ILLINI RACING SERIES ADDS EVENT AT FARMER CITY RACEWAYBy Zach TaskerAn additional event has been added to the 2014 Illini midget slate, thus bringing the number of races this year to an even 20. Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City, Illinois will host its first ever Illini Racing Series event on Thursday July 17 as part of the Farmer City Fair. IRS board member Joe Knippel is looking forward to this new challenge for drivers and teams “It was kind of unique because Farmer City actually contacted us and they were looking for an open wheel show for their fair date and they had a couple of different options they wanted to go with but they contacted us first so that’s kind of neat that with the exposure that we have out there right now that tracks are actually contacting us.”The Thursday night date is rare for IRS competition but should evoke memories of the days when midget races were nationally televised on Thursday nights “It might be a little bit rough on a Thursday night but we feel with the later pit gate at 4pm and us anticipating the race to be over by 9pm everyone can get home at a good hour. It should really open up some doors for us next year in the 2015 season for more races at Farmer City. We would love to run more down in central Illinois because they all have respected tracks down there. When we came up with this deal, Laverne (Spencer) and myself , decided to do this even though it’s a Thursday night. It kind of brings back memories of Thursday Night Thunder that was on ESPN, and also 20-30 years ago, midgets always ran at county fairs. I think it’s really neat to get us back into a fair date. I remember growing up and going on the 4th of July, there would be a pavement race at Grundy and then the same day, you would turn around and change your cars over and go run on the dirt at Mendota. I think this is a really good opportunity for our guys and our organization as we grow and expand and include another track that we start a relationship with.”The five time IRS drivers champion who has now stepped away from the wheel and is focusing on the official side of the fence believes whoever wins the first IRS race at Farmer City will have a feather in their cap. “The whole thing with running the fair date that is just so cool is that when you get to race on a fair date, you go to the track and you have a big carnival with the rides and when the feature starts it will catch your attention before you even start a race, that you are driving around the track and you see all these different colored lights. Generally, especially on a weeknight show, we will expand the people who are coming out to the races that probably have never seen us before, so this show will open up a lot of doors for us down in central Illinois. “The Illini Racing Series is the original affordable midget racing series in Illinois. Featuring exciting racing on multiple tracks with stock, production based 4 cylinder engines. The season gets underway Saturday May 10 at Sycamore Speedway.