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IDOT/FAA Puts Brakes on Drag Racing at Carmi Airport

In 2019, a TV producer for The Discovery Channel approached 13 airports throughout the region in the hopes of shooting a pilot program surrounding drag racing at their properties.  Twelve of them said absolutely not according to Carmi Airport Manager Greg Brown.  He says he was the only one who said, “we’ll give it a try.”  That 4 year production has come to an end according to City of Carmi officials and sour grapes appear to be the culprit.

“Every year that we have had this program, there were a handful of not local pilots that rent hangar space from the airports tenants, and they started filing complaints with both the Illinois Department of Transportation Aeronautics.”

Brown says ever since the City started, he has complied with regulations and forms that had to be filed to have a non-aeronautic event at the airport.  Brown says one of the purposes of the show was to in fact show that aeronautical events could function together in the same space with non-aeronautical events.  In fact, many times planes were able to land while 660 Grudge Street productions were ongoing, according to the facility manager.

The problem came in Brown says when fresh sealant was laid down at the airport runway and taxiway and a complaint came in that the cars had torn up the sealant.  Brown says it was a small spot in the “burnout boxes” where the sealant had been scuffed.  Brown says what the state didn’t document was, “a 4,500 foot long scrape where somebody dragged an airplane with a flat tire.  They didn’t say anything about that.”

Ultimately, the FAA and IDOT told the City of Carmi that if the racing didn’t stop immediately, they would be financially responsible for the full bill of the resurfacing instead of their 5% from the grant, according to Brown.

Dustin Larkin with 660 Grudge Street says, “on behalf of 660, we want to thank Carmi for letting us use their town to shoot our tv show for the last 4 years.  The town’s been amazing.  The people have been amazing and I think the episodes that we’ve produced are great and we’ve been really delighted that we’ve been able to put Carmi in the spotlight.”

An official with the City of Carmi says, “It saddens me to have to report that the four remaining racing events at the Carmi Municipal Airport have been canceled for the season.  This decision has been made due to the fact a small group of pilots and/or individuals have constantly contacted the State with false accusations and issues pertaining to the airport.  I would like to apologize to Pets at Risk, Hucks Karing for Kids, Shriner’s Club Childrens Hospital and the Autism Awareness Charity for the loss of donations from each race.  Also, I want to apologize to the local businesses for their loss of revenue for the weekends of the races.”

The remainder of the races scheduled for the Carmi Airport this summer have been moved to the Sloan Harrisburg Raceway.

  1. Doug Deans
    Doug Deans
    June 1, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Good riddance, how dare they mess up that beautiful asphalt. Disturbing the peace with their obnoxious cars. #bandragracing

    • Annonymous
      June 1, 2023 at 6:19 pm

      Good riddance, okay so you want to take away an event that not only helped the community but charity. People like you are a disgrace to the communiy #BanTheIdiots

    • Brent
      June 1, 2023 at 7:05 pm

      Your a j****** sir

    • Todd Brewer
      Todd Brewer
      June 2, 2023 at 11:28 am

      Don’t like, don’t attend. Did anyone ask you to help pay to put the asphalt down? At least it was in a safe environment and not on the streets.

  2. Suzanne Dial
    Suzanne Dial
    June 1, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    It’s ridiculous that these locals with planes are taking away from the donations that this event has been able to donate to. Besides Carmi has nothing for people to enjoy. We know who is to blame.

    • Jester
      June 2, 2023 at 10:21 am

      The article said a handful of NON-Local pilots are to blame..

  3. 00Buckshot
    June 1, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    Who received the money from each race, City of Carmi, or Mr Brown and what was the “split”? What was the average money paid for each race date?Who decided the donations ,and how much were donated to
    each charity?

    • Bobby Owen
      Bobby Owen
      June 2, 2023 at 4:09 pm

      Irrelevant now

    • Robert York
      Robert York
      June 2, 2023 at 6:13 pm

      Who cares who received it! The point is they took away from the charities, are you going to donate what was donated to each charity? I’m guessing no you ain’t. Tell me what else is there to do in that God for saken town for kids or families to do? Sale dope? Run around on bicycles and play backpack tag? My opion YOUR A F@#$ING IDIOT

  4. Corkie
    June 1, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Just like eveything else here a few rule

  5. Karen Adams
    Karen Adams
    June 1, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Fine job , gentlemen. Way to push around the residents of Carmi ( isn’t that called bullying?); guess you showed them!! You accomplished your goal—give yourselves a big pat on the back….side!

    • Keith
      June 1, 2023 at 6:45 pm


  6. OO Buckshot
    OO Buckshot
    June 1, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Would like to know how much revenue is turned over to the city of Carmi, and how much the airport manager keeps for his part of the 660 races? Also who selected the charity’s that were funded?

  7. Mary
    June 1, 2023 at 10:54 pm

    And of course nothing else in white county to do so just take everything out of white county and make it a boring ghost town… nothing here to do unless you want to go to a bar or to park for ballgames…other smaller towns has plenty to do and all kinds of activities going on for everyone of different ages…so everyone in White county can met at Walmart or ballpark or one of the bars or McDonald’s and be bored or stay home like shut-ins…no good bands at the park or nothing no decent place to fish no founders day etc…

  8. Matt
    June 2, 2023 at 6:36 am

    Its a shame that some snowflakes have ruined the fun for many others just because of their opinion. Unfortunately we have a growing number of these spineless crybabies in our country that get sand in. their v** about something and wanna. cry and throw a temper tantrum until they get their way. 20 years ago when all men were men those pilots would try race cars on the runway……… these limp wristers now a days wanna complain because the cars are sooo loud. A sad day that the City of Carmi folded just like a puppet on a string Now that they have took this away n**ody and I mean NOBODY is going to
    come drive to CARMI Illinois. on purpose that will be buying gas, eating out , shopping at local stores , staying at hotels and spending money in local establishments ………..Real Smart way to let your little dinosaur of a city keep heading towards extinction . 🙄

  9. T. Browning
    T. Browning
    June 2, 2023 at 9:12 am

    Who is non reside thats renting the hangars? Do they have planes in there or just need a place for other activities?

  10. Robert York
    Robert York
    June 2, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    I believe the non residents renting should be kicked out its not their community!!

  11. Hutch
    June 2, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    Freaking Karen’s

  12. Branden
    June 3, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Not surprised and everyone wonders why I left carmi nothing good stays there

  13. Patrick
    June 17, 2023 at 11:53 am

    So, why can’t these races just be moved to somewhere else in Carmi? Close a couple blocks of Main Street for the races. If it’s wanting to be street racing why is it at the airport? What about using the old airport? I never raced here because it was a “cash only”. My company needs receipts so “Cash Only” races are too shady for us.


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