August 2013 - VROOM, BANG, BOOM
I vividly remember watching Happy Days and Fonzie’s girlfriend and fellow motorcyclist, Pinky Tuscadero desire to participate in demolition derby races. I can easily recall the heart pumping episodes where the cars crashed into each other, spurring on my personal desire to one day join a Powder Puff Demolition Derby race when I was old enough. The summer after college graduation, a group of friends and I often went to the races in Joliet and I loved the thrill of the speeds and the sheer power of the cars. Although I never made it on the track, the memories of the races still make me smile. Wanting to share this traditionally male dominated sport with my girls, we headed to Sycamore Speedway in Maple Park.
With online coupons, this adventure was a cheap summer night thrill. We each picked out a favorite – mine of course was a pink and white car which reminded me of the infamous Pinky herself, Tessa selected anything with the number 3 on it, and Marisa cheered on the Care Bear inspired station wagon. It was loud – it was wild – and it was fun! Friday nights are demolition night but the demolition portion is not held until the very end, so be prepared for a late night as the banging and booming does not begin until after 10 p.m. But given the slippery track the night we attended, we actually saw a few hit the concrete walls during time trials earlier in the evening.
Outside of the race track, the kids have the opportunity to meet racers and take a seat in the driver’s seat of their famed cars. Special kid events, such as Free Hayrides and a Poster Contest on August 3rd, are held throughout the season as well. I was surprised at how overall kid friendly the racetrack can be and how most attendees were families with children. The parking lot fills quickly, so I recommend arriving sooner than later, and be careful not to position your car to get sandwiched in (as we were lucky enough to do). When we arrived at 7ish, the lines were manageable, but as the time got closer to 8 p.m., the lines extended about 35 people deep. The bleachers were filled, the energy was high, and the adventure left two little girls asking, “Would you let us do that?!”
Entertainment for all ages including demolition derby races and stock car racing including late models, super late models, powder puffs, spectator and compact racing, Figure 8, and one on one drags. Also special kid events hosted throughout the season.
Location: Sycamore Speedway, 50W086 Old State Road, Maple Park, IL 60151
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays; Gates Open 6 p.m.; Time Trials 7:15 p.m.; Races 8 p.m.
Prices: Cash Only. Free Ages Under 6; $5 Ages 6-13; $12 Ages 14 & Up