National Short Track Championships Sept. 27-30

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Trucks, trailers, motor homes, campers and race car haulers in virtually every shape and size, with license plates from across the country, will make their annual pilgrimage to the sacred corner of Forest Hills Road and Route 173 this week.

That corner of land will transform from its normal condition into a beehive of activity beginning tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 27) as the Rockford Speedway hosts their 42nd Annual National Short Track Championships.

The “Great Racing Weekend” begins with an open rotating practice session for all divisions from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27. The action gets going again Friday, Sept. 28, with another open practice session with free grandstand admission from noon to 4 p.m. “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” qualifying begins at 5:30 p.m., and continues until opening ceremonies at 6:55 p.m. Racing begins at 7:07 p.m. The American Short Trackers, All-American Sportsman, Weekly Warrior Late Models and the Road Runners will all compete in 42-lap championship features Friday evening, Sept. 28. The Hornet Bandit Challenge will run a 25-lap feature.

The track will open bright and early Saturday morning, Sept. 29, with another round of practice scheduled for 10:30 a.m. The main gates will open at 2 p.m. for the second round of “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” qualifying. Opening ceremonies Saturday, Sept. 29, begin at 4:50 p.m., and the big night of racing begins at 5:05 p.m. The USST Super Trucks will run a 42-lap feature. The Big 8 series will run two 58-lap features. The Area Sportsmen are scheduled for a 50-lap main event, and the Hobby Stox will race for 42 laps in their feature.

An even earlier call to action comes Sunday morning, Sept. 30. The “Good Ol’ Boys” breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and runs until 9:30 a.m. The main gates open at 10 a.m., and the final session of “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” qualifying starts at 11:15 a.m. There will be a fan autograph session from 11:30 a.m. until 12:10 p.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 12:20 p.m. The 42nd Annual National Short Track Championships will conclude with a huge afternoon of racing action beginning at 12:30 p.m. In addition to heat races and last-chance races, there will be a 75-lap feature for the Mid-American Series and a 200-lap feature for the Super Late Models.

By early evening Sunday, Sept. 30, hundreds of cars and several trucks will have competed in more than 1,000 laps of racing action to determine this year’s champions in 14 different divisions. By sundown Sunday night, Sept. 30, everyone will be headed back to their respective homes, and the corner of Forest Hills Road and Route 173 will return to “normal.”

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the Sept. 26 – Oct. 2, 2007, issue

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