StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115885810014250.jpg’, ”, ‘Rockford Speedway hosts the National Short Track Championships Sept. 22-24.’);
If you happen to drive by the corner of Forest Hills Road and Route 173 any time this week, you cant help but notice the campers, tents, motor homes and trailers parked there.
Much like the swallows to Capistrano, race fans from across the country migrate to this hallowed corner every year at this time. The reason they come is for short track racings biggest eventthe National Short Track Championships (NSTC) at the Rockford Speedway.
The 41st annual NTSC will be this weekend at the track. The three-day event will feature 10 different divisions competing in 689 laps of feature racing, combined with several more hundred laps of qualifying races and last-chance races.
First race of the weekend is scheduled for 7:07 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22. Four different divisions will crown their champions Friday, including the Winged Women on Wheels, the Area Sportsmen, the Road Runners and the Hornets.
Saturdays (Sept. 23) racing begins at 5:05 p.m. The Grand Nationals, American Short Trackers, The Big 8 Series and the Hobby Stox will all crown champions Saturday.
The weekend will conclude Sunday, Sept. 24, with a 250-lap feature for the CRA Series and a 75-lap feature for the Mid-American Stock Cars.
Before and after each days racing schedule, a host of other activities will take place at the track. Fridays highlights include opening ceremonies and a post-race party. An open pit party and another post-race party are set for Saturday. Sunday will kick off with a good olboys breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Following the breakfast, fans are invited to go onto the track for an autograph session with the drivers and crews. Several vendors will be selling racing memorabilia and clothing throughout the three days.
Fans can get a complete schedule and order advance tickets by calling the Rockford Speedway office at 633-1500.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Sept. 20-26, 2006, issue