Peoria TT Races Keep Tradition Alive

By WEEK Producer

August 21, 2011 Updated Aug 21, 2011 at 10:22 PM CDT

The people who come to the Peoria TT races have come to expect certain things. They expect warm days, good food prepared by the Peoria motorcycle club women's auxilliary, and good close handlebar-to-handlebar racing. Sometimes too close. But pride is usually the only thing that gets bruised. Some people come to Peoria as their only race of the year. Others follow the races and the racers throughout the whole summer.

"How bout my jumpers over on the hill?" yelled Donnie Bargeman. "I got a note today from a family from Wisconsin, they've been coming to the races for forty yearsand it's the best racing anywhere."

Of course, there are preferences about where you want to see the race from. For the railbirds, there's nothing better than being so close you can almost touch the riders.

Others prefer a chance to watch the race from shade at the hill, seeing riders take the jump before the quick right hander. The middle, I like to watch them go over the jump.

Is this the best place to watch the race? I think so, but it's good watching them go fast down the straight. Really, where's there a bad spot in this place?" Said Bargeman. "That's the thing about this place, people can move around, pick out a spot....there's no bleachers."

Even guys about to retire...like Chris Carr, who won his first race in Peoria in 1985, and then added a dozen more over the years...
Carr said, "I'm at the point where I don't HAVE to do this anymore, so I think it'd be OK to just watch."
Carr's retirement t-shirts were being snapped up at the track...at 25 dollars a pop. For his fans...a small price to pay.

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