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  • Fairbury News staff

Kart races a big hit again

(Driver Luke Butler is helped by Eli Slagel, Brock Freed & Easton Ashburn while Ariuah Jones follows)

Third graders at Prairie Central Elementary in Fairbury were off to the races Thursday morning during the annual Muscle Kart Day in collaboration with Fairbury Speedway.

Prior to racing the small karts on pavement directly south of the school, students spent time building the muscle karts in the gym with help from high school students, actual race car drivers, Fairbury Speedway representatives and other volunteers.

“I just love what the race track means to so many people in our town and for the kids being able to have a day working together and building these carts is so much fun to watch,” said Matt Curl, owner and promoter of Fairbury Speedway.

Third grade teacher Christy Decker heads up the event for the school and works closely with Curl and the speedway to continue the tradition started years ago by a former third grade teacher. When the school was able to get some muscle karts and instructions, Decker previously reached out to high school teacher Alan Dunahee to see if his IT classes could take on the project and he was more than happy to help.

“Matt (Curl) and Gunner Sullivan worked very hard to secure the funding, find helpers and plan an amazing day for our students as well as store the karts until next year,” explained Decker.

Students received a free admission ticket for their parents to take them to a race at Fairbury Speedway. The day for third graders is based on science, engineering and sportsmanship.

“When we first started this deal, we really didn’t know how it would go and now it’s a yearly tradition for our staff, race car drivers, crews and especially the kids,” added Curl.

Dunahee was joined by high school students Landon Cottrell, Eli Meiss, Drew Haberkorn, Micah Lanz, Cam Palmore, Parker Harms, Carson Leman, Austin Hansen, Simon Zimmerman, Aiden Teubel, Noah Nagel, Jaydyn Knox, Brayden Platz, Caleb Decker and Teagan Quinn.

Others on hand included Mario Vietti, Alan Stipp, Mike Tillie (crew chief for Bob Gardner Racing), Bob Gardner, Rob Kemmer, Ricky Bane, Terry Kalkwarf (past racer at Fairbury Speedway), John and Victor Strong, Macy Vaughan, Austin Friedman, Mike Petersen, Russell Snearly and Mike Norris.

Curl and Sullivan were the speedway representatives coordinating things from the track.

Aftershock Decals and Design donated decals.

(Matt Curl waves the flags for Muscle Kart races at Prairie Central Elementary on Thursday)

(Teacher Christy Decker gives instructions Thursday morning)

(Students pose by one of the cars they created at PCE)

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