Police chase the checkered flag for Special Olympics of Illinois

Local police are chasing the checkered flag this Saturday night to raise money for the Special Olympics of Illinois. 

"The competition is hot out there. All the cops want to drive fast. They all want to win," said Chris Soderlund, a Crestwood Police Department Detective and the founder of the event, which is in its third year. 

24 police officers from Chicago and departments all over the suburbs will race retired squad cars on the dirt oval track at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet.  The event is called "Five-O at the Dirty O".    

Proceeds will assist adults and children with intellectual disabilities go for the gold and compete in the Special Olympics.

Athletes will be assisting the officers with the event by singing the national anthem and waiving the green flag.  

Carie Ganser, a Special Olympian, has helped with the race for two years and explains why it means so much to her.

"Being able to compete. I come from an athletic family and I've seen my brother and sister compete in sports and I just didn't have the coordination before,” she said.

The Five-O at the Dirty O is Saturday, July 20 at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet. The pre-race party starts at 4 p.m. and the green flag waves at 7:15 p.m. Advance tickets start at $18.  

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