Scott has big hopes for return of Grand Prix, but warns this will be an important trial year


Karters come out of a turn in single file during one of Sunday's races at the 36th Grand Prix of Karting in South Park. | MRN file photo courtesy Aaron Beaston

QUINCY — Jeff Scott readily admits between now and early June he’s likely going to need more than 24 hours in most days.

But that’s OK. He’s ready. In fact, he’s more than ready for the challenges that await.

Scott, family and friends are undertaking the project of reviving the the Grand Prix of Karting at South Park, the event that local businessman and longtime coordinator Terry Traeder opted to end following the 2022 races.

“It was just time,” said Traeder, now 72.

And from Scott’s perspective, it’s time to bring it back. That will happen June 8-9…this year.

About a year ago, Scott, a karter himself — as are son Riley and daughter Avery — decided he wanted to breathe some new life into the Grand Prix and talked extensively with Traeder and others before and after he decided to undertake such a task.

“I received a lot of encouragement from Terry and others to take it on, and I thought, ‘Why not?” said the 51-year-old Scott, who is part-owner and general manager of Scotties Fun Spot.

Scott, whose family also founded and owned Quincy Raceways (now Adams County Speedway) from 1975-2007, knows the history of the Grand Prix very well. In fact, that was part of the appeal. Just a couple of years ago, list the Grand Prix as one of the top 10 karting events in the United States.

Traeder and his family, including his father, the late Gus Traeder, the man who brought national attention to Quincy through the Grand Prix, had overseen the event from its inception in 1970 through its first stoppage after 2001. Terry and associates oversaw its revival in 2018.

Traeder said he came to the decision to step away from the event after conversations with family members and long-time karting associates. He said he felt he had accomplished what he had hoped to, and that, coupled with upcoming personal and business demands at the time, made for an excellent time to shut down the Grand Prix.

“The Grand Prix was a world-class event in everyone’s opinion,” Traeder said. “We had a world-class group of officials and volunteers from all over the country who helped the event run smoothly, and I hold my head high and know everything was done to make this event special.” 

The second edition of the Grand Prix averaged more than 300 entries per year, with a record 343 in 2021. The event record number of entries was 625 in 1994.

“We wanted to start it up again for the community, plus honoring my dad,” Traeder said. “I think we accomplished both.”

And now Scott will carry that same kind of torch, but he is doing so with a sense of reality, too.

“This is going to be a trial year,” Scott Said. “We have to break even.”

The budget is about $120,000. Scott’s karting group has received a $30,000 grant via Quincy’s Bring Entertainment (BET on Q) Committee. He will need to cover the balance through sponsorships and entry fees. He has a goal of a combined 400 entries for 18 planned classes.

Scott figures there will be 60 to 70 workers needed. Chris Miller has agreed to be race director.

Scott is planning for a variety of accompanying events for race weekend like a cornhole tournament, a concert and a motorcycle rally.

“I’ve got notepads all over the house, so when I think of something I can write it down,” Scott said.

Scott expects the coming weeks to fly by. 

“We have a lot to do in a short time, but we’re confident,” he said.

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