Karting to Return at Famous Quincy Park in Illinois

The ‘Park’ is back

Many know it as the ‘Gran Prix of Karting’, some called it ‘South Park Grand Prix’, but everyone who’s ever competed there refers to it as just simply ‘The Park’.

A press conference was held on Thursday, announcing the return of kart racing to the city of Quincy, Illinois. Scheduled for June 8-10, the event will be dedicated to the memory of its creator – the legendary Gus Traeder. A joint effort between Quincy businessman Terry Traeder and the Quincy Park District is sparking the return of the storied street race.

Rudolph on the cover of Shifter Kart Illustrated from his 199 victory

The Gran Prix of Karting was first held in 1970, and it ran for 32 years before completing the last event in 2001. The race drew a record-high entry of 625 in 1994, but it fell to 130 in the final year. The Superkarts! USA King of the Streets was held at the Park in 1999, the initial years of the race, which would find a permanent home in Rock Island. It was the second edition of the special race, which was first held in Oklahoma before moving to Quincy. The Quincy race was won by none other than Alan Rudolph. Now the owner of Speedsportz Racing Park and the Alan Rudolph Racing Academy in Houston, Rudolph went on to win four more crowns during the King of the Streets run at the Rock Island Grand Prix.

Terry Trader is the son of ‘Grand Prix of Karting’ promoter Gus Traeder, who passed away last year. Both Traeders have played crucial roles in the sport of karting. Gus was a promoter, while Terry is among the most decorated drivers in the sport. Terry has been out of the seat for a number of years now, and has left the running of his family’s TNT Kartways track to the Miles family. Now, with the support Quincy Park District, the ‘Grand Prix of Karting’ is returning.

“Simply put, South Park in Quincy, Illinois is absolutely legendary in the karting world,” stated Margay Racing’s Keith Freber. “The late Gus Traeder and his family made Quincy the center of the karting universe starting back in 1961 when they opened TNT Kartways and that track crowned many of the sport’s kings (and queens) and fueled an enthusiasm for kart racing in the city of Quincy that is unparalleled. If there was ever a city park that was a natural kart track, South Park is it. The Park course is challenging to be sure, but hands down the most exciting sprint track you’ll ever run and that’s a fact. Mistakes can have big consequences, but tame The Park and the satisfaction is immeasurable. The city really gets behind the event and rolls out the red carpet for the racers, I think the karters will be blown away with the local enthusiasm for the event. This is more than a race, its an event and its one not to be missed.”

Old diagram of the course in the South Park of Quincy, Illinois

Mike Birdsell is among the all-time race winners, sitting fourth with 14 victories. His race wins began in 1972, with the last coming in 1994 in the ‘Margay Mile’. The Margay Mile was an invitational race for past PKA winners in the 4-cycle classes. The race was run from 1989 to 1999. The ‘Miller Mile’ was an invitational race for past PKA winners in the 2-cycle classes. Birdsell’s story is unique, in that he raced in all of the events from beginning to the end. He plans to return to Quincy if his schedule doesn’t conflict and he will have his son Jason Birdsell race for him. Jason scored nine victories of his own, but even if you add them together, they still don’t reach the total set by Terry Traeder and Scott Evans with a record 27 each.

EKN spoke with Terry prior to the press conference on Thursday. He is excited about the opportunity to offer the ‘Grand Prix of Karting’ once again. The roads used for the course have been completely repaved, and over 3,500 barriers and over 500 haybales are on the plan to line the course. Fencing will be placed around the course to keep the racers and the multitude of spectators safe throughout the weekend. The weekend is geared up to be a racing festival for both those out-of-state and those from the area to enjoy. Proceeds from the non-profit event will be given to local charities.

Exact details on the event will be made available in the coming weeks as the city of Quincy prepares for the invasion of karters once again in June of 2018.

