This weekend’s Birthplace of Route 66 Festival was a celebration of the iconic highway and it’s connection to Springfield and the state of Missouri. There are dozens of motels, shops, and restaurants along the highway that can trace their history back to the “mother road.” One such place is Bud’s Tire & Wheel in downtown Springfield. Bud Perry opened the custom wheel shop at the corner of College and Grant Streets in 1958. The shop quickly became a landmark along the highway and in 2013, at that years Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, Bud was honored with the John T. Woodruff Award, that recognizes Springfield residents’ contributions to Route 66. Sadly, in early 2017, Bud Perry passed away. His iconic shop is now owned and operated by his son Mike where the tradition of quality and service continues.

Friday evening, I was fortunate enough to get to hang out at the Bud’s Tire & Wheel open house on the “starting line” of the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival parade. Having a front row seat to the parade was great! So many cool old cars, motorcycles, motor homes, and other contraptions rolled down College Avenue headed towards Park Central Square. Also on display was a replica of one of Bud’s race cars.

Even though Bud Perry’s racing career was brief, his contribution to the region’s racing heritage is without question. In 2002, he was inducted into the Ozark Area Racers Association, receiving the Racing Pioneer Award. Racing was his passion and what lead to his opening of Bud’s Tire & Wheel.

105.1 The Bull will have your chance to win tickets to The Kansas Speedway and the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on September 11th! Details coming soon!