Who We Are
Welcome to Accelaquarter Raceway Park
Just one mile north of Harrisburg, Illinois on Hwy 34
Our location is 1515 Hiway 34 North, Harrisburg, IL
Frank Sisk, Owner
Jay Farnsworth, Operator and Manager
We are an non-sanctioned 1/8 mile all concrete drag strip
with over 1400 feet of shutdown area.
We also have a large paved pit parking area.
In the spectator area we have a comfortable covered grandstand and parking areas you can view from your car or truck.
We are proud of our full service concession stand with a friendly staff, fresh cooked food, snacks & soft drinks, with a covered eating area.
There is great lighting on the track for the racers and for you to see all the action!
Frank Sisk stands in the timing tower of the renovated drag strip he is opening north of Harrisburg on Aug. 30. Tom Kane photo
Daily Register/Daily Journal staff writer
Posted Aug. 28, 2013 @ 10:51 am
HARRISBURG — Frank Sisk of Equality is excited.Labor Day weekend marks the opening of his newly improved Accelaquarter Raceway drag strip north of Harrisburg on state Route 34. "I spent over $1 million to improve this track and make it safer. I don't mean this the wrong way, but all the other tracks in this region are pretty old. I think we will attract some business," he said Tuesday.The gates open 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 with time trials at 6 p.m. and racing begins at 8:30 p.m."This year we will race until it is too cold," Sisk said.Sisk purchased the historic drag strip from Cars for Kids Inc. and the raceway is no longer affiliated with that organization.Sisk had hoped to open earlier this year, but weather prevented that.The purse for the Labor Day event which runs from Friday, Aug. 30 to Sunday, Sept.1 is $6,000. That money is divided equally among the three classes of dragsters: $2,000 for the foot brake class; $2,000 for the pro class and $2,000 for the super pros.When Sisk bought the track in July of 2012 it was 1,440 feet long. He lengthened it to 2,070 feet to give the cars more room to shut down. He said drivers' brakes were smoking to get slowed down."The cars have gotten so fast we had to lengthen the track to allow them space to decelerate. It will remain an eighth mile race but it will be safer," he said.Other racing options may be in the future. "I bought land to the north and plan to build a go-kart track and maybe a motorcycle track there," he said.The timing tower, which overlooks the track, is one of the additions that Sisk installed. The actual timing devices will be hard-wired because of a disappointing experience with digital timers during construction and testing.The tower is built of tornado-proof panels that Sisk perfected for the mining industry.An inventor, Sisk provided equipment for the mines with his Precision Mine Equipment business in Ridgway. He also owns The Red Onion restaurant in Equality in addition to serving as mayor of that village.Concessions will be available, no alcohol is allowed in the pit area, gate fee is $10 for adults and children under 12 are free."It's a lot of recreation for the money. Where else can you get seven to eight hours of fun for that price?" he said."The best seats in the house will be right here in the timing tower. I have provided 40 seats in a lounge type environment. I expect several cars will show up and race on Labor Day weekend," Sisk said.
SHAWN ANGLIN THE SOUTHERN 10/02/2014 HARRISBURG, IL — The Accelaquarter Raceway has a unique, but relatively unknown history.
The one-eighth mile track is just north of Harrisburg on Illinois 34. From its initial opening in 1963, the raceway has been a gathering point for gearheads to see who has the fastest ride in the area.
“I don’t know how it got the name Accelaquarter since it’s an eighth mile track, but we decided to keep it,” said Frank Sisk, owner of the track, who has been an avid automobile fan his entire life.
Richard Rumsey is a lifelong Harrisburg resident who recalls coming to the track in its early days when he was in high school.
“I got hooked on cars and racing when I was a freshman in high school. One night an old Chevy was so loud it made my ears ring and it was then I knew I had to have a car like that,” said Rumsey, who has since owned and raced the same 1955 Chevrolet that he purchased in 1969.
The raceway closed down after the 1985 racing season because of new insurance regulations, according to Rumsey. He even recalled a time when an airplane landed on the track, mistaking it for a runway and knocking down one of its light poles.
The neglected raceway sat vacant and overgrown for nearly 15 years. In an attempt to restore the track to its former glory, the group Cars for Kids decided to revive the facility in 2010.
Sisk had built a car to race at the rejuvenated track. When he heard the reopening could be short-lived, he decided to step in and save the raceway.
Sisk purchased the facility in July 2012. At that time, its length did not provide enough safe stopping distance for today’s high performance drag cars. Shortly after purchasing the raceway, Sisk added about 650 feet of track while also widening each racing lane by eight feet.
The raceway has since seen a restoration from the ground up. There has been well over $1 million invested to upgrade the tower, track surface, safety walls, parking lot, and timing system, as well as adding a new grand stand.
The state-of-the-art track tower is constructed of concrete panels that have been certified as tornado proof by Texas Tech University. Sisk perfected these panels though his business, Precision Mining, and they are used in mining applications and even home construction.
Sisk is currently constructing a unique area inside the tower where spectators can view the racing action from above in a climate-controlled environment.
He is also expanding the facility by adding a bigger parking area and two go-kart tracks. He would one day like to add a motocross track in hopes that someday the raceway will grow into a sporting complex.
Today racers not only travel from Southern Illinois but anywhere in the tri-state area to visit the track. According to Sisk, one driver travels 350 miles one way just to get there.
“If you love cars this is the place to be, and without Frank’s generosity it wouldn’t be what it is today.” Rumsey said.
For a complete schedule of upcoming events at the track, which includes the Accelaquarter Fall Bracket Bash this Saturday and Sunday, visit http://www.accelaquarterraceway.com.
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