the Midwest, the best race; you've got the best drivers," said promoter Jeff Hammer.
"You're liable to see anywhere from I'm guessing 2500-4000 people here tonight," said racing fan and Farmer City council member Mac Harden.
In the stands, on their RV's, and right up against the fence, racing fans soaked in a night they've been waiting for years to return.
"It's one of the few tracks that my son and I have been to that you can get this close and it's one of the very few that having camping trailers and motor homes around the track," Harden added.
But if there's one fan with the best seat in the house, it's driver and Bloomington native Jason Feger.
"I like that it's 25 minutes from my house, grew up here as a little kid watching my uncle race," he said.
But that track's far from the days when his uncle was behind the wheel. In fact this year it's brand new.
"We took it out, put clay underneath it, new dirt in it," said Hammer. "Makes it easier to retain the moisture, makes the tires last longer, lot faster."
"We added a few bleachers, we're going to add more later this year. We got our parking around the fence, that's the nitch of Farmer City," he said.
"You see all these motor homes a lot of fans you only see a couple times a year," said Mager. "It's just a great atmosphere and tomorrow will be even bigger and better yet."
Tonight's races were mainly a warm up for Saturday's main event, the Illini 100. And to go along with that theme the grandstand got a new paint job; orange and blue.
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