Rockford Speedway, and Deery family, celebrate 70 years - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Speedway, and Deery family, celebrate 70 years

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

The Rockford Speedway's 70th anniversary season will feature another exciting year of races, and another year of 92-year old Jody Deery at the wheel of her family business.

"You could feel your heart just sing because it was an awesome feeling."

A new season, a new chapter in the Rockford Speedway's storied history.

"We wouldn't be standing here without them."

The thread that binds this history book together - the Deery family

"She's our inspiration. She's the one that makes this all go," says David Deery of his mother, Jody.

She does just about everything at the track.

"Some reason to get up, some reason to do something during the day."

The Deery matriarch didn't grow up around burnt rubber.

"My husband and I both grew up on a farm. That was the best thing I ever learned living on a farm."

All hands on deck.

"Families had to live together and work together. Otherwise the farm would not exist," said Mrs. Deery.

Jody and her children keep their customers first, who are treated to something new every week.

"We'll keep you on the edge of your seat, that's for sure."

It's a home to fans of all ages.

"A lot of conversation about how it used to be and how many people came out here."

The Speedway's legacy, a torch to pass on.

"The fact people came out here with their kids because it was a tradition for them as children probably," says Susan Deery, Jody's daughter.

The Deery family is committed to their craft. Gratitude, like the fuel in these cars, is not in short supply.

"There's a lot of short tracks dying right now. They're behind this 100%, doing whatever they can do to help us and help the racetrack," says 2017 Spring Classic champion and South Beloit native Michael Bilderback.

"I'm always happy to hear people say, thank you for being here. Thank you for not closing. Thank you for keeping this open, so that must mean something to them," says Jody Deery.

A Forest City fixture, the Rockford Speedway is here to stay, with Jody Deery at the wheel, her life's work continuing on the road ahead.

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