CORDOVA, Ill. – Eight legends and contributors in the sport of drag racing will be inducted into the inaugural World Series of Drag Racing Hall of Fame class, Saturday, August 25 at the Cordova (Ill.) International Raceway.
Each inductee will receive a plaque to commemorate their achievements located in the pavilion. Additionally, each inductee will also receive a lifetime pass to Cordova International Raceway.
The Class of 2018 Inductees for the World Series of Drag Racing Hall of Fame are:
- Robert J. “Bob” Bartel will forever be known as the man who built Quad City Drag Strip in Cordova, Ill. He was creator of the world’s longest continually running drag racing event, The O’Reilly World Series of Drag Racing. Bartel, who passed away on February 18, 2018 was one the sport’s founding fathers and was responsible for early growth of a global sport and its superstars.
- Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, is considered by many as the greatest drag racer of all-time. The 17-time World Champion driver amassed 144 national event titles and became famous for his innovative Swamp Rat dragster designs. His record-breaking Swamp Rat XXX is enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
- Shirley Muldowney, the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” was the first woman to receive a license to drive a Top Fuel Dragster. The three-time World Champion has 18 national event titles and was the first person to win three Top Fuel titles.
- If it’s a Pontiac, you can bet Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick located just down the road in Morrison, Ill., has driven it. Beswick has won numerous national events over the course of his career. He has raced factory stockers to supercharged funny cars and can be seen at various Nostalgic events around the country.
- Ron Colson grew up in the small town of Oregon, Ill., with a population of just over 4,000 people. As a teenager he snuck his first ride down the quarter mile borrowing his sister’s 1957 MG Roadster at the Cordova International Raceway. Colson was also a six-decade employee of Cordova International Raceway.
- Richard Hutchins is the driver and owner of the famous Chevy Rebellion wheelstander and has dazzled fans with jaw dropping wheel stands for over 50 years!
- Diamond Jim Crownhart made Cordova his life. The former president of United Drag Racers Association also owned several small businesses in Sterling, Ill., and worked for 42 years as an iron worker out of Rockford, Ill. Crownhart has left his legacy at Cordova International Raceway over the years with two of his children daughter April and son Danny following in his footsteps racing jet cars.
- Ron Leek is the former owner of Byron (Ill.) Dragway. Over 40 years ago, he became the first promoter to introduce big bucks bracket racing to local competitors.
“This track is legendary for being the oldest continuous running race track in the Midwest,” Cordova International Raceway President and General Manager Dominic Blasco said. “What a perfect track with all of its history to introduce the Hall of Fame. I am very proud to be steering the ship of the biggest and best race of the year The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing.”
Adult tickets to The O’Reilly World Series of Drag Racing start at $30 for Friday, $40 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday. Tickets for children 6-12 are $10 for Friday, $10 for Saturday and $5 for Sunday. A three-day “Super Pass” for the entire weekend is available for $75 for adults and $20 for children 6-12.
To receive a $5 discount off adult and children admission tickets for Friday, Saturday and the three-day “Super Pass” fans must visit one of the participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Every ticket is a pit pass and includes free parking.
To purchase tickets for The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing, call Cordova International Raceway at 309-654-2110 or visit one of the participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores.
About Cordova International Raceway:
Cordova International Raceway™ (CIR) is home of The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing, the world’s longest continually running drag racing event. Located in the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa, the 190-acre facility features a 1/4-mile drag racing strip sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association™.
Weekend drag racing events are held all summer. Specialty events include the Super Chevy Show and the River Redemption Series. For more information on Cordova International Raceway, visit RaceCIR.com or connect on Facebook @RaceCordova.