The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Accelaquarter Raceway drag strip opens Labor Day weekend

  • Labor Day weekend marks the opening of his newly improved Accelaquarter Raceway drag strip north of Harrisburg on state Route 34.
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  • Frank Sisk of Equality is excited.
    Labor Day weekend marks the opening of his newly improved Accelaquarter Raceway drag strip north of Harrisburg on state Route 34.
    "I spent over $1 million to improve this track and make it safer. I don't mean this the wrong way, but all the other tracks in this region are pretty old. I think we will attract some business," he said Tuesday.
    The gates open 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 with time trials at 6 p.m. and racing begins at 8:30 p.m.
    "This year we will race until it is too cold," Sisk said.
    Sisk purchased the historic drag strip from Cars for Kids Inc. and the raceway is no longer affiliated with that organization.
    Sisk had hoped to open earlier this year, but weather prevented that.
    The purse for the Labor Day event which runs from Friday, Aug. 30 to Sunday, Sept.1 is $6,000. That money is divided equally among the three classes of dragsters: $2,000 for the foot brake class; $2,000 for the pro class and $2,000 for the super pros.
    When Sisk bought the track in July of 2012 it was 1,440 feet long. He lengthened it to 2,070 feet to give the cars more room to shut down. He said drivers' brakes were smoking to get slowed down.
    "The cars have gotten so fast we had to lengthen the track to allow them space to decelerate. It will remain an eighth mile race but it will be safer," he said.
    Other racing options may be in the future.
    "I bought land to the north and plan to build a go-kart track and maybe a motorcycle track there," he said.
    The timing tower, which overlooks the track, is one of the additions that Sisk installed. The actual timing devices will be hard-wired because of a disappointing experience with digital timers during construction and testing.
    The tower is built of tornado-proof panels that Sisk perfected for the mining industry.
    An inventor, Sisk provided equipment for the mines with his Precision Mine Equipment business in Ridgway. He also owns The Red Onion restaurant in Equality in addition to serving as mayor of that village.
    Concessions will be available, no alcohol is allowed in the pit area, gate fee is $10 for adults and children under 12 are free.
    "It's a lot of recreation for the money. Where else can you get seven to eight hours of fun for that price?" he said.
    "The best seats in the house will be right here in the timing tower. I have provided 40 seats in a lounge type environment. I expect several cars will show up and race on Labor Day weekend," Sisk said.
    Follow Kane on twitter.com/tkane_DR
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