Remembering Denny Falkos; By Stan Kalwasinski

Remembering Denny Falkos
By Stan Kalwasinski

Part of the Chicago area dirt track racing scene for many years, Denny Falkos passed away on March 22 at the age of 78.

  A late model stock car competitor at both Santa Fe Speedway and the Sycamore Speedway, Falkos captured the super late model division championship at Sycamore in 1996.  He started out drag racing his 1960 Pontiac at Oswego, Ill., in the early 1960s.  His Uncle Ernie Van Duser convinced him to try stock car racing in the mid 1960s with the pair sharing the driving duties of Van Duser’s No. 41B.

  Falkos began fielding his own car around 1968, racing at Sycamore when the track was known as Bob-Jo Speedway.  Racing out of Aurora, he competed at Santa Fe and broke into Santa Fe’s late model “top 10” in 1976 when he finished 10th in the points standings that year.  1977 saw Falkos, wheeling his No. 22 late model, enjoy his best season at Santa Fe with him finishing sixth in the final points tally.

  Other “top 10” seasons at Santa Fe included 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985.  He competed in the Busch Central States Racing Series in 1983, racing at Santa Fe, Charleston, Princeton, Granite City, Peoria and other tracks and eventually finishing second in the points by less than 10 markers behind champion Herb Shannon.

  Moving into the 1990s and nicknamed “Batman”, Falkos did most of his racing at the Sycamore oval where he was among the top runners in the track’s super late model ranks, topping it off with his 1996 title.

After pretty much retiring from racing, Falkos raced with the Illinois Vintage Racing Series, winning a vintage stock car main event at Sycamore in July of 2009.

Rest in Peace, Denny Falkos.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Dieterle Memorial Funeral Home
1120 S. Broadway
Montgomery, Illinois

Funeral Private

Dennis Falkos poses for track photographer Vince Mayer at Chicagoland’s Santa Fe Speedway in 1969.  (Vince Mayer Photo)

Pictured here after his heat race win, Denny Falkos later drove this Chevy convertible (07) to victory in the Illinois Vintage Racing Series feature race at Sycamore Speedway on July 25, 2009. (Art Fehrman Collection) 

Santa Fe Speedway – 1976 (Vince Mayer Photo)

Santa Fe Speedway – 1975 (Vince Mayer Photo)

Denny Falkos poses with a young fan after winning the late model feature race at Santa Fe Speedway on August 24, 1980. (Vince Mayer Photo)

Denny Falkos (22) battles Ken Pohlman (340) during late model action at Santa Fe Speedway in 1977. (Vince Mayer Photo)

Denny Falkos (22) works his way inside Tony Emralino (14) during the National Clay Track Championship 200 at Santa Fe Speedway in 1970. (Stan Kalwasinski Photo)

Santa Fe Speedway – 1982 (Vince Mayer Photo)

An early race win in 1969 at Santa Fe Speedway. (Vince Mayer Photo)