PEORIA -—The Peoria racing local community shed a beloved member when previous Peoria Speedway proprietor Sherrie Hamilton crossed the end line for the final time as she died at her home Wednesday early morning.
Hamilton, 78, operated the quarter-mile filth track just after her spouse and unique observe proprietor, Chuck Hamilton, died in 2002.
Sherrie retained nearby racing alive on her watch as just one of the number of female racing promoters in the country. The Farmington Road track gave lots of renowned motorists their start out.
“I grew up close to the Hamiltons, been around them most of my daily life,” said longtime Peoria Speedway driver Todd Bennett, now 59. “It was really their car or truck I was racing when I acquired my start out. They experienced a Late Model and a Modified and I would perform on them, assistance get the vehicle established up and dialed in.”
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Bennett went on to generate that car or truck to start off his Speedway occupation, for the duration of which he managed friendship with Hamilton.
“We might swim at her home, have drinks more than there, notify stories,” Bennett claimed. “I even applied to babysit for the spouse and children.
“Sherrie was constantly ideal there, seeing every thing, using treatment of individuals. She would do everything in the environment for you. But if you crossed paths with her in the wrong way she’d permit you know it.”
‘Miss you dearly’
Peoria Speedway was at first found in what right now is the Pioneer Park area. The track was relocated to its current Farmington Street place in 1965.
The Hamilton family bought the track in 1974 and held it via the 2010 time. Brimfield indigenous Curt Mottaz purchased the track in January of 2011 and bought it in 2014 to Jason Plumer and Brandon Dean.
Dean, the most important operator of the keep track of nowadays, did not return messages still left Thursday. The Speedway time ends this weekend.
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The Peoria Speedway declared her demise on its Fb website page Wednesday night, right after which hundreds of messages of assistance and condolences rolled in.
“It truly is with a significant heart to announce the passing of Sherrie Hamilton. I spoke with her grandson Jake and Sherrie handed peacefully in her sleep. Sherrie took over the speedway when her late partner Chuck handed away. Sherrie owned and ran the observe until wellness grew to become an situation. Sherrie, all of us want to say thank you for all you did and we are all likely to skip you dearly. RIP Sherrie Hamilton.”
Friendships at the keep track of
Hamilton created enduring friendships at the monitor, among them Tricia LaHood McElhiney and Jan Walden.
“I helped down at the Speedway, and we did so a great deal jointly,” LaHood McElhiney said. “She arrived to the Brickyard with me in Indianapolis, and we (traveled) to the Daytona 500 a few moments. This kind of very good memories. We experienced so much enjoyable going to evening meal.
“We have been in a shuffleboard league jointly. Had exciting. Each 12 months on her birthday, I would phone her and sing to her and we might chat about previous instances. And a pair days later she would simply call me and sing to me.
“We are all going to miss out on her so much.”
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star athletics columnist, and covers Bradley men’s basketball, the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve athletics column for pjstar.com. Achieve him at 686-3206 or [email protected] Comply with him on Twitter @icetimecleve.