The Huntley Farmside
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Volume 40 No. 38 Farmside Your hometown newspaper Thursday Sept. 21,2000 ' 2000 Press-Republican Newspapers Life in the fast lane Huntley's racing aces burn up Sycamore Speedway by Cassie Peterson Correspondent On a hot summer night, dust and exhaust fill the air as the fans fill the stands. You climb into the protective steel cage _ of a car that you know intimately from the hoiirs of work spent painstakingly rebuild¬ ing it. The engine roars to life. The flag drops. Adrenaline surges through your veins as you become one with your machine. The rest of the world slips away as your mind becomes focused on the moment Feeling every nuance of the track beneath your tires, you search for the balance between speed and strategy. When the checkered flag drops, the sights and sounds of the rest of the world return. As you emerge from your steel cocoon, the crowd roars and kids scramble to get yotir auto¬ graph. Auto racing may be a fantasy for many people, but two Huntley men have made it their reality. Rick Clavey and Charlie Olson spend much of their free time each week preparing their cars to race on Saturday nights throughout the summer. Clavey has been racing for more than a decade. He was only 8 years old when his father took him to see his first race. He immediately fell in love with the sport and, when he grew older, he was determined to be the one behind the wheel. "It was just something I said I would do," Clavey said. Each week, drivers compete in one of several short (six-lap) heat races and a longer feature event. Drivers accumulate poinl^ based on how they finish in the week¬ ly races; the driver who has the highest point total at the end of the season becomes the overall track champion. Clavey has already won about a dozen ra.ces this year, Last month, he captured the Kane County Championship in a 35-lap race. Currently, Clavey holds third place in the overall stand¬ ings. He drives a customized 1979 Camaro in the Late Model Division. It is the fifth car he has built over the years. Though the body of the vehicle appears to be stock, Clavey and his crew are continuously modifying the car to improve speed, handling and safety. He shares the credit for his successful season with his crew chief, Steve Kothe. Clavey has been savoring his victories, but he said that winning is not the best part of racing. For him, the real reward is seeing the kids who come to watch the races. After each race, Clavey cheerfully, signs autographs and passes out candy to his young fans. "To see the smiles on their faces - that's the whole reason I do it," he said. He added that his ultimate racing goal is to help his son, Derek, succeed in the sport if he decides to get involved in racing. Since Derek is only two months old, Clavey may have a v/hile to wait foi* that. However, he has already made an impact on at least one child. Clavey remembers an 8-year-old Charlie Olson coming to watch him race. Olson, now 20, started, racing as soon as he got his dri¬ vers license, "Rick got me hooked when I was little," Olson said, "He taught me everything I know." Olson drives a 1981 Camaro in the Late Model Division. Competition and the thrill of racing are what Olson enjoys most. _ "It's an adrenaline rush," said Olson. "It's better than any roller coaster." Olson devotes most of his time and money to improving his car. His hard work has carried him into fourth place in the point standings. Olson plans to compete at Sycamore Speedway for one more season and then move up to bigger contests in LaSalle and Freeport. "Ultimately," he said, "I'd love to go national." For now, the biggest obstacle is money. By competing in bigger races, Olson hopes to impress scouts and find sponsors to help him further advance his racing career. As a boy, Charlie Olson (above) would come see Rick Clavey race at Sycamore Speedway Twelve years later he's racing alongside of him.
|Title||The Huntley Farmside|
|Creator||The Huntley Farmside|
|Coverage||Huntley, Illinois, United States|
|Description||Weekly Newspaper from the Huntley Area Public Library Collection|
|Rights||This material may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code).|
|Publisher||This Collection was digitized and loaded into CONTENTdm by OCLC Preservation Service Center (Bethlehem, PA) for the Huntley Area Public Library.|
|Source||Reproduction of library's print newspaper archives|