Tinley Park Programs

Racing Bettenhausen Family To Be Honored With Historic Marker Ceremony

Tinley Park, Illinois, 

The racing Bettenhausen Family will be honored by the American Racing Memorial Association (ARMA) with the installation of a race-themed historic marker in Tinley Park on Saturday, April 13, at 2:00 PM (CST), 1 PM (EST). The public is invited to attend the unveiling ceremony and to meet retired race driver Merle Bettenhausen and other members of the family. 

“The Bettenhausen Family is one of the most storied families of racing,” said Brian Hasler, Co-Founder of ARMA. “Tony Bettenhausen, known as the Tinley Park Express, was the first to enter auto racing and quickly became one of the most popular drivers of his day. His success was continued by his sons, Gary, Merle and Tony. Tony, Sr. was the national champion in 1951 and 1958, and between them the family had an amazing fifty-one starts in the Indianapolis 500.” 

“Tinley Park is thrilled to have this opportunity to recognize our favorite sons and to pay tribute to this great American family,” said event organizer Brian Younker. “The Bettenhausen name is synonymous with the highest quality of racing, and they helped put our community on the map.” 

The American Racing Memorial Association is an outgrowth of the highly successful actios aRe stage. he Beil succatia, keriches pie first haional ARM marker, and will be followed by a second one on June 8th dedicated to the racing Vukovich Family in Fresno, California. 

The Bettenhausen’s farm in Tinley Park is now home to the Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center, at 8125 W 171st Street, which also houses a museum about the Bettenhausen family. The historic marker will be placed in front of the center for maximum visibility. Merle Bettenhausen will be available to sign a book about the family’s career in racing which will be available for purchase at the event.

“There is no better place to start our national program than with a marker to honor the Bettenhausen Family,” said Hasler. “We hope race fans from across the greater Chicago area will come out to participate in this event.”


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The Tinley Park-Park District is committed to creative recreational programming, quality recreational facilities and parks, and outstanding customer service to enhance the quality of life in Tinley Park. Learn more about the Park District’s programs and amenities at www.tinleyparkdistrict.org.