South suburban family has been racing cars for 70 years, and now 6-year-old is behind the wheel

You could say racing is in their blood. In this "Good News Guarantee," a south suburban family has been seeking out the checkered flag for generations.  

They’re a family that likes to live life in the fast lane. The Coonan family has been racing for four generations and 70 years. 


The youngest racer is Lydia, who’s six. Then there’s big sister, Allie, who’s eight. Dad also races.  Little Jake will start racing next year when he turns five. Mom is the only "odd man out". 

They live in LaSalle County and run a welding and fabrication shop. When dad, Alex, isn’t at work, he’s banging away, trying to create a bigger and badder race car. A dragster to be exact.  

"It's the 2 o'clock in the morning, thrashing and working on race cars. The thrill of being at the race track and getting your first round win…We're eating dinner at the shop. Kids are working on race cars."  

The girls just completed a junior drag race in Byron over the Fourth of July weekend.  Allie won the finals and Lydia made it to the semi-finals.  

"It’s about learning how to be a good loser, before you can be an even better winner," said Alex. 

Racing consumes most weekends, proving the family that races together, will more than likely be racing for a long time.

Submit your ideas for Good News stories to