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Dave Hinton: Four generations of Monticello-area family living life in the fast lane

Feb. 25—Darrell Dick of Monticello remembers crying when he watched his father's race car head down the driveway after Dad sold it.

Foz had raced for about eight years, but came to an impasse.

"Back then you didn't make a lot" of money, Foz said. "Me and my wife sat down and made a decision. She said, 'We've either got to feed the family or feed the race car.' "

So the decision was made to sell it, and son Darrell was not happy. He enjoyed watching his father race too much. Little did he know it would be the start of a family tradition.

It's in their blood. Darrell took up the sport. So did brother Chris, Darrell's son Timmy and Timmy's 11-year-old son, Hudson.

It seems the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

Hudson "has won more features than I ever did" in his three years of racing, Foz said.

Darrell, who is 56, took up the sport as a late-bloomer. He was 30.

"I wanted to be racing a long time before that," he said. "I just couldn't afford it. It's an expensive hobby," noting the cost has probably quadrupled since he started. "Everything — motors, tires, bodies, suspensions — everything's escalated. It was halfway affordable. These last few years, it's gone crazy because there's no supply, supposedly."

Darrell said he has raced "in Farmer City, Macon, Charleston, Lincoln, La Salle, the Springfield Mile, Taylorville, Jacksonville. I even went to Iowa when we had COVID."

Darrell started in the Sportsman class before switching a few years later to Street Stocks. He now races in B-Mod (modified). He estimates he's won about 30 races.

Some high school graduates get cars as presents. Darrell gave son Timmy a race car, "and after that he was hooked."

Timmy started out in Sportsman before moving to Street Stock and now is in Crate Late Model. He was champion at Farmer City last year and races at Macon, Kankakee and Spoon River.

Darrell's brother Chris, who owns Illini Overhead Doors in Monticello, also races a Crate Late Model.

The Dicks all live in the Monticello area, except for Chris, who lives in De Land.

Darrell said it's a family-oriented hobby. Darrell, Chris and Timmy have raced one another in the past.

Who is the best driver in the family? "Probably my grandson," said Darrell, who said "my goal is to race my son and grandson. Then I'll die a happy man."

Darrell said he's seen his racing abilities decline over the years, saying, "I'm not as aggressive as I used to be."

"I don't like to have to fix 'em. When we have those 15-lap features, I've got to give it all I've got. I like them longer races because then I can take my time. I always told them they need to have an Old Man Class so I can take a break."

Darrell has had his share of wrecks, some with injuries.

He said he broke his arm in a "baby rollover" when the G-force knocked his arm out the window and the car came down on it. He had a violent rollover at the Fairbury track, where he suffered a concussion, and caused a great deal of damage in a wreck at Springfield.

"I hit the inside guard rail, and it dead-stopped me," Darrell said.

"Timmy's had one rollover and Chris has had some. I'm the only one that broke something."

The man who started it all, Francis, "Foz" Dick, got his nickname from a friend because a racer he backed was sponsored by Fosdick Poultry. The nickname stuck.

Foz and his late wife, Janice, are members of the Farmer City Wall of Fame for their involvement and support in racing and showing 4-H livestock for more than 50 years.

Foz said he didn't have to convince any of his family to become race fans.

His daughter, Angela, is race fan and works the gate at the Farmer City track.

Even after he quit racing, Foz remembers his wife and their four children heading off to the race track.

"It turned out they all liked the races. They had their little racing suits. She brought boiled hot dogs and buns, and that's what they had to eat," Foz said.

The 78-year-old Foz, who has worked as a mechanic all of his life, is a Chevy man through and through. He raced the Late Model category, which today is called Street Car — "like a '56 or '57 Chevy, a '66 Camaro. The last car I had was a '70 Nova."

He taught his children all he knew about fixing cars and how to race.

His advice on the track: "You go into the corner until you see God and then you mash the accelerator. I had to learn to finesse it into a turn. When you feel it in your rear end, you can tell whether the car's loose or tight or pushing. When you learn that, you'll be a good racer."

Willard named student of the month in Rantoul

Paige Willard of rural Fithian has been named Rantoul Township High School February student of the month at Rantoul Township High School.

She is a daughter of Amanda and Jed Willard.

Her school activities have included four years of volleyball, two years on student council, a member of National Honor Society two years, Fellowship of Christian Athletes four years and a cheerleader two years.

She served as National Honor Society secretary and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader.

Honors/awards she has received: IPA recognition, scholar athlete, NHS recognition and Excellence in Science, Math and FCS.

She is not reluctant to give of her time, having 150 volunteer hours from 2016-19 and 100 hours from 2020-2022.

Willard has worked one year each at Rantoul Sports Complex and Rantoul Rec Department and did babysitting for four years.

She plans to study exercise science and kinesiology in college with a goal of going into the medical field of rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Lane retiring from Danville post

Steve Lane is hanging it up after 25 years as Danville parks and public property manager.

Hired as superintendent of parks and public property in 1998, Lane said his job title has changed a few times over the years, but his responsibilities have remained the same.

He said during the last several years, more of his time and energy have been spent on building maintenance compared to parks, grounds and beautification early in his tenure.

"It is very rewarding to have a job where you can help make positive changes in your hometown," Lane said. "I really love designing park improvement projects and landscaping projects that beautify Danville. Landscape designing has always been what I enjoy most, and I have been fortunate to have been given lots of freedom to pursue projects that I felt were important."

Lane said he is particularly proud to have been involved in the design and development of Temple Plaza and the complete renovation of Carver Park and Ellsworth Park and said being a part and watching Winter Park grow into what it is today has been exciting.

