By: Jordan Kuehne
LOVES PARK, IL (Tuesday, March 10, 2009) – A near capacity contingent of competitors, crews and officials were on hand Friday night March 6 at Forest Hills Lodge for the annual Rockford Speedway Orientation Meeting. Speedway owner Jody Deery was the first to offer a warm welcome at both the