By Jordan Kuehne
LOVES PARK, Ill. (Sunday, March 14th, 2010) – The Rockford Speedway opened its doors to new drivers and welcomed back old friends for the 63rd time as the Rookie and Driver’s Orientations took place on Friday, March 5th at the Forest Hills Lodge adjacent to the legendary track. General Manager Gregg McKarns announced rules changes and spoke of exciting divisions that will make their way to the high banks during the 2010 season.
Owner Jody Deery had warm words for the contingent of drivers, crew members, fans and family in attendance. “We’re real excited about our 2010 season,” Deery proclaimed."I've asked Mother Nature to stay away this year," she humorously added. The upcoming season will feature a couple of rules changes, including the new Gentleman’s Tapout Rule. The rule, which will go into effect at a plethora of Midwest short tracks this season, will allow drivers that were caught up in incidents to receive their spot back. However, the rule only goes into effect if the driver at fault pulls to the bottom of the start-finish line and taps the roof of their car. A full rulebook is available online at the track website.
The Rockford Speedway will feature double-file restarts in 2010 and will once again require scanners for all divisions. The track also reserves the right to impound a car at anytime for any reason, particularly if there was an injury on the track.
In accordance with a NASCAR rule change affecting all NASCAR Home Tracks, young guns aged 14 and 15 will have the chance to compete in the Budweiser American Short Trackers, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, and Mtn Dew RoadRunners this year, provided they meet specific criteria. The 14 or 15-year-old must first fill out a racing resume that the track committee deems satisfactory before running test laps on track in front of track officials. If the driver passes these steps and receives approval, they will then be allowed to have a NASCAR Probationary License and race.
A tire sale is scheduled for Thursday, April 1st from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wheels will also be made available at the sale.
Making their return to the quarter-mile this season are the exciting Illini Midgets, an open-wheeled midget series that had a memorable showing last year and will be featured four times during the summer months.
Also returning to the high banks in 2010 are the legendary cars of the Illinois Vintage State Champs. The classic cars that feature paint schemes from legends including Joe Shear and John Knaus will be in action on Sunday, June 27th. Fans will be able to enjoy various vintage race cars in the grandstand area prior to the race and former USAC driver Sal Tovella will have his 1970 Plymouth Superbird on display. Tovella is excited about returning to Rockford after competing in the first National Short Track Championship in 1966.
A fast and furious qualifying session will commence the action before a 15-lap Race of Champions that promises to entertain. The racing action will conclude with a 50-lap main event before awards are presented trackside during the post-race ceremonies.
Illinois Vintage Racing Club founder Art “Fireball” Fehrman was excited about returning to Rockford stating, “Our vintage program is built on family fun.
This is a special day for family and friends to relive days gone by. Sons, daughters, and grandchildren have all heard the stories and seen the pictures but now they have the chance to live it at the track.”
The 63rd season of exciting racing action at the Rockford Speedway will begin on Saturday, April 10th with the Stone & Double T 200-lap enduro event. Entry forms can be found online at the track website as nearly 100 engines will fire for the first race of the year.
One week later on the afternoon of Sunday, April 18th, the Midwest racing scene comes roaring back to life with the 33rd annual Spring Classic. Headlining the event will be the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet as they bring a new racing format to the high banks that will culminate in a 58-lap main event. Not to be outdone, the Mid-American Stock Car Series will also be in action with a 50-lap battle of their own. A full Spring Classic racing schedule is now available online at www.rockfordspeedway.com.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will return to the legendary facility on Saturday, April 24th, for the 63rd season of weekly racing action at the Rockford Speedway.
For more information on the upcoming 2010 season at the Rockford Speedway, including a full schedule of events and the track rulebook, visit the track website at www.rockfordspeedway.com or call the Speedway Box Office at (815) 633-1500.
This article was posted to the website on March 22nd, 2010
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