Previous winners

Yr Class Winner Yr Class Winner
1970 American Reed Heavy James Keith 1971 American Reed Heavy Eddie Schwope
American Reed Light James Keith American Reed Light James Keith
Stock Heavy Stanley Long Stock Heavy Dennis Bogeler
Stock Light Bob Chilton Stock Light Dale Burgtorf
B Limited Terry Traeder B Limited Terry Traeder
1972 American Reed Heavy James Keith 1973 – Rain cancelled races
American Reed Light Mike Birdsell 1975 American Reed Heavy Terry Meyers
Stock Heavy Terry Traeder American Reed Light Mike Birdsell
Stock Light Bob Chilton Stock Heavy Terry Traeder
B Limited Terry Traeder Stock Light Terry Traeder
1974 American Reed Heavy John Birdsell Dual Engine Terry Traeder
American Reed Light Mike Cumby B Limited Dennis Vogler
American Reed Open Mike Pospeshil 1977 McCulloch Heavy Mike Birdsell
Stock Heavy Bob Chilton McCulloch Medium Dave Fisher
Dual Engine Terry Traeder McCulloch Light Charles Groetzke
B Limited Terry Traeder Stock Heavy Terry Traeder
1976 American Reed Heavy Mike Birdsell Yamaha Heavy Bill Swanson
American Reed Light Mike Birdsell B Limited Hal Russell
Stock Heavy Rick Niehaus 1979 McCulloch Heavy Don Walker
Dual Engine Hal Russell McCulloch Light Fred Cory
Open Dave Fisher Stock Heavy Mike Birdsell
B Limited Joe Scovill Stock Light Mike Birdsell
1979 – Rain cancelled races Unlimited Paul Cory
1980 Yamaha Heavy Paul Harmon 1981 Yamaha Heavy Bob Chilton
Yamaha Light Terry Traeder Yamaha Light Henry Howard
Stock Mike Birdsell Stock Heavy Mike Birdsell
MAC Steve Fox Stock Light Mike Gilbert
Open Terry Traeder MAC Lyle Caswell
1982 Super Stock Heavy Terry Traeder Open Mike Gilbert
Super Stock Medium Terry Traeder 1983 Super Stock Heavy Scott Sellergren
Super Stock Light Terry Traeder Super Stock Medium Scott Sellergren
Stock Heavy Terry Traeder Super Stock Light Rusty Stagen
Stock Light Ron Funkhowser Stock Heavy Mike Hickey
Open Charles Groetzke Stock Light John Molloy
1984 Super Stock Heavy Scott Sellergren Open Scott Sellergren
Super Stock Medium Scott Sellergren 1985 Super Stock Heavy Mark Dismore
Super Stock Light Rusty Stagen Super Stock Medium Lonnie Loney
4-cycle Stock Marlin Voss Super Stock Light Mark Dismore
4-cycle Open Richard Hartman 4-cycle Stock Brian Venberg
Stock Heavy Terry Traeder Stock Heavy Curt Atkinson
Stock Light Bill McCormack 1987 Super Stock Heavy Scott Sellergren
Open Terry Traeder Super Stock Medium Scott Sellergren
1986 Super Stock Heavy Scott Sellergren Super Stock Light Brian Vorhes
Super Stock Medium Terry Traeder 4-cycle Stock Heavy Joe Moser
Super Stock Light Terry Traeder 4-cycle Stock Medium John Turk
4-cycle Stock Heavy Brian Venberg 4-cycle Stock Light Brian Venberg
4-cycle Stock Medium Mike Birdsell Stock Heavy Ron Jones
Stock Heavy Scott Sellergren Stock Light Scott Evans
Stock Light Terry Traeder 1989 Margay Mile Scott Evans
2-cycle Open John LaRue Super Stock Heavy Scott Evans
1988 Super Stock Heavy Ron Jones Super Stock Medium Terry Traeder
