With the recent surge in successful big money bracket races such as the SFG Promotions, SFG 500 event at US 131 Motorsports Park, who would not consider an even bigger payout and more unique prizes?
The owner of Accelaquarter Raceway in Harrisburg, Illinois, is going to attempt such a fate. The track is owned and operated by Frank Sisk, who shuttered the track back in April of 2019 citing health problems we covered in a Dragzine news story in April 2019. Sisk wanted to concentrate on himself, rather than his love of drag racing.
The track has a deep history as it successfully operated from 1963 to 1985. In 2006, Sisk reportedly invested over one million dollars in revitalizing the 1/8-mile dragstrip that was in deep disrepair.
The track currently features an over-track operations tower, 2,000-feet of shutdown area, concrete walls, covered grandstands, and a large paved pit area. It had become a staple of drag racing in Southern Illinois until it was abruptly closed right before the beginning of the 2019 season.
With the track not in operation for the past eight months, a big surprise popped up in the past week involving a new event announced for Accelaquarter Raceway. With an entry deadline date set for October 28th, the track will host one of the most unique events where one of the entrants will randomly win… get ready for it… Accelaquarter Raceway itself.
The specifics are straightforward. A $5,000 entry fee will get entered into a $400,000 purse event on November 1-3, 2019. As part of the weekend, a raffle will be exclusively held for the grand prize of the “pink slip” for the entire dragstrip. Daily event specifics are available at oneforthemoneyrace.com.
While the proposed event that relies on a 275 entrant minimum, the marketing on their event website and specifically on the Accelaquarter’s Facebook page has offered some interesting repercussions. In response to the average “keyboard racer” negative comments, Sisk himself has addressed any controversy through social media.
“For all of the negative comments being posted here, we are happy to see there are optimistic individuals who are willing to see the positives in this unique opportunity,” the Facebook post continues. “Who’s putting up the money? Frank is putting up the money for this race. Frank would like to see the track go to a racer who will carry on the Accelaquarter brand for future generations. His team is hard at work preparing the track for its next owner.”
One of the more humorous references in Sisk’s rebuttal is towards Reno Fontana. Fontana is a controversial figure related to nearby Chandler Motor Speedway and Dragstrip. The track is storied to be in and out of operation and bankruptcy auction in recent times. Sisk writes that “Fontana has NOTHING to do with this race.” See the Dragzine report related to Fontana here.
Among all of the event speculation, good or bad, one of the social media posts made very interesting points when questioning the success of such a unique event. “How many racers who have the wherewithal to put up a $5,000 entry fee live close enough to Harrisburg, Illinois to properly oversee a business of any kind, let alone want to operate a dragstrip. Those racers who can afford a 5K entry fee are probably well settled into their lives somewhere else.”
Whether of not if there are at least 275 unique racers out there that will pony-up the dough to go for the 400K payout event, it will be interesting to see if someone’s life dream of owning a complete and operational 1/8-mile dragstrip will come to fruition.