Of the future, Lane said, "We are really starting to see the potential the Danville area has as a recreation destination.

"Our downtown seems to have a new vibe happening, and businesses are looking to locate there. The casino and Carle project are real game-changers."

He said the upcoming Garfield Park and pool project will also be game-changers.

Honor Roll

On Saturdays, we tip our hats to academic award-winners from our area. Submit information at dhinton@news-gazette.com.

PRESIDENTS LIST

Danville Area Community College — Nicholas Garmon, Alvin; Olivia Logue, Armstrong; Allison Bostwick, Ryan Bostwick, Dianne Trimble, Bismarck; Jaiden Baum, Holden Dunavan, Joseph Kedas, Kylee Pate, Rebecca Rogers, Monica Vasquez, Catlin; Lindsey Franz, Chrisman.

Noah Acree, Wariya Alhassan, Gracie Arnett, Amber Atkinson, Xitlally Bonilla, Jasmine Brown, Ne'Kedra Cain, Devontay Carpenter, Rowan Clawson, Jeremiah Cooper, Isabella Courson, Brandon Cox, Mariela Cruz, Debra Cummings, Joel Cundiff, Olivia Edgington, Robin Farr, Brenda Fisher, Nicholas Fuentes, Teagyn Goodwin, Meghan Gross, Logan Hall, Marlee Harper, Jadyn Hess, Lindsey Janssen, Tamara Jimson, Josephine Kamwela, Christopher La Combe, Trenton Lewis, Layla Martinez, Kalia Mason, Ashlynn Pinnick, Ethan Rayburn, Chelsea Reeves, Kearby Robinson, Vivianna Ruffo, Veronica Sasseen, Yoo Bin Seo, Maxeen Smart, Shania Smith, Maria Sobany Bosch, Frederick Soderstrom, Elmonia Taylor, Lewis Towne, Kayce Wagle, Charlene Walsh, Grace Ward, Donald Wills, Mia Yant, Danville.

Abigail Walder, East Lynn; Codey McMahon, Fithian; Jacob Maskel, Hunter Way, Georgetown; Charis Allen, Tori Birge, Gage Hopkins, Morgan Keith, Skyler Morgan, Hoopeston; Ahmad Al-Heeti, Mahomet; Abigail White, Milford; Madison Doan, Jarron Fleming, Natalie Garrison, Raiden Jackson, Kimberly Montgomery, Tanner Pouilliard, Oakwood; Kyleigh Weller, Philo; Destiny Fitzsimmons, Violet McCool, Mason McMasters, Seth Pollitt, Potomac; Matthew Coleman, Ridge Farm.

Heidi Gobel, Morgan Miller, Abigail Ryan, Rossville; Alexis Koester, Tuscola; Laney Crawford, Jack Duensing, McKenzie Meinders, Joshua Miller, Emma Myers, Zachary Troxel, Westville.

HONORS LIST

Justin Wilken, Armstrong, Trenton Spicer, Bismarck; Naomi Dolan, Emily Fier, Lillie Hannan, Macallister Hill, Autumn Lange, Grace Niedzwiecki, Catlin; Lilian Eziefule, Champaign;

DEANS LIST

Danville Area Community College — Nora Abdelghani, Joan Applegate, Michele Budnovich, Anna Carrion, Christine Daniel, Benjamin Dickerson, Ian Dukes, Jayla Greer, Chelsey Haga, Dalton Hagley, Diego Hightower, Aryanna Huckstadt, Lexi Hudson, Matteo Janzen, Ginaveve Jessup, William Landis, Chayton Lawrence, Lezlea Lowe, Julieanna Morse, Amanda Nelson, Candela Nevares Garcia, Aaron Olmstead, Destiny Parker, Lilliana Perez, Tah'yah Rose, Ruth Salazar, Woodley Scholz, Andrew Sentelle, Sebastian Skinner, Braeden Skoog, Jennifer Stovall, Dylan Taylor, Rylie Terrell, Kendra Tucker, Cassie Warren, Zoe Wilson, Ella Wolfe, Jacob Xiong, Danville.

Aaron Dean, Fairmount; Reed Sperry, Fithian; Brooke Robertson, Lavonte Taylor, Madison Wilson, Georgetown; Maria Alvarado, Vanessa Blackburn, Ashley Cadle, Marissa Garcia, Brady Woods, Hoopeston; Lacee Darr, Indianaola; Craig Van Hovelyn, Milford; Lane Bensyl, Gaven Clouse, Koby Fletcher, Travis Goodner, Hayley Mascari, Katherine Reffett, Charles Rieches, Isaiah Ruch, William Sandusky, Brevin Wells, Oakwood; Casey Grant, Leanne Rogers, Potomac; Savannah Davis, Gentry Howard, Ridge Farm; Madalyn Goble, Hunter Howe, Sabrina Koenig, Rossville; Julia Bushnell, Sheldon; Madison Farrell, Sidell, Kelsey Martlage, St. Joseph; Jason Cotten, Gage Lange, Christopher Miller, McKenzie Montegerard, Douiglas Reffett, Westville.

Grove City College (Grove City, Pa.) — Gina Kim, Champaign.

Students earn their nursing white coats

Five area residents who participated in the white coat ceremony at Lakeview College of Nursing to recognized student who have achieved the transition into clinical practice have been announced.

The white color of the coat represents compassionate caring, and the student's receipt of the jacket demonstrates a commitment to the compassionate and humanistic care.

They are:

— Ragin Baker of Villa Grove

— Whisper Brown of Bismarck

— Brittney Burns of Champaign

— Kaitlyn Goodrum of Hoopeston

— Jessica Tillman of Cissna Park