2014 Driver Inductees

     Whitey Gerken (pictures) started his racing career in 1953. He was an outstanding driver and was known for his great knowledge of setting up chassis. He split his driving talents between short track, USAC & Nascar. He won his 1st Feature at O?Hare in 1957. In 1960 he won 3 straight features at Soldier Field including a 100 lapper and a couple of years later won the American 500 lapper. In 1967 he won 12 Features at O?Hare and topped off the season with winning his 3rd Annual NSTC 200 at Rockford. Whitey won 3 USAC career races at Milwaukee in 1961, Illiana in 1962 and Tri-County Raceway in 1969. Whitey was crowned overall Champion at the Grundy County Fair in 1973 and later lost his life in a crash at Illiana Speedway in October of 1973.


     Gentleman Bryant Tucker (pictures) was a stock car champion at Soldier Field, Raceway Park and Mance Park Speedway during his exciting career. He always drove a Buick and he won 5 Championships. He won 17 features in 1953 at Raceway Park driving a 1941 Buick. He captured 3 straight Championships at Soldier Field in 1960, 1961 and 1962 driving a 1957 Buick. He closed out his career at O?Hare Stadium in 1963 driving a 1963 Buick Convertible. The Guy made Stock Car Racing Cool!!


     Tom Jones (pictures) was a frontrunner in the Cadet (Sportsman) Division at O'Hare Stadium in Schiller Park, IL winning the Division title in 1965. He moved into the Late Model ranks in 1966. Tom captured Late Model Championships at the Waukegan Speedway in 1975 and 1977. He took home track Championship honors at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL in 1981. He wheeled his Camaro #0 to victory in the annual Tony Bettenhausen memorial 100 at Illiana Motor Speedway in the Association Stock Car Circuit where he closed out his career for the most part in 1977.


     Frank Shickel (pictures) drove #95, a 1955 Chevy for his first race car. His career spanned over 5 decades. Frank raced on dirt tracks throughout Southern Illinois which included Danville, Fairbury, Farmers City, Granite City, Kankakee and the Springfield Mile. In 1971 Frank was the most improved Late Model Driver at Farmers City Speedway. He was the 1973, 1976 and 1977 Fairbury Speedway Champion. Frank?s legacy will always be known for his Family Short Track Racing tradition. His Sons Junior and Eddie Shickel and Granddaughter Lisa became Top Late Model drivers within the family operated Shickel Racing organization. They were always provided with highly competitive cars.


     Howard Tiedt (pictures) started promoting Santa Fe in 1953. Through the years he improved the facility by adding grandstands and modern rest rooms. He succeeded in building one of the largest Short Tracks in Illinois. He was one of the first promoters to bring in Nascar Stars for speed events which attracted sold out crowds and attracted many TV news reporters doing feature broadcasts from Santa Fe.


     Elmer Steinbeck (pictures) was involved in stock car racing pretty much since it started in the Chicago area in the late 1940's. Elmer helped leading driver Tom Cox for many years and was listed as the car owner of Cox's #11 Oldsmobile. Elmer's involvement in racing changed when he was asked to score the races at Chicago?s 87th Street Speedway in the early 1950's. Before you knew it, Elmer was working seven and sometimes eight times a week. He handled the scoring at tracks like 87th Street and Santa Fe Park Speedway as well as others throughout the Midwest. He was the chief scorer at O'Hare Stadium and developed an individual scoring system for the 33-car O'Hare American 500. When O'Hare closed down after the 1968 season, Elmer began working for Hugh Deery at Rockford Speedway. He joined the staff at Illiana Motor Speedway in 1972 and retired from the chief scorer's position after the 2007 season.


     Bill Koenig (pictures) was a car owner and builder who won numerous Late Model stock Car feature races at Raceway Park with the likes of Bud Koehler, Ted Janecyk and others handling the driving chores. Getting involved in drag racing as a young man, Koenig shifted his attention to stock car racing, putting some fast cars together right from the start. With Janecyk behind the wheel Koenig was the championship car owner at Raceway Park in 1965. Joining forces with Bud Koehler the following year, the ?K&K? team would win a total of 6 track titles at RacewayPark.

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