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Rockford Speedway gears up for the first time in 2020

Rockford Speedway
Rockford Speedway photo

Rockford Speedway has brought excitement to race fans for 72 years. But so far this year, the stands sit empty and the track quiet until Saturday.

Race fans start your engines because the Rockford Speedway is getting ready for its 73 season.

“Our racers have been working all winter off season to get these cars ready for the season which was supposed to happen about a month ago,” said Rockford Speedway General Manager David Deery.

After getting approval from the Winnebago County Health Department, the Rockford Speedway is allowing drivers to take the track.

“We practice the 10 people max and social distancing,” said Deery.

The Rockford Speedway is putting its track to use for the first time this season.

“It”s an honor. I am actually the first car to practice in 2020 and I am really looking forward to the season and obviously it has been about a month behind. People are really itching to go racing and to watch racing,” said Roadrunner Division Rockford Speedway Phil Speciale.

Even though the stands sit empty, drivers like Speciale are getting ready to compete. He says the last time he raced in Rockford was in 2003 and he hopes the community can watch him return soon.

“I think that when we get things going everybody is going to be really excited and not everybody will take things for granted anymore,” said Speciale.

“People in those stands. Cheering on the guys out on this race track, the guys and the girls. It was exciting just to hear him fire up and take a few laps here this afternoon. That’s one small mountain we’ll climb but when the gates are open and the stands are full of people that’s when we will really get going,” said Deery.

Deery says Rockford has a strong racing history with hundreds coming back year after year since 1947.

“There are years and years of history and memories that are created here every summer,” said Deery.

While its a slow start to the season, drivers like Speciale say they are ready to finish strong.

By: Cassandra Bretl 13 WREX.com May 16, 2020 6:32 pm