What is it that keeps race fans coming back to Fairbury every year for the big Prairie Dirt Classic?
Sure, the racing excitement is a big part of it but ask anyone camping in town for the weekend and they will tell you it’s the community as well.
“The town itself is incredible because the whole town embraces this,” said Steve Wilson from West Virginia.
Wilson and countless others were sitting near their campers enjoying time with family and friends Thursday afternoon before the two nights of racing excitement at the Fairbury Speedway. This is Wilson’s third trip to Fairbury and he plans to come back every year.
“We’ve been traveling all over the country for races and this is probably my favorite track,” explained Wilson. “It’s exciting every single time.”
This is the fourth time Joe Dougherty from Maryland made the trip here for the PDC. He considers this a big family gathering of race fans and always looks forward to the special weekend.
“A lot of our St. Louis, Missouri family is coming,” noted Dougherty.
It was Dougherty’s nine-year-old son’s first time visiting Fairbury. Carter Dougherty seemed excited about the weekend.
“I like it,” he said. “I got to fly my kite.”
Robert Blumers drove seven hours from Minnesota to see the dirt fly. The race fan travels all over and enjoys the speed aspect of Fairbury.
“The town seems very supportive of the race track. That’s what I love about it,” observed Blumers.
Larry Koontz from Pekin, Illinois didn’t have to travel far to enjoy the weekend excitement but still considers it a getaway with his wife. The couple has attended a few races at Fairbury during the season. Koontz feels the PDC is almost as big as Eldora.
“It’s a great time,” Koontz admitted.
The 31st edition of the Prairie Dirt Classic is referred to by track promoter and owner Matt Curl is the “granddaddy of them all.” There will be a $50,000 prize for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings late model series.
“We’ve had two fantastic days getting campers in and fans in but we are all going to go racing Friday night,” said Curl.
Curl could not be more excited to have all of the fans coming in from around the country. Fairbury and surrounding communities all benefit from the economic impact.
“They get a chance to see what our small town and our communities look like,” added Curl.