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Elmhurst Historical Museum program tracks stock car racing history

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:37 p.m. CDT

ELMHURST — Award-winning sportswriter Jerry Bonkowski will explore how NASCAR got its start on the beaches of Florida and escalated to the billion-dollar sports mega-industry of today at 7 p.m. March 21 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum.

His presentation, "NASCAR: From Beaches to Billions," is part of the monthly "It’s History" series of adult programs and will take place in the Elmhurst Historical Museum's Education Center, 120 E. Park Ave. A Chicago native, Bonkowski has covered motorsports for more than 25 years. He is an editor for America Online's FanHouse sports site and an on-air personality for Sirius NASCAR Radio.

Bonkowski also is a former NASCAR and motorsports writer for USA Today, ESPN.com and Yahoo! Sports.

He has won numerous awards, including from the National Motorsports Press Association and the Associated Press, and is author of the book "Trading Paint: 101 Great NASCAR Debates."

Joining Bonkowski will be Bernie Bernacki, a NASCAR collector, enthusiast, writer and blogger who will bring a local perspective on stock car racing to the presentation.

Bernacki will share some favorite items and photos from his personal collection and discuss local early racing venues such as O’Hare Stadium and Soldier Field. Both presenters will be available for a question-and-answer session following the program.

This program is presented in conjunction with the Elmhurst Historical Museum’s current exhibit, "On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen," which will be open through May 19.

The exhibit is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

Donations are welcome. Limited on-site parking is available.

For more information, visit elmhursthistory.org or call 630-833-1457.

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