No. 7: Addition of IMCA stock car class
(The most important events, individuals and decisions from the last 10 years at Quincy Raceways)
I remember the night like it was yesterday, a cold Friday evening in April 1999. Being a relative newcomer to the the area, I made my first pilgrimage north to Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, for a little "Thunder in the Heartland."
My favorite memory from that evening — besides the Breadeaux pizza and shredded roast beef sandwiches — will always involve the IMCA stock cars. They reminded me of 1980s NASCAR, and what a great show they put on. Every trip I would make to Donnellson from that point on, the thought would always cross my mind, "Why not have these in Quincy?"
Finally, following the 2007 season, Quincy Raceways owner Tony Rhinberger made the announcement: IMCA stock cars were coming to the Broadway Bullring in 2008, replacing the four-cylinder hornets, which never seemed to catch on in their two-year trial run.
From the start, the stock cars put on a good show and had decent — not great, but decent — weekly counts. The fans appreciated the balance in the series and the side-by-side racing.
The consensus seems to be that this is a class that will eventually grow into a popular must-see event and attract the same kind of hardcore fans each of the other longstanding series (late model, modified and bomber) have acquired at the 8000 Broadway facility.
I look for the average weekly car count to improve to (at least) the high teens in 2009, and if the current economic climate forces some of the lower-tier late model drivers out of that division, they could easily wind up in a stock car. Look for at least two of the 2008 hobby stockers to move up next season, too.
For the class to truly prosper, the track needs to attract the southeastern Iowa drivers for at least another year while more Quincy area regulars develop cars. I'm confident that will happen.
Next: What a finish! The night we watched history unfold.