FARMER CITY (WCIA) — Monticello’s Darrell Dick has been racing for almost 30 years. For most of that, his distant cousin and longtime Farmer City race fan Chris “Dog” Reynolds has sponsored him.
“He got ahold of us and he wanted to sponsor us. It was like, ‘Okay what do you want on the car?'” the 28-year racing veteran recalled. “At first it was ‘Turn 2 Lounge’, and then it he changed it to ‘What Up Dog.'”
In 2015, Reynolds died after a battle with cancer. To keep his memory alive track officials and the Dick family put together the What Up Dog 40, a memorial race in Reynolds’ honor. It is still going nine years strong in 2023.
“I can tell you right now, they didn’t think it would last that long and neither did we,” Dick said.
“I think he would be almost a little embarrassed. To us, it’s a real honor,” Reynolds’ sister Peggy Tobin said. “It makes you sad and happy all in the same.”
With increased sponsorship, a $2,222 first place purse, and an extra What Up Dog bonus around $1,000, the weekend has become a marquee event for Farmer City.
“I am the ‘What Up Dog 22.’ I’ve been the ‘What Up Dog 22’ for probably the last 15 years, and it’ll be on my car until I quit racing,” Dick said. “And it’ll be on my grandson’s car.”
Darrell Dick has done the ‘What Up Dog 22’ proud, currently sitting in second place in the Farmer City Raceway modified standings. His son, Timmy, leads the late model points at the track, and fourth generation driver Hudson is second in kid modifieds as a 12-year old.
“I mean everybody kinda wants to follow in their dad’s footsteps and that’s what we’ve all done,” Timmy Dick said. “My grandpa started this whole gig and he probably never thought it would turn into this.”
“I just wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” Hudson Dick said. “I’ve been watching him since I was a baby.”
“My goal is to race against my grandson, and possibly get my son out there with us and have three generations out there at once racing,” Darrell Dick said. “My heart will be happy, be full. Might be time to hang it up after that.”
Every car at Farmer City Raceway sported the ‘What Up Dog’ stickers on Friday. As long as a member of the Dick family keeps racing, Dog will still be represented at Farmer City Raceway.
“We know he’s up there watching,” Darrell Dick said. “He’s got a Budweiser in one hand, and a cigarette in the other, he’s sitting in his chair and he’s enjoying the show.”
New Berlin’s Jose Parga led every lap of this year’s What Up Dog 40, taking home his first victory in the event.