Grand National TT Championship Races in to 66th Year

Published 08/17 2014 09:05PM

Updated 08/17 2014 09:09PM

BARTONVILLE - For flat track motorcycle racers, Peoria is Daytona.

"It's the best race in the country," said Ran Knox of East Moline

Which is why it is still running strong after over six decades.

Race Director Tebben Grafelman said, "It's fun to see the crowd out here; everybody having fun. It's just so neat to see everybody come in from all over the country and talk about this race being their favorite place."

Motorcycle fans ride to Peoria each year for the annual Grand National TT Championship at the Peoria Motorcycle Club. It is in its 66th year.

"It's just the atmosphere," Grafelman said. "It's a park-like atmosphere. We got all the racers out here, and it just doesn't get any better than that."

For over 50 years, Ran Knox comes down from the Quad Cities for the race, joining others on a hill overlooking the entire track.

He said, "I think people interact more when they're just sitting around. if you're on bleachers, you're kind of compartmentalized.

But what makes this such a big event?

"The track itself," Grafelman said. "It's the only one in the country like it. Everybody just likes the track. It's a neat track to ride on."

Knox added, "At TT, you have left and right turns and a jump, where other races, they're just left turns. It makes it more fun."

The Motorcycle Club doesn't need to change too much.

"We're fine tuning a few things out here," Grafelman said. "Making it a little friendly for, family friendly."

But it is the tradition of the racing that makes it such a premier event. Besides, what isn't broke...shouldn't be fixed.

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