By Jay Hardin
Track Enterprises Staff
August 27, 2018-DuQuoin, Il-Sons, grandsons, nephews, great nephews, the family relationships of Ted Horn 100 competitors at the DuQuoin State Fair continues a tradition of passing the torch to a new generation or competing against family on the “Magic Mile” dirt oval. In 2018 there are no less than nine entered drivers on the USAC Silver Crown entry list for the Ted Horn 100 who have a family member that ran one form of race car on the DuQuoin oval. It is a “family tradition” that dates back to the 1950’s.
Grizzled veteran Paul Russo of Chicago had a career that began before World War II when he finished last in the first DuQuoin race in 1948. His best finish, second, came a month later in the race that took the life of Ted Horn. Five years later he got to compete against nephew Eddie in the 1953 Ted Horn 100, with uncle Paul finishing 14th and Eddie finishing 15th. In 1959, Dick Rathmann joined brother Jim as siblings who made the Horn 100, but Jim and Dick never competed against each other at DuQuoin.
Family relationships blossomed during the 1960’s. Jerry Unser won a stock car event at DuQuoin in 1957 and missed the Horn 100 the next day. Younger brother Bobby finished 4th in his rookie year of 1964, three years later baby brother Al joined Bobby in the starting lineup. In 1967 the first son followed his father into the Horn 100 field, son Billy finished 5th in 1967 while father Bill had a 3rd in 1952. One year later it was son Gary following in father Tony’s footsteps. In 1980 Gary joined Tony as father and son winners of the Ted Horn 100.
During the 1970’s half-brothers Pancho Carter and Johnny Parsons competed against each other at the Magic Mile and both would eventually win the Ted Horn 100. Both sons followed their famous fathers Duane and Johnnie into the Horn 100 starting lineup. The decade also saw brothers Steve and Larry Cannon suit up and run on the DuQuoin clay.
Other combinations followed in the next four decades. Bill and son Billy Puterbaugh, Mike and son Mike Mosely Jr., Billy Vukovich III joining father and grandfather, 2003 winner Richie Tobias eclipsing father Dick “Toby” Tobias, Jeff Swindell joined Sammy on the list of brothers in the Horn 100 as did the Fike brothers in 2003.
Family ties to racing at DuQuoin are never more evident than in 2018. For example, Springfield’s Korey Weyant joins great uncle Chuck on the list of Horn 100 drivers, Chuck’s first start came in 1952. Joey Moughan’s uncle Jim ran Silver Crown cars at DuQuoin while Joe Ligouri’s grandfather Ralphs first start came in 1957. Jackie Burke joins fellow Texan Ronnie as members of the Burke family at DuQuoin and C.J. Leary follows in the footsteps of father Chuck. Austin Nemire’s grandfather Jerry had 14 starts in the Horn 100 and stock car starts on the mile as well. Even two-time winner Shane Cockrum of Benton has a connection, father Cliff ran supermodifieds on the DuQuoin mile in the early 70’s.
Relativity will be on display again Sunday night in the Ted Horn 100 at DuQuoin. It’s all part of the holiday doubleheader weekend of racing, featuring USAC Silver Crown on Sunday night, September 2 and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Monday, September 3. The DIRTcar Modifieds will race prelims on Sunday and their feature on Monday. Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader will battle with the other strong Modified competitors in the Bill Oldani event.
Tickets will be available at the gate on raceday or fans can purchase advance sale discount tickets by calling the Du Quoin State Fair box office at 618-542-1535 or the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200. Full event information can be found at www.trackenterprises.com.