2015 ILLLINI RACING SERIES SCHEDULE FEATURES DIVERSE MIX OF CHALLENGING By Zach TaskerThe Illini Racing Series has announced the 2015 season schedule at their annual winter rules meeting in Joliet, Illinois. The popular D2 midget series will see races across Illinois and Wisconsin for its 24th year of operation. For the first time in its history, the IRS will crown three different champions. The standard Illini Racing Series overall champion will remain and crown the driver who will have conquered one of the most diverse and difficult schedules in all of midget racing. There will also be a dirt champion honoring the driver who scored the most points in all of the dirt events and there will be a Grundy County Speedway Champion as points will be accumulated from the 10 IRS sanctioned events at 1/3 mile paved speed plant in Morris, Illinois. IRS race director Loran Critchett Jr is ready for the 2015 season to get underway after a 2014 campaign that saw many exciting races. “We are happy to announce our schedule for this year. As we have done for many years in the past, we offer a very diverse schedule competing on both dirt and pavement, high banks and flat tracks and we offer as we always have the Illini Racing Series driver championship. The man or woman that wins that championship will really have accomplished something. They will have to be proficient on dirt and pavement. We are running at six different race tracks this year. We had the opportunity to add another dirt track to our schedule. We are excited about that, we are going to join the IRA sprint cars guys at LaSalle Speedway and we are going to be a support group for them. We are looking forward to that as well as one of the tracks we have been to for a number of years now, Sycamore Speedway. We will be there four times this year, and last year we made our inaugural appearance at Farmer City Raceway, and they were really happy with what we did. They offered us some more dates so are going to be running there a couple of times too. That gives us a good nine race dirt portion of our Illini Racing Series schedule.” The most iconic midget track in the world, Angell Park Speedway will once again host the Illini midgets for a Memorial Day weekend doubleheader classic. The 2001 IRS champion, now turned race director continued “Now on the other hand we will also be competing at what has been for the most part for many years our home track, Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois. We will also be running three times at Rockford. That will give us a 17 race dirt and pavement Illini Racing Series champion. Now we are adding a couple of different things this year because over time we have had a number of requests where guys like to run just the dirt and guys like to run just the pavement and some guys are based in the area here and don’t want to do any traveling and are just happy running at Grundy County every Saturday night. In order to give our guys the opportunity to do what they want to do, either run the full schedule or run just the dirt or run just the pavement you now have the opportunity to compete for three different championships. We will have the IRS driver champion, from that IRS schedule, we will crown a dirt champion from the IRS dirt races and in addition to the 5 races from Grundy County Speedway that are on the IRS schedule in conjunction with STARS we will run an additional 5 races at Grundy County Speedway and those 5 races plus the 5 races that are on the IRS schedule at Grundy County will comprise a 10 race separate STARS/Illini Grundy County Speedway pavement champion.. The potential is there for a guy who is the real serious hardcore racer that can’t get enough to have the opportunity to run for three championships.”The IRS board members were pleased with the positive turnout for the rules meeting and have optimism for the future of the series. “We all know that there has been a lot of change in the air in midget racing in this area over the last six months to the last year. Different clubs have started up; different clubs are trying to go in different directions. Everyone wants to try and save midget racing; we all love this sport very much. However for some of us we do have different visions as to where midget racing should be taken. We always have been and always will be a working man’s sportsman type club. Our goal is not to save midget racing. Our goal is give the average guy the opportunity to compete on a fair level playing field on a limited budget and bring driver talent and chassis setup to the forefront as opposed to how much money you spend on the racecar and what type of racecar you have. We work very hard; it has taken us 23 years to get to this point. We are looking forward to our 24th year.”Opening night for the 2015 season is May 1 at the Farmer City Raceway. Defending champion Patrick Bruns will try to challenge for an unprecedented 4th straight championship. He will have a hungry pack of drivers ready to knock him off his throne though including 2014 point standings runner up, Jason Allen. Up next for the Illini Racing Series will be the annual Race & Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois on February 14 and 15 where the IRS will have a booth set up for fans to stop by and get more series information. For more information visit www.raceperformanceexpo.com. For up to the date info on the IRS like Illini Racing Series on Facebook.
Preview of the 2016 Illini Midget Series seasonThe IRS will celebrate its 25th season with a completely different format. As in the past, our competitors will run races on both dirt and paved tracks. 15 races will be contested to decide our 2016 champion, seven on dirt and 8 on pavement. The difference with the 2016 season is that The IRS will not be the sole club running these races. We have partnered with the STARS group for all our pavement races and the POWRI group for all our dirt races.Membership Explained: The IRS will not be accepting membership applications in 2016, but all competitors must join either STARS or POWRI. These two clubs are both well established and well respected. They have a working agreement with each other for the 2016 season. They will honor each other’s members for both payouts and points. Which to join: Those who think they will be running more dirt than pavement or those that are going for the D2 POWRI championship should join the POWRI D2 club. Those who think they will be running more pavement than dirt or those that are going for the STARS championship should join the STARS club. Both of these membership application forms are on the ILLINI website. www.illiniracing.com. These are both downloadable and are self - explanatory.The engine and chassis rules: There are bigger differences between the engine and chassis rules for dirt and pavement for 2016. These rules can be found on both clubs’ websites. The differences are all “bolt on” items such as minimum weights, offsets and tires.Tire rules and tire sources: These are 90% complete and will be finalized soon. As soon as we have all details, we will pass them on.