By Doug Halberstadt
For the past 64 years, there has been one constant that has served as a harbinger for spring. In less than a month, the Rockford Speedway will crank up its 65th consecutive year when the sights and sounds of auto racing usher in the season.
The drivers and their cars will hit the high-banked, quarter-mile oval for the season-opener at The Stone and Double T 200 Saturday, April 7. The enduro will be the first of more than 40 events scheduled for the historic racing venue this year.
One week later, the track will host the 35th Annual Spring Classic Sunday, April 15. The Big 8 Late Model Series, the Mid-American Stock Car Series and the Illinois Vintage Series are a few of the divisions that will entertain racing fans at the Spring Classic.
The track’s weekly NASCAR Whelan All-American Series drivers will resume their battle Saturday night, April 21.
The loud sounds of stock cars will change to some loud rock and roll music on Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27, during an all-day music festival.
The month of June will feature the Original Trailer Race of Destruction Saturday, June 16. The World Famous Figure 8 Trailer Race of Destruction will fill the stands with fans from all across the Midwest Saturday, Aug. 4. Many of those same fans will return later on in the month for the Beatin’ ’N’ Bangin’ Boat Race Saturday, Aug. 25. Another fan favorite, the Night of Thrills is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15.
Fireworks have become synonymous with the Speedway during the July 4 holiday weekend. They will fill the night sky in conjunction with the Star Spangled 76 Saturday, June 30, and again Wednesday, July 4, during the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, a race in total darkness.
The Gilley’s Cool 5 Series will once again boast one of the richest point funds in weekly Late Model Racing with events May 19, June 30, July 28, Aug. 25 and Sept. 28. More than $10,000 will be awarded to the top drivers in those five races. Sept. 28-30 will be the dates for the 47th Annual National Short Track Championships.
Two very popular October events, the 21st Annual Bahama Bracket Nationals Oct. 13-14, and the Goblin 250 Enduro and Darkhorse Demolition Derby Sunday, Oct. 21, will bring the 2012 season to a close.
For additional information or to be added to the Rockford Speedway Fan Mailing List, contact (815) 633-1500 or visit www.rockfordspeedway.com.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the March 7-13, 2012, issue