NBC racing commentator Hobbs to speak at Meadowdale group banquet
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media January 27, 2014 11:34AM
Retired race car driver and current Formula 1 NBC commentator David Hobbs. | Submitted
Updated: January 28, 2014 12:39PM
CARPENTERSVILLE — For about a decade in the village’s history, the Meadowdale International Raceway beckoned drivers and car enthusiasts from all over the United States.
Used for motor racing from 1958 to 1968, today the track is still a popular draw as a nature preserve and recreational area known as Raceway Woods.
The Meadowdale International Raceway Preservation Association has been actively working to promote and preserve the area’s racing history.
Annually, the nonprofit group hosts a banquet fundraiser to help further its goal of preserving the history of Meadowdale and establishing a national racing museum in the area.
The fifth annual winter banquet will be held Feb. 1, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 75 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights. A cash bar cocktail hour will begin the evening at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
This year’s guest speaker is retired race car driver and current Formula 1 NBC commentator David Hobbs.
East Dundee resident and MIRPA member Lucy DeLap said she enjoys the annual banquets.
“I don’t know that much about racing. I know I like to go and watch it,” she said. “It’s fun. But these banquets have such great speakers that provide a really interesting insight into the competitive world of racing. Each one of the speakers brings a different perspective and different tale of what kind of challenges they faced throughout their racing careers.”
Hobbs is a champion road racer, with a career spanning more than three decades, as well as a television commentator and businessman. He started racing in 1959 behind the wheel of his mother’s Morris Oxford, turned professional in 1964 and wrapped up his driving career in 1993 with the U.S. Fastmasters Championship, according to his biography.
In 2009, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
DeLap said hosting the banquets in February helps break up the long winter.
“Car people get really bored in the winter because you can’t do anything with cars except talk about them,” she said.
The money raised at the fundraisers such as the banquet goes back into the Meadowdale International Raceway Preservation Association.
“Since the inception of this group, they’ve broadened their horizons,” DeLap said. “Initially, it was just a car show once a year. There was so much interest that they’ve expanded their realm of interest to all national sports racing — anybody that has anything from any kind of track from everywhere around here.”
The goal is to establish the museum and research facility in this area for those interested in specific information about national racing events, drivers, teams, cars or any other vehicles.
The association’s annual car show is held in September and draws hundreds of people from all over the area. The 2014 car show will be held Sept. 20, at Raceway Woods.
Those who attend this year’s winter banquet also are invited to the McKee Engineering Race Shop Tour and Brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 1, 805 Oakwood Road, #H, in Lake Zurich, which will include host Bob McKee and Hobbs.
The cost for Meadowdale International Raceway Preservation Association members and their guests is $70 per person for the dinner and $95 per person for the dinner and McKee shop tour and brunch. For non-members, the fee is $95 for the dinner and $120 for the dinner and brunch tour.
For more information about the event, visit www.mirpa.org, or call 847-421-2891.