May (By Tyson Graves)
The Midwest race fan usually gets the season kicked off with either attending the Thaw Brawl or the Illini 100 but with the COVID-19 pandemic neither one happened. The Midwest race fan was unable to see a race through the entire month of April and many people wondered if there would ever be a race.
Karl Chevrolet and Federated I-55 Speedway came together to put on the first big racing event in the Midwest in early May. The $7,000 to win event had limited tickets sold and limited the teams to only a certain few crew members per car. A total of 60 late models filled the pit area in Pevely, MO. Open wheel DIRTcar modifieds were on the undercard for this event.
In some exciting racing it was the veteran Billy Moyer who held off Brandon Sheppard in lap traffic to win the 50-lap event. Elder Moyer bested drivers from 13 different states as the 700 lucky race fans using social distancing got to take in the first major race in the Midwest for 2020. How fitting that one of the most storied drivers in late model history would help bring healing to the racing world at I-55 Raceway.
The return of racing to the Midwest at I-55 was one of the defining moments of 2020 for the racing world. This event opened the door for other Midwest tracks to test the waters and get the race season underway. Hats off to Track Enterprises and the I-55 crew for breaking the ice two months later than normal.
Photo: Josh James