From roughly 1970 through 1983 Motion Raceway in Assumption, Illinois was a place where drag racers flocked to burn tires and get their need for speed fulfilled. The track hosted lots of sportsman racing but also had a pretty good stream of professional racers coming through the place as well. Reportedly lots of teams rented and tested on the track back in the day including Sox and Martin among them. The central location in the middle of the country meant that there were always touring racers at least passing in the general area of the facility, so it seems that they were able to tap into that resource for a while. The track was a quarter mile facility when it opened but by the time it closed, it had been reduced to a 1,000ft strip due to a shorter than average shutdown area that didn’t look or act all that good in the face of the ever increasing speeds of racers. We’re not sure what ultimately led to the closure of the facility in ’83 but we do know that it is still there as a bit of an abandoned “ghost track” if you will. There are lots of photos on the internet you can look at that show the strip as all busted up and grown over now.
There are many reasons to love this video but the couple opening shots will have you hooked. Note: there is no sound other than music because this was shot on old school 8mm film. Don’t watch it and then complain, thanks….the management. Why? Because we open up to seeing a couple of pro level pro stock operations like Bob Glidden’s and they consist of a dually truck and a large but not insane enclosed trailer. Glidden has his Fairmont in this movie and he’s running against Monzas and late 1970s second gen Camaros, etc. You’ll see Don Prudhomme in his Plymouth Arrow that knocked everyone’s, ummm, noses in the dirt during this era and lots of cool local competitors as well. At first in the video it seems like the place is a virtual ghost town and by the time is closes you can see lots of people in the stands watching. We thought it may have been a test session to start with but it seems as though it was a match race due to the number of fans in the stands.
The idea of rolling into what amounted to a small local drag strip (even then) and watching Glidden, Prudhomme, the Chi-town Hustler, and more make runs still blows our minds. It is a world that just doesn’t exist today in that form. So much has changed over the year but on the front of equipment and expenses but also on the front of the sport’s culture. Teams simply don’t so this type of stuff anymore.
Press play below for the coolest vintage drag video you’ll see today!