Speed Bowl Park set for new beginning on Saturday
STERLING – Speed Bowl Park: The New Beginning. That’s how the sign reads outside the new Speed Bowl Park, it’s new beginning set to begin on Saturday.
The wait is over for the reopening of the park, which is located at the corner of Route 2 and McCue Road. The park that has been closed since 1968 has its first official event since scheduled for Saturday. It’s being dubbed as Mud Bog Madness.
“We’ll have several classes. People can bring their street stock trucks,” said park project initiator Mike Perrine of Sterling. “It’s open to the public. We have two pits, one workable and one that takes a lot more [horsepower] to get through.”
Perrine has three partners who have done the bulk of the work necessary to reopen the park. The partners are Terry Adams and Bruce Tompkins of Rock Falls, and Ron Shambaugh of Morrison.
“We’re ready the best that we can be right now,” Perrine said. “Mother Nature keeps throwing us a hook here and there. It’s still a go for [Saturday] one way or another, unless we get flooded out.”
Besides the two bog pits, Perrine and company have an 1/8-mile track for go-kart and lawn mower racing built and a demolition derby track half built.
“We’ll possibly have grass drags plus truck and tractor pulls maybe later this year,” Perrine said.
In its former era, 1939-1968, the park was a circle dirt racetrack.
“Due to insurance reasons, I don’t see a full circle track until we see what happens,” Perrine said. “We’re still contemplating the 1/4-mile track. We’re not giving up the issue, but for insurance reasons we just can’t swing it.”
The park lost a chunk of land that has proved to be a large obstacle.
“They tried to determine the property as a wetland,” Perrine said. “That put us on the back burner for quite some time. We lost 10-13 acres, but we can deal with that. But, we’re very short on spectator parking. We’ll investigate the property behind us. We can purchase it if we have to.”
Other events scheduled at this point include a mud bog event on June 2; a Mower Mania series race on June 9; the Turn the Clock Back Demolition Derby on July 7; and another mud bog event and Mower Mania series race on July 14.
Saturday – Mud Bog Madness
June 2 – Mud Bog
June 9 – Mower Mania series race
July 7 – Turn the Clock Back Demolition Derby
July 14 – Mud Bog; Mower Mania series race