Super Stock Medium Jeff Bartlett Super Stock Light Turk Engel
Super Stock Light Jeff Bartlett 4-cycle Stock Heavy Jack Gerber
4-cycle Stock Heavy Mike Birdsell 4-cycle Stock Light Jack Gerber
4-cycle Stock Medium Dick Ertel 2-cycle Stock Heavy Scott Evans
4-cycle Stock Light Bill DeLong 2-cycle Stock Light Terry Traeder
Stock Heavy Jeff Bartlett 1991 Margay Mile Jason Engel
Stock Light Scott Evans Hardee’s Classic Mike Birdsell
2-cycle Open John LaRue Stock Heavy Yamaha Rick Fulks
1990 Margay Mile Scott Evans Stock Light Yamaha Rick Fulks
Hardee’s Classic Bob Shearburn Super Stock Heavy Terry Traeder
Stock Heavy Yamaha Scott Evans Super Stock Medium Ron Jones
Stock Light Yamaha Scott Evans Super Stock Light Terry Traeder
Super Stock Heavy Marc Zartarian 4-cycle Stock Heavy Bill Furling
Super Stock Medium Scott Evans 4-cycle Stock Medium Dave Turk
Super Stock Light Scott Evans 4-cycle Stock Light Matt Giles
4-cycle Stock Heavy Dave Gerber Junior 4-cycle Jason Birdsell
4-cycle Stock Medium Brad Lee 1993 Margay Mile Chris Vespa
4-cycle Stock Light Dave Turk Miller Mile Jamie McMurray
Junior 4-cycle Rod Stewart Stock Heavy Yamaha Scott Evans
1992 Margay Mile Rick Fulks Stock Medium Yamaha Alan Rudolph
Miller Mile Scott Evans Stock Light Yamaha Alan Rudolph
Stock Heavy Yamaha Scott Sellergren Super Stock Heavy Jamie McMurray
Stock Light Yamaha Ron Jones Super Stock Light Jeff Bartlett
Super Stock Heavy Ron Jones 4-cycle Stock Heavy Owen Trinkler
Super Stock Medium Jamie McMurray 4-cycle Stock Medium Rod Stewart
Super Stock Light Terry Traeder 4-cycle Stock Light Rick Fulks
4-cycle Stock Heavy Jack Gerber Junior 4-cycle Dan Schmalshaf
4-cycle Stock Medium Jamie McMurray 125cc Shifters Doug Stevens
4-cycle Stock Light Jack Gerber 1995 Margay Mile Tom Knight
Junior 4-cycle Jason Birdsell Miller Mile Scott Evans
1994 Margay Mile Mike Birdsell 125cc Shifters Alex Barron
Miller Mile Alan Rudolph Super Stock Scott Evans
US 820 Kevin Nelson Junior 4-cycle Jason Ludwig
4-cycle Stock Light Rod Stewart 4-cycle Sportsman Joel Negus
4-cycle Stock Medium Rod Stewart 4-cycle Super Stock Tom Knight
4-cycle Stock Heavy David Keith 4-cycle Stock Light Brian Smith
Junior 2-cycle Scott Myers 4-cycle Stock Medium Joel Negus
Junior 4-cycle Scott Myers 4-cycle Stock Heavy Tom Rayl
Yamaha Sr Sportsman Eric Jones Yamaha Sr Sportsman Joey Hand
125cc Shifters Alex Barron Yamaha Super Sportsman Dan Schmalshaf
Yamaha Light Terry Traeder Yamaha Light Michael Bailiez
Yamaha Medium Mike McMasters Yamaha Medium Richard Spicer
Yamaha Heavy Ralph Woodard Yamaha Heavy Scott Sellergren
Super Stock Heavy Scott Sellergren Junior 2-cycle Matt Miller
Super Stock Light Alan Rudolph 1997 Margay Mile Chris Shearburn
1996 Margay Mile Brian Smith Miller Mile Jason Birdsell
Miller Mile Michael Bailiez 4-cycle Junior Light Matt Krechel
Junior 4-cycle Chris Shearburn 4-cycle Junior Heavy Jerod Ludwig
Junior 2-cycle Chris Shearburn 4-cycle Sportsman Chris Shearburn
