by Kari Shear-Carlson
September 29, 2011 - In 1947 a group of farmers and investors birthed a great idea; to build a high-banked 1/4 mile oval race track in Loves Park, IL. Rockford Speedway opened as a midget track in 1948 and has never looked back.
The late Hugh Deery purchased the track and became the sole owner in 1966. Rockford Speedway became known as the first track to offer an affordable late model racing program and one of the first to institute regular Saturday night racing.
While the facility itself has not grown much in size, other than improvements over the years, the historic venue has become one of the most popular tracks in the upper Midwest. Rockford Speedway offers some of the most exciting racing in the area and has more divisions racing throughout the week than some tracks see all season.
This weekend, two more racing divisions will be making their debut at the famed 1/4-mile oval. The American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality and the ASA Midwest Sunoco Sportsman Tour will take to the track for the National Short Track Championship (NSTC), in what is to be one of the most exciting races in the ASAMT season .
The NSTC weekend is one of the the biggest racing weekends in the entire Midwest, along with Oktoberfest weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway which will take place on October 8th and 9th. This year will mark the 46th annual running of the event. Several ASAMT drivers have competed in the event in the past, but this will be the first time ever that the ASAMT will be the headliner.
ASAMT and ASAMST drivers will be looking to etch their names in the history books alongside drivers like, 8-time NSTC winner, Joe Shear, as well as Dick Trickle, Scott Hansen, Butch Miller, Rich Bickle and others. The ASAMT’s very own Steve Carlson will be looking to tie the late Joe Shear’s record eight victories this weekend.
Not only is the track itself historic, but many great drivers, crew chiefs and others have emerged from their start at Rockford Speedway. Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Crew Chief, Chad Knaus was born and raised in the Rockford area. He served as his father, John Knaus’, crew chief for many years.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director of Competition, John Darby, got his start at Rockford Speedway in 1971. Darby owned a street stock, them moved up as an owner and crew chief of a late model team. In 1982, Darby became a track official and continued to move up the ranks before he made his way to NASCAR in the late 90’s.
Travis Kvapil, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, got his start at the track at the age of 16 and won the American Short Tracker Championship in 1994.
John Knaus has seven track championships, tied only by Bobby Wilberg. The late Joe Shear won his first ever race at Rockford Speedway and won six consecutive track titles from 1967-1972.
Rockford Speedway is the type of race track that you will never forget. So make this weekend a weekend you will never forget by heading out to Rockford Speedway. The main grandstands open at 2:00PM on Saturday. Qualifying begins at 2:15 with racing at 5:05PM. On Sunday, things get started at 11:15AM with features set to roll off at 12:30PM.
For more information about the event log on to asamidwesttour.com
Become a Fan of the ASA Midwest Tour at www.facebook.com/asamidwesttour.
To learn more about the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality, log on to asamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (630) 212-6022 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or e-mail Tim Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Einhaus at email@example.com.
To learn more about the Daytona Beach, Florida-based Racing Speed Associates or the American Speed Association® Racing Member Track program, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from racetracks and regional tours involved in the American Speed Association®, visit www.asaracing.com.
This article was posted to the website on September 30th, 2011
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