The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on April 11, 2014 · B4
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · B4

Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, April 11, 2014
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B4 • The Pantagraph • Friday, April 11, 2014 www G enerally, when someone is inducted into a hall of fame they have been retired from their sport long enough for their favored Barcalounger to become, at the very least, somewhat form-fitting. This weekend, Bloomington’s Frank Shickel will join the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame in Rockford as an exception to that rule. At age 73, Shickel insists he’s not quite done racing. “I sold my car, but if something comes along to drive, I’ll drive it,” he said. “I still want to do it and I still think I’m capable of doing it.” This isn’t idle blustering from someone attempting to relive his glory days or harboring an overwhelming desire to show today’s young whippersnappers how it’s supposed to be done. Fact is, Shickel raced a late model as recently as two years ago. If anything, it is a testament to how the sport can get in the blood, how it can become a part of the essence of both the competitors and hardcore, devoted fans. Shickel has been prolific in passing along that bloodline. His sons, Frank Jr., Donnie and Eddie, all competed in late models. So did Junior’s daughter, Lisa, and Donnie’s son, Flip. Eddie’s son, Devin, is still active in the sport, assisting Bloomington late model standout Jason Feger in his efforts. Donnie’s daughter, Jennifer, never raced a late model, but contributed to the family tradition by competing in a quarter midget. The family legacy began with Frank Shickel racing go-karts as a teenager, following the lead of his brother-in-law. Soon he started racing stock cars and, after initially struggling a bit, he began to pile up feature wins and championships. He has absolutely no idea how many. “I never kept records,” he said, “and I always would give my trophies to kids.” He does remember his best years as being in the 1970s and also counts among his highlights a lot of nights when he and Junior, who for years was one of the area’s top late model competitors, would finish a feature in first and second. Shickel’s halcyon years that led to the hall came in a different era for the sport. Today’s late models are equipped with $40,000 motors and intricate shock packages, all of it factory “store-bought” and ready to bolt onto a store- bought chassis. In Shickel’s day, it wasn’t unusual for guys to go to the junkyard to get parts and take them back to the shop and finagle and finesse them until they all fit together. “Back then we just built what we could and worked with what we had,” he said. “Today you buy all that stuff.” While the family has raced at virtually every track in Central Illinois, Shickel primarily competed at Peoria and Fairbury. He was seriously injured in a race car only once, in a crash at Farmer City in 1981. “I shattered a kneecap, broke my foot and it bruised my face up a little bit,” he said. The incident in no way dampened the enthusiasm Shickel has for the sport or the joy its provided him through the years. Those attributes have been recognized by others at the track, spanning generations. Jason Feger, 36, is among today’s top dirt late model competitors. He grew up in a racing family and watched Shickel race in his best days. “He had this bright orange car that stood out and you always knew he was there,” Feger said. Once Feger began racing, he continued to notice Shickel and the many friends he had in the pit area. “You could have a really bad night and then look over and see those old guys having fun,” Feger said. “It kind of puts it in perspective.” Contact Bruce Yentes at Frank Shickel still driven at 73 B-N racer to be inducted into Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame Lug nuts n Frank Shickel will be inducted into the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Saturday at the Holiday Inn/Hoffman House in Rockford. After a social hour and dinner, the ceremony is set to begin at 7 p.m. Prior to the ceremony, there will be a reception at the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe from 1-4 p.m. Memorabilia from Shickel’s career will permanently be on display at the museum. n The Historic Auto Attractions Museum was built by Wayne Lensing of Lefthander Chassis, a company that enjoys a healthy share of the market for asphalt late model chassis. Lensing is the Northwest Region representative on the Stock Car Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. n Shickel was nominated to the Hall out of the South Region. Doug Morris of Towanda, Herb Shannon Jr. of Peoria and Streator’s Karen Tyne Duncan are the region’s representatives on the board. n Shickel will be the second Bloomington driver in