From the Pantagraph
April 23, 2015
pm • By Bruce
school sophomores, Spencer Bayston has some
classes he likes more than others.
"There's a construction class that I really enjoy, where
we'll actually build a house our junior and senior year,"
Unlike most 16-year-old sophomores, Bayston also will
be getting acclimated to racing a high-powered sprint
car while simultaneously learning how to read a
blueprint. While it's still unclear how he'll fare in
pounding nails according to specifications, his attempt
at building a racing career has gotten off to a
resoundingly successful start.
Two weeks ago, the youngster outdueled reigning
series champ Zach Daum to capture a POWRi Lucas
Oil National Midget Series feature at Belle-Claire
Speedway in Belleville. He'll try to repeat the fete this
weekend when the POWRi series visits Central Illinois
and Jacksonville Speedway on Friday night, before
competing at Macon Speedway on Saturday.
While winning a national touring series event is
certainly a feather in one's cap, Bayston's most
impressive accomplishment may have come earlier this
year. That's when he outran well over 300 entrants, many of them familiar names to the most casual of
racing fans, for one of only 24 starting spots in the iconic Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla.
That came to the delight of car owner Bryan Clauson, who also provides Bayston with some coaching and
When it comes to wheeling a midget or sprint car, Bayston would be hard-pressed to find a better mentor.
Although only 25, Clauson already is a three-time USAC National Sprint Car Series champion, has been a
runner-up in the NASCAR Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series rookie chase and has an appearance in the 2012
Indianapolis 500 on his resume with another on the slate a month from now.
Clauson's father, Tim, serves as "crew chief" on Bayston's POWRi midget and sees some similarities
between Bayston and where his son was 10
"Bryan had more experience when he was 16
than Spencer has, but I'd say there are a lot of
the same characteristics," Tim Clauson said.
"Speed-wise, instinct-wise, he's got that."
The thing that most impresses the elder
Clauson about the up-and-coming Bayston is
the youngster's character and eagerness to
"We try to find young kids that we feel have the
talent to get to the next level and we try to give
them our experience, equipment and knowledge
to speed up the learning curve," Clauson said.
"The one thing about Spencer that sets him
apart from most kids is his maturity. He
understands it's a process and he never gets
ahead of himself. Early on he would have
flashes of brilliance, but he never got a big
head and thought he was better than he truly
was. That was especially good, because there
would then be nights when we would really struggle."
Bayston says there were indeed ups and downs in last year's season that netted him POWRi Rookie of the
"We'd have a few good nights with good finishes and then right after that I'd be awful," he said. "I'd spin out,
wreck the car or make mistakes.
"It could be a humbling experience, but Bryan was always there, coaching me and telling me what I was
doing right or wrong. It was always in a positive way and he kept up my confidence.
Tim Clauson said that after some early struggles, by mid-season Bayston began consistently running
among the POWRi leaders, putting himself in a position to win. In finally happened in just the third race of
his second season.
Bayston first appeared on Clauson's radar as a 14-year-old when he won 10 of 15 main events and the
championship in the Mel Kenyon Midget Series, an Indiana-based "spec" series.
Prior to that, Bayston raced a quarter-midget and a 600cc Micro Sprint, primarily for the simple fun that it
provided through a family outing for he and his father, Brett.
The Baystons' fun extends beyond racing. They also enjoy spending time together in the outdoors and in
the late fall and early winter they've had occasion to wend their way through the harvested corn and
soybean fields of Livingston County, hunting pheasant together.
The family resides in Lebanon, Ind., but Brett Bayston grew up in Chatsworth and was a member of the final
graduating class at Chatsworth High School before it consolidated into the Prairie Central school district.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, he took a job with the Edward Jones brokerage firm in Marion,
Ind. It was in Marion that he met his wife, Shari.
Spencer has an older sister, Grace, who is a senior at Lebanon High School. His grandparents, Gerald and
Helen Bayston, still live in Chatsworth and frequently attend his races, as does an uncle, Bart, who lives in
Those races this season will include a focused foray into USAC midgets. Bayston also will split his time
between POWRi midgets and some regional sprint car racing in Indiana. A move into the more demanding
and powerful USAC national sprint car ranks shouldn't be too far off, but with Clauson's guidance, they're
taking it all one step at a time.
Bayston had his first sprint car test at Paragon Speedway in southern Indiana the Sunday after winning his
first POWRi feature at Belleville.
"He looked natural in it," Clauson said. "As good as he ever has."
Contact Bruce Yentes at email@example.com
J. Gordon Bicket, 90, of Sun City West, Arizona, passed away April
1, 2015 in Sun City West. He was born April 11, 1924 in Sparta, Illinois. He
was a U.S. Army Staff Sgt. during WW II. He obtained a Masters Degree, with
honors, from the University of Illinois. Gordon was a Bank President, a
Secondary School Teacher, a former Elder at Crown of Life Lutheran Church
in Sun City West, a member of the Illinois Bankers Association, and a
member of Sun City West Prides. He and his wife Jacqueline moved to
Arizona from Danville, Illinois in 1992. He is survived by his wife of 67
years, Jacqueline, his daughter Tamara (Julian) Fruhling and granddaughter
Stephanie Fruhling of Scottsdale, AZ, brother Wendell W. Bicket of Sparta,
Illinois, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his
twin brother, John H. Bicket. Private services will be held. Memorials may
be made to Crown of Life Lutheran Church, 13131 Spanish Garden Dr., Sun
City West, AZ 85375.
See photo Here.
Elizabeth “Betty” Gillette, 79, of Chatsworth, IL passed away at 8:18 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth, with Jerry Gentes, Minister of Pastoral Care officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday, April 10, 2015 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Chatsworth. Burial will follow services at Chatsworth Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Betty’s name may be made to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth.
Betty was born March 18, 1936 in Pontiac, IL a daughter of Richard and Dorothy (Bargman) Ashman. She married Loren Gillette on June 14, 1959 in Chatsworth, IL. . He passed away on September 7, 2007..
She is survived by her three children: Richard (Denise) Gillette of Elmhurst, IL, Karl (Glenda) Gillette of Reelsville, IN, and Beth Gillette of Maplewood, NJ.; three grandchildren; Jacob Saunders, Deirdre Gillette and Maeve Gillette; one brother: Rodger (Carol) Ashman of Mt. Prospect, IL
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Betty was educated in the Chatsworth schools. She went on to graduate from Illinois State Normal University with a teaching degree. She then received her master’s degree from University of Illinois. Betty taught at Prairie Central Grade School for thirty-eight years. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma
She was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth.
I read this in the Kankakee Daily Journal today and thought that it should be noted.
Hooray for Belleville, Illinois!!
BELLEVILLE — Acquaintances of a homeless man who died in southwestern Illinois are coming
together to give him a proper funeral.
The Belleville News-Democrat reported Randy Glore will be buried Monday in Belleville.
Someone found the 56-year-old's body on March 27
behind a gas station dumpster. Overnight temperatures
had fallen to near freezing. The official cause of death
was exposure to the elements.
Those who knew Glore described him as friendly and a
talented singer. He'd perform at open-mic nights at an
The director of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Joe Hubbard,
knew Glore. He supplied a gravesite. Faith Baptist
Church is providing a bus for friends to attend
Steven Mueller Florist is providing the flowers. Mueller
said "nothing makes" him "sadder than someone
without flowers at his funeral."