By: Eric Huenefeld
The 71st summer of activity at Rockford Speedway is set to be a very busy one.
A total of 38 race days/nights are scheduled for the high-banked quarter mile during 2018, including 20 Saturday night events and 9 Wednesday night events along with numerous special events sprinkled throughout the racing season.
The first ‘on-track’ activity of 2018 takes place Saturday April 7, with the ‘WXRX 200’ lap enduro for 4-cylinder cars, which gets the green flag at 1 pm. Eight days later (Sunday April 15), the 41st Annual Spring Classic takes center stage, featuring the Big 8 Late Model Series, Mid-American Stock Car Series and American Super Cups. Racing gets underway at 1 pm on April 15, with an 88 lap Big 8 Late Model Series feature highlighting the afternoon.
Saturday night racing gets underway on Saturday night April 21 with the 71st NASCAR Season Opener featuring FIVE divisions of racing (Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, Miller Lite American Short Trackers, Bandits and Kickstart Roadrunners). The Saturday night slate carries on through the summer and ends on Saturday September 8 with Whelen Engineering’s ‘Night of Champions.’ All seven Rockford Speedway divisions are be featured on various Saturday nights during the 2018 season, with six of those seven divisions participating in at least one Wednesday night race during the year.
New for this season, the Bandit division is now included as a NASCAR sanctioned class on 10 Saturdays over the course of the summer while also competing for a separate ‘Summer Series’ points championship on Wednesday nights. The Bandit division also makes their debut on the Figure 8 course this season, meaning two different Figure 8 champions will be crowned in 2018. The Roadrunners and Bandits are scheduled to make up the ‘Double Figure 8s’ on the 2018 Wild Wednesday slate. ‘Wild Wednesday’ racing returns on June 13 and concludes on August 8.
Special guests on the Saturday night slate include the return of the ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Models for another installment of the mid-summer sprint known at the ‘Kar Korner All Star 100.’ This year’s All Star 100 takes place Saturday night June 30 and includes the ‘Star Spangled 76’ lap feature for the Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models. Saturday night July 28 features the return of the Must See Racing Sprint Cars, who bring their close-quarters racing and blinding speed back to Rockford Speedway. Midwest Compact Touring Series are set to join the Sprint Cars on July 28.
The Illini Midgets return to Rockford Speedway three times during 2018 (May 5, July 21 & August 18) and the American Super Cups make two Saturday stops during the summer (July 7 & August 25). Also, for the first time in nearly 10 years, Open Wheel Modifieds make their return to Rockford Speedway with a date on Saturday July 21.
Other fan favorites on the schedule for 2018 include; the Original Trailer Race of Destruction (Saturday June 9), the Fireworks Extravaganza & Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (Wednesday July 4), the World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race (Saturday August 4), Nick’s Beatin ‘n’ Bangin Boat Race (Saturday August 25) and Night of Thrills (Saturday September 15).
The 53rd National Short Track Championships (NSTC) return Friday September 28, Saturday September 29 and Sunday September 30, as TEN divisions are slated to compete during ‘One Great Racing Weekend’ with Late Models headlining each day of the three-day showcase. Weekly Warrior Late Models headline “Opening Night” of NSTC and are joined by Sportsman, Roadrunners, Bandits and the first ever Sixer Challenge. “Short Track Saturday Night” at NSTC includes the Big 8 Late Model Series, Great Northern Sportsman Series and American Short Trackers plus preliminary events for the Super Late Models and the Mid American Stock Car Series. “Championship Sunday” kicks off with the return of the On-Track Autograph Session Sunday morning while the afternoon includes Last Chance Races for both the Super Late Models and Mid American Stock Car Series and the 50 lap Mid American Series feature and the 200 lap National Short Track Championship Race for Super Late Models.
Three enduros are on the schedule for 2018; the season opening WXRX 200 on Saturday April 7, the new Town Fair 200 to be held on Sunday afternoon June 3 and the season-ending Goblin 250 & Big Swarm Demo Derby on Sunday afternoon October 21.
The popular $5 Fan Appreciation Night is back (Saturday July 7), along with Ladies Night (Saturday May 12), Men’s Night (Saturday June 16) and K&N Salute to Service Night (Saturday May 26). Kids Nights return four times in 2018; May 19, June 23, July 14 & August 11.
To view the full 2018 Schedule of Events, please visit rockfordspeedway.com and click on the ‘Schedule’ tab. For further information on all of the happenings at Rockford Speedway, please phone 815-633-1500.
*NOTE: A full list of Promotional & Sponsor Nights will be released very soon.