ALTON — Stock car racing reaches all 50 states and runs the longest competition schedule of modern sports, extending more than 36 weeks in some divisions.
As the 2016 racing season approaches, local stock car drivers and crews are looking for the upper hand over competitors and searching for any way to find more speed.
Hilltop Auction and Banquet Center will give race teams an opportunity to have access to some of the top parts, equipment and knowledge through a chassis class Friday, Jan. 29, and a racers’ auction and trade show Saturday, Jan. 30, at their location at 2612 Fosterburg Road in Alton.
Hilltop owner Josh Carroll knows firsthand how the racing circuit works, having spent more than 40 years in the environment with his father, the late George Carroll. Growing up at local tracks like Godfrey Speedway and Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Carroll can attest that much of the current innovation in street cars involves ideas first tested on dirt and concrete with a racecar.
“Technology seems to outgrow racing faster than it’s developed,” Carroll said. “It’s like a computer; if you buy a computer and don’t upgrade it, it’s out of date six months to a year later. Every car on the road has improvements that were discovered in a racecar. Racing is one area where you can buy an older model and use updated technology and still be competitive and win races.”
Mark Bush of Mark Bush Racing will conduct a Chassis Class at Hilltop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, with lunch provided. Bush said he hopes to offer race teams hours of information he feels will help them with their car setup.
“Mark (Bush) is a very knowledgeable man in the automotive industry,” Carroll said. “If you want to be a real competitor in the sport of racing, you have to be up to date on chassis building. If you’re not taking a chassis class like what we’re offering on Jan. 29, then you’ll fall behind the other driving teams in your division.”
Items listed for auction include new and used race parts, cars, trailers, trucks, pit carts, scales, golf cart, a Pace 36-foot triple-axle gooseneck trailer with winch and rampovers, 2011 Shaw over Rail, Jim Evens 388 fresh off Dyno, 377 new block free off Dyno, 355 all steel Willys Carbs, 355 all-steel dart heads with 500 two-barrel Willys Carbs, springs, shocks, wheels, tires, helmets, suits, radios and the complete race team sell out of CJR Motorsports (Chuck Tucker). Hundreds of other items from tools to parts also can be found at the Saturday auction.
“I used to go to a racing auction in Indiana with my dad,” Carroll said. “Belleville had one probably 20 years ago but stopped after the organizer passed away. Racing auctions are huge in the racing circuit. We hope that our auction will be as big as those with time. No one has had an auction dedicated to racing in our region for more than two decades.”
Bidding numbers are free and the auction is open to the public. Lot numbers are $3 each with a limit of 1,000. Anyone interested in selling racing tools, parts or equipment can contact Josh Carroll for a lot number by Jan. 28. The Mark Bush Chassis Class is $100 if guests register before Jan. 27. A $25 late fee would be added after Jan. 27. Lunch will be provided during the class.
For information, call Hilltop Auction and Banquet center at (618) 462-6458.