By Rob Hinckley
EAST MOLINE, Ill. (June 10) – As well as he’s running right now, he may even win it.
At age 72, Hall of Famer Gary Webb’s dirt track racing career is still at high speed. Webb is in his 50th season of speeding around tracks locally and beyond. The 50 years will be celebrated with The Salute to Gary Webb IMCA Sunoco Late Model race on Sunday, June 20 at East Moline Speedway.
In addition, Ken Schrader will be on hand to tackle the quarter-mile oval at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds.
“Fifty years at anything is a milestone, but racing at the level Gary has for five decades means more,” EMS General Manager and Race Director Bret Sievertsen said. “We knew East Moline Speedway wanted to honor Gary, especially since he considers this track ‘home’ and won a lot here.”
The feature race will be 56 laps, in honor of Webb’s car number and pay $2,000 to the winner. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National and KMJ Performance State points will be disbursed and the line ups will be determined via draw/redraw. More than 20 of the top IMCA Late Model drivers are expected, not only because of the payout, but to honor the Blue Grass, Iowa driver.
Front gates will open June 20 at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with racing to follow. IMCA Modifieds, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods, IMCA STARS Mod Lites and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks also will be in action.
Schrader is scheduled to pilot his Federated Auto Parts IMCA Modified.
Webb has 519 wins at 65 different tracks over his career. A significant amount of those checkered flags were earned at East Moline Speedway, including two in 2020 at age 71. He also is an 18-time EMS champion, with the last title in 2018. He currently is in third place in 2021 track points.
The Davenport native belongs to the EMS Speedway Hall of Fame and the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame (Florence, Kent.). In 2018, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Iowa Racing Museum Hall of Fame.