Nothing says summer like a shining sun, burning rubber, and cheering race fans at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet. That idea was proclaimed, as Suite 201 was filled with fans and guests alike at the qualifying races on Thursday. What made the affair distinctive was that the fans were a group of individuals with disabilities and the guests were professional NHRA drivers. Rendel?s GMC Collision Specialists donated their box suite to 22 individuals served by Trinity Services Inc. in Joliet. It was the first time many of the participants have ever seen a race, let alone feel the roar of cars hitting top speed down the ? mile track. Hosting Trinity Services this weekend was Jo Ann Polcyn, president of Joliet-based Rendel?s Inc. GMC Collision Specialists. ?This is important,? commented Polcyn. ?People need this opportunity.? ?My son Patrick thought this would be a good thing to do, and I?m glad we can offer this, and it has been a great day. It is important to give back to the community.? As the cars would pull up to the line, the individuals would make friendly speculations with their peers. Some would pick the red car, while others would pick its competitor. After the tires spun, the engine roared, and the smoke cleared, the winner was obvious. They were 22 cheering fans, sharing hugs and waving their hands in victory. Nobody could beat that. ?I?m happy and thankful for them (Rendel?s GMC Collision Specialist). I am glad they are thinking about the people at Trinity. This is the first time I?ve been to the races and I will never forget,? explained David, an individual Trinity serves, as he points to his head, ?See I never forget anything from up here.? The event became complete, when Route 66 Raceway arranged for two professional NHRA drivers to be introduced to the group. ?This is unbelievable,? exclaimed one individual. Mopar Motorsports drivers Dean Skuza and Darrell Alderman made their acquaintance of the Trinity Services party. They answered questions, signed autographs, and took pictures. To many in the suite, this was their first opportunity to shake hands and connect with professional sports icons. ?I?ve always been a fan and want to give back,? commented driver Dean Skuza. ?To affect the lives of people around us in a positive way is important. I look around and see pure smiles. That is what it is all about.? The Trinity guests also received die-cast replicas of an NHRA Dodge Nitro Funny Car. The models are similar to the car driven by Dean Skuza. Pat Polcyn of Rendel?s GMC Collision Specialist distributed them to the individuals of Trinity Services as they were leaving the track for the day and commented, ?Rendel?s does this because it is important to the community. Other people realize what we are doing and they (Route 66 Raceway and Mopar Motorsports) help out too.? Michael Cowley, a 32-year-old drag racing fan who participates in the Trinity Services programs, came a bit earlier than the rest of the group to see some of the cars up close. Sue Brown, Cowley?s Independent Living Counselor, has known Cowley for the ten years she has worked for Trinity. ?Mike is a huge race fan, he likes to watch it on television and talks about racing any chance he gets,? said Brown. Cowley started getting excited about racing after Sue introduced her husband Jim Brown to him ?He has inherited some of his love of the sport from my husband Jim. Since we have known Mike for so long, it is more like family.? Jim Brown thinks it is great that Cowley has taken such an avid interest in racing. ?I will call Mike and tell him when racing is on television, he loves it,? explained Jim, ?It is great when we can bring him out to Route 66 Raceway so he can experience what he has grown to love and watch on TV. Mike gets a chance to actually be here. Sue and I think it is a great opportunity for him, and he can?t get enough of it.? The Browns, Mike, and a representative from Route 66 Raceway visited the pit area of the track and found drivers who were more than willing to give Mike a chance to see the cars up close. They checked out the pit areas and haulers of many of the drivers including, funny car drivers John Lawson and Dean Skuza as well as Pro Stock Driver Darell Alderman. The drivers all helped Mike into the racecars so that he could get a feel of what it is like to be behind the wheel. While sitting in Alderman?s Dodge Neon R/T Pro Stock entry, the three-time Pro Stock World Champion educated Cowley on clutch set up, pulling the parachute and shifting a 1,300 horsepower race car. Skuza talked about how it feels to go 300 miles per hour. ?I love it all, everything,? said Cowley. ?I liked sitting in the cars, and meeting the drivers. This is cool. I like all kinds of racing, but I like drag racing the most.? Trinity Services Inc. is a non-sectarian, non-profit agency, which provides services and programs to children and adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities. For more information on how individuals or businesses can contribute to Trinity Services Inc., please contact Sherry Brueck at 815.485.6197.
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Route 66 Raceway
500 Speedway Blvd
Joliet, IL 60433
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Route 66 Raceway
500 Speedway Blvd, Joliet, Illinois 60433 Tickets & Information Call 888.629.RACE (7223)

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