With heavy rains and deep mud threatening to cancel one of professional motorcycling’s most prestigious races, Caterpillar had the right people in the right place at the right time—not to mention some heavy machinery at their disposal—to save the annual August event for hundreds of riders and thousands of race fans. The event is called the Peoria “TT” and billed as the world’s longest consecutive running dirt track race. Hosted by the Peoria Motorcycle Club on their home track in rural Peoria, Illinois, this year was the 72nd annual running of the TT event—bringing in some of the world’s best riders.
The following article was originally published on americanflattrack.com.
By Mitch Boehm, American Flat Track
Rain has always been a dirt racetrack’s Achilles Heel, especially if the track in question sits at the bottom of a valley. And anyone familiar with PMC Race Park – home of the legendary Peoria TT – knows the circuit sits smack dab at the bottom of one. They don’t call it ‘Thunder Valley’ for nothin’.
In the days leading up to the 72nd running of the Peoria TT on August 18, 2018, the rains came. And came. Peoria Motorcycle Club members all said was more than they’d seen in years.
Come Friday morning, things were not good. The track was a bog, and just walking across it had your boots sinking 8-10 inches into gooey muck. The fact that the club had imported tons of fresh clay last year didn’t help, as the clay – which yields a near-perfect racing surface when dry and prepped – tends to hold water in a serious way.