By: Eric Huenefeld
Thursday afternoon, officials at Rockford Speedway unveiled the list of key dates for the 2017 racing season, the Speedway’s 70th season of continuous operations.
On Saturday evening January 28, the final touches are put on 2016, as Rockford Speedway hosts its 69th Champions Banquet at Forest Hills Lodge. The evening features food, fun and fellowship while honoring Rockford Speedway’s 2016 Track Champions.
The first official gathering of 2017 takes place on Friday night March 10, with Driver Orientation Meetings at the Forest Hills Lodge. There will be a Rookie Orientation at 6pm, followed by a general meeting discussing licensing and race procedures at 7pm. Race teams are be able to register their car numbers, purchase R.A.C.E. and NASCAR Memberships, reserve their season pit pads and pick up decal kits for the upcoming year.
On Saturday April 15, the track comes to life for the first time in 2017, with all teams invited to take part in an Open Practice Session, which gets underway at 11 AM. Following Practice, the Stone & Double T 200 four-cylinder enduro hits the “high banks” with a 3 PM start time.
Sunday April 23 brings the 40th Anniversary Spring Classic, the traditional springtime-Sunday afternoon special featuring the Big 8 Late Model Series, along with the Mid American Stock Car Series and INEX Legends. Six days later, on Saturday night April 29, it’s the 70th NASCAR Season Opener for Rockford Speedway’s NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions. The NASCAR points season runs until September, culminating in Whelen Engineering “Night of Champions” on Saturday September 9.
Your favorite thrill shows return to Rockford Speedway again this summer, with The Original Trailer Race of Destruction scheduled for Saturday night June
10, while the World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race hits the track on Saturday night August 5. “Nick’s Beatin & Bangin Boat Race” sails onto the high banks on Saturday August 26, with Miller Lite “Night of Thrills” returning on Saturday night September 16.
The best Late Model racers in America converge on Rockford Speedway Saturday evening July 1 as part of a “Late Model Double Header”, with the running of the Kar Korner All Star 100 for the ARCA Midwest Tour and the Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Model ‘Star Spangled 76.’ Tuesday night July 4 brings the traditional Fireworks Extravaganza back to Rockford Speedway along with the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, the race run in total darkness! Sportsman, American Short Trackers and Roadrunners are penciled in to race on Independence Day 2017.
Saturday night July 22 is set as a night of celebration, as Rockford Speedway throws its 70th Anniversary Party, a night including lots of flashbacks and fun along with racing for the Late Models, Sportsman, American Short Trackers and Roadrunners.
The 52nd edition of the National Short Track Championships is set for Friday September 29, Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1. Make sure not to miss ‘One Great Racing Weekend!’
The 26th running of the Bahama Bracket Nationals, featuring nearly 200 cars racing against each other and the clock, hits the track Saturday and Sunday October 14 and 15. The 2017 season then comes to an end with the 37th Goblin 250 Sunday afternoon October 22.
Makes plans now to be part of Rockford Speedway’s historic 70th season!
*NOTE: A complete schedule for the Rockford Speedway’s 70th Anniversary season will be released in the coming weeks.
2017 ROCKFORD SPEEDWAY
Fri 10 5:00 PM Rookie Meeting & Orientation (@Forest Hills Lodge)
Sat 15 11:00 AM Open Practice (until 2:30 PM) & Stone and Double T 200 (3 PM)
Sun 23 1:00 PM 40th Anniversary Spring Classic (Big 8 Late Models, Mid American Stock Cars, Legends)
Sat 29 7:07 PM 70th NASCAR Season Opener
Sat 10 7:07 PM Original Trailer Race of Destruction
Wed 14 7:27 PM Wild Wednesday Opener
Sat 1 7:07 PM Kar Korner All Star 100 featuring the ARCA Midwest Tour & NASCAR LM ‘Star Spangled 76’
Tues 4 7:27 PM Fireworks Extravaganza & Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (Sp, AST, RR)
Sat 22 7:07 PM Rockford Speedway 70th Anniversary Celebration
Sat 5 7:07 PM World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race
Wed 9 7:27 PM Wild Wednesday Finale
Sat 26 7:07 PM Nick’s Beatin & Bangin Boat Race
Sat 9 7:07 PM Whelen Engineering “Night of Champions”
Sat 16 7:07 PM Miller Lite “Night of Thrills”
Fri 29 7:00 PM 52nd National Short Track Championships
Sat 30 5:00 PM 52nd National Short Track Championships
Sun 1 1:00 PM 52nd National Short Track Championships
Sat 14 6:00 PM 26th Annual Bahama Bracket Nationals
Sun 15 12:00 PM 26th Annual Bahama Bracket Nationals
Sun 22 1:00 PM 37th Goblin 250 & ‘Big Swarm’ Demolition Derby