WAYCROSS, GA (February 24, 2011) – Officials of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, along with Tri City (IL) Speedway promoters, Kevin and Tammy Gundaker have announced that the series will sanction the biggest race in speedway history. On July 14th and 15th the Budweiser sponsored “Battle at the Beach 100,” will highlight the track’s 50th Anniversary. The event will pay a whopping $20,000 to win. Lucas Oil Studios of Corona, CA will film the event. The “Battle at the Beach 100″ will be televised on SPEED at a later date.
The 2-day extravaganza at Tri-City Speedway will start on Thursday, July 14th with time trials and heat races, followed on Friday night, July 15th with the B-Mains and the 100-lap, $20,000 to win feature event. BIGFOOT will also be appearing at Tri-City Speedway during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. “Any chance to appear in our hometown is fantastic,” stated Vice President of BIGFOOT 4×4, Inc. Bob Trent, “Thank you Lucas Oil for having us!”
Originally, the event was scheduled as a 1-day, $10,000 to win event on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 2011 schedule, released last October. Kevin Gundaker contacted series officials and wanted to expand the event to a 2-day show, which will pay the highest winning purse in the history of the track.
“We have worked with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series now for six years and we feel the relationship we have built with them over that time has been a tremendous thing for Tri-City Speedway,” said Gundaker, who will be inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame at Florence (KY) Speedway in August.
Series Director, Ritchie Lewis reminisced. “I can remember back in the 90’s when Kevin raced with us, we were out at ‘The Springfield Mile’. I was a Pit Steward with Hav-A-Tampa, and remember being in turn three of the in-field and seeing him race up the backstretch. He kept waving me down every time he drove by motioning that he needed something to drink. A caution came out and I rolled up to his car on the four-wheeler as he pulled down to the edge of the track. He said he didn’t need me to pull sheet metal or anything; he said he just wanted my Gatorade! So he downed it and after the race resumed, a few laps later he was waving again, signaling that he wanted me to give him something eat under the next caution,” laughed Lewis! “We always looked forward to working with him back then. He’s serious but always has time for a joke or a prank, which makes people around him enjoy working to make things better at Tri City Speedway. We are very excited about working with Kevin, Tammy and the rest of the great staff at Tri-City Speedway on this 20K show in July”.
Gundaker and his crew have been busy this off-season – making upgrades to the historic facility, located near the banks of the Mississippi River. “We have built a 40 x 232 building that will house a concession stand, offices and an arcade for the kids as well as a souvenir stand and restrooms. We have made more room along the midway for the fans, after tearing down the old building. We built this new one several feet back to give everyone plenty of space to walk,” said Gundaker.
The track first opened on May 30, 1961 and this year will mark the 50th Anniversary of the track which was a half-mile for several years, until Gundaker bought the facility and created a 3/8th mile oval a few years ago.
“My early memories of going to Tri-City were in the 60’s when my grandpa first took me. From there, we would go just about every night they raced, and I eventually bought a car from a racer. And the rest is history.” said the 55-year-old Gundaker, who has plans to return to driving this year on a limited basis. “I won’t be racing at Tri-City for obvious reasons, but I will be hitting some of the tracks in our area to race some this season. My son Gordy is moving up to super late models this year and I want to help him get some experience. We plan to run him full-time next year as a rookie on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series,” Gundaker stated.
For more information on Tri-City Speedway and this mega event you can log onto www.tricityspeedway.net.