the Hall of Fame, which is only three years old. Former ARCA champion Les Snow was one of the original inductees. n Snow, who is deceased, had a rare racing experience that will likely never again be duplicated. Before Daytona International Speedway was built, NASCAR staged races each February on the sands of Daytona Beach. Snow competed in the event in 1951. n Peoria’s Don Bohlander also is in the Hall of Fame. Peoria Speedway will pay its annual tribute to Bohlander on Saturday night with a late model feature paying $3,000 to the winner. n With relatively pleasant weather in the forecast for this weekend, Farmer City Raceway and Lincoln Speedway will open the season with regular weekly events on Friday evening. LaSalle Speedway will open its weekly series on Saturday. n Saturday’s event at Macon Speedway will be pay points toward the Midwest Big Ten Series late model title. Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin is the defending series champ. Bruce Yentes For The Pantagraph Frank Shickel and a checkered flag were a familiar pairing at Central Illinois dirt tracks, especially in the 1970s. Shickel, of Bloomington, will be inducted into the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame in Rockford this weekend. Bloomington Edge primer Edge at Defenders When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday Wher e: Cox Business Center; Tulsa, Okla. FYI: The Edge (0-4), last in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League in total defense (298.2 yards per game) and in points allowed (59.2 per game), will be facing a prolific offense that leads the league in touchdowns (37) and has the second best scoring average (55.6 ppg). “We’ll have to put up points, no doubt about that,” said Edge coach John Johnson. Johnson said some new linemen will be coming in to shore up the defense, but won’t be arriving until next week. “We’re last in sacks and we’ve got to get some defensive pressure,” he said. Edge quarterback Charles Dowdell leads the league in total offense (219.8 yards per game) and in passing. Favorite receiver Marcus Lewis is the league leader in receptions (7-for-95.2 yards per game). Return specialist LaVaughn Macon is tops in all purpose yards (173.2 per game). “Each of those first four games, we had a chance to win,” Dowdell said. “I feel like if we just come together as a team in the fourth quarter and turn some of those penalties we’ve had into a positive, I feel like we could get a winning streak going and turn this whole season around.” The Edge are coming off a 54-47 loss to the Doge City Law. The Defenders (3-2) defeated the Lincoln Haymakers, 73-61 last week. Kicker Tommy Frevert tied a league record with five field goals and was 8-of-8 on extra points. The 23 points are the most scored in a game by a kicker in CPIFL history and earned him the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Next: vs. Sioux City Bandits, 7:05 p.m., April 19 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum - Compiled by Bruce Yentes ASSOCIATED PRESS Detectives in Miami say three NFL players are named in a police report involving a woman who passed out in a hotel, though no one has been charged with a crime. The Miami Police Department report released Thursday says the woman told police she was in a hotel room April 1 with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick a nd wide receiver Quinton Patton, and Seattle S eahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. She says the men drank alcohol and told her to smoke marijuana. She says that after that, Kaepernick undressed her in a bedroom and left. The woman told police the two others then peeked inside and she ordered them out. The report says she doesn’t remember anything after that and woke up in a hospital. Kaepernick, 26, is one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season and the NFC championship game this past year. Eli Manning has surgery: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is going t o start the offseason training program with a surgically repaired left ankle. The Giants announced that Manning had arthroscopic surgery Thursday to relieve some lingering discomfort in the ankle he sprained in the regular-season finale against Washington. The two-time Super Bowl MVP had been rehabbing the ankle for more than three months, but it was still bothering him. Panthers sign TE Dickson: The Panthers added depth at tight end on Thursday, signing four-year NFL veteran Ed Dickson from the Baltimore Ravens to a one-year contract. The 6-foot-4, 255- pound Dickson started 44 games and played in 60 during his four seasons with the Ravens. He has recorded 111 career receptions for 1,178 yards and seven touchdowns since being selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft. NFL Kaepernick named on police report

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