4-cycle Stock Light Brent Smith 4-cycle Light Jack Gerber
4-cycle Stock Medium Brian Smith 4-cycle Medium Ryan Cassity
4-cycle Stock Heavy Rod Stewart 4-cycle Heavy Eric Jones
Yamaha Sr Sportsman Joey Figone Formula Y Michael Bailiez
125cc Shifters Leroy Wilkerson Yamaha Sr Sportsman Justin Stefani
Super Stock Medium Pete Vetter Yamaha Supersport Light Scott Sellergren
Super Stock Heavy Scott Evans Yamaha Supersport Medium Eric Jones
Yamaha Supersport Medium Eric Jones Yamaha Supersport Heavy Scott Evans
Yamaha Supersport Heavy Scott Sellergren Yamaha Light Michael Bailiez
Yamaha Light Michael Bailiez Yamaha Medium Jason Birdsell
Yamaha Medium Scott Evans Yamaha Heavy Scott Evans
Yamaha Heavy Scott Evans Super Stock Heavy Jason Birdsell
1998 S & M Mile Jack Gerber 1999 4-cycle Heavy Rod Stewart
4-cycle Junior Light Matt Krechel 4-cycle Juniors Jeff Dolian
4-cycle Junior Heavy Robby Warner 4-cycle Medium Ryan Cassity
4-cycle Light Justin Cassity 4-cycle Sportsman Heavy Chris Shearburn
4-cycle Medium Ryan Cassity 4-cycle Sportsman Medium Chris Shearburn
4-cycle Heavy Jack Gerber King of the Streets 125 shifter Alan Rudolph
4-cycle Sportsman Light Brandon Norris Margay Mile Rod Stewart
4-cycle Sportsman Heavy Mark Scarbrough Masters Scott Sellergren
Yamaha Sr Sportsman Pete Vetter Pepsi-Miller Mile Pete Vetter
Yamaha Supersport Light Pete Vetter Yamaha Pipe Heavy Scott Evans
Yamaha Supersport Medium Justin Stefani Yamaha Pipe Medium Pete Vetter
Yamaha Supersport Heavy Justin Stefani Yamaha Sr Sportsman Med Scott Evans
Yamaha Medium Scott Evans Yamaha Sr Sportsman-Heavy Jason Birdsell
Yamaha Heavy Scott Evans Yamaha Supersport Heavy Dan Schmalshaf
2000 4-cycle Heavy Dan Newell Yamaha Supersport Light Scott Evans
4-cycle Light Todd Lamb Yamaha Supersport Medium Dan Schmalshaf
4-cycle Medium Rod Stewart 2001 4-cycle Heavy Robby Smith
4-cycle Sportsman Heavy Edwin Grave 4-cycle Light Rod Stewart
4-cycle Sportsman Medium Jeff Dolian 4-cycle Medium Rod Stewart
S & M Mile Todd Lamb 4-cycle Sportsman Heavy Jerry Miller
Yamaha Pipe Heavy Pete Vetter 4-cycle Sportsman Medium Robby Warner
Yamaha Pipe Medium Jason Birdsell Yamaha Pipe Heavy Todd Bolton
Yamaha Sr Sportsman med Mike Welsh Yamaha Pipe Medium Pete Vetter
Yamaha Sr Sportsman-Heavy Kevin Williams Yamaha Sr Sportsman med Todd Bolton
Yamaha Supersport Heavy Scott Evans Yamaha Sr Sportsman-Heavy Scott Evans
Yamaha Supersport Light Pete Vetter Yamaha Supersport Heavy Scott Evans
Yamaha Supersport Medium Mike Welsh Yamaha Supersport Light Jason Birdsell
Yamaha Supersport Medium Jason Birdsell
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One thought on “Karting to Return at Famous Quincy Park in Illinois

  1. This is fantastic. Raced here back in the 80’s with Scott Pruett, Mark Dismore, Terry, Birdsell, Sellergren, many other greats. Don’t miss this one if you are anywhere around.

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