ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Speedway has announced the 2023 season will be its last as the iconic raceway has been sold for redevelopment.
The adjacent Forest Hills Lodge will close on June 1, 2023.
The owners said development along 173 spurred a decision to sell the Speedway.
Opened in 1948, the Rockford Speedway has hosted local and national events, including NASCAR races. Hugh and Jody Deery took ownership of the Speedway in 1966.
Jodi Deery passed away in June 2022 at the age of 97.
Rockford Speedway General Manager David Deery said, “For years we have watched the surrounding area evolve into a vibrant retail corridor, this day has been coming and while it’s great for the city, it stings for the thousands of fans and racers who have made Rockford Speedway their ‘family’ for generations. We know this will be the last year for our major events losing use of the property in front of the Speedway along Hwy 173 as that area will be developed first, with the track itself remaining until further land sales.”
The speedway has scheduled a full series of events for its 76th season in 2023, with the final lap to take place Oct. 29, 2023.
Speedway President Susan Deery stated; “This is a sad day for the racing community and our Speedway family. Generations of families have been involved – racing, watching, working – and to see it come to an end breaks my heart. We are very proud of the contribution the Speedway has made to the racing industry, as the starting spot for so many in racing and business, and the impact this place has had on the greater state line community, but it doesn’t take away the sadness.”
Rockford Speedway has been sold to HJS Development, which is managed by Shorewood Development.
Shorewood Development principal Ryan Fitzgerald said, “The property is the last developable property for Loves Park on 173 and is in demand. Shorewood understands the Speedway has been a family entertainment tradition and realizes this will leave a void in the City of Loves Park and the racing world, however, the development opportunities along the 173 corridor are limited creating pressure on the Deery Family.”
Infrastructure construction will begin in summer 2023 along the frontage of Highway 173, but the Speedway says it will cause minimal disruption to scheduled events.
For information on the Rockford Speedway’s “Finale at Rockford” Last Lap Season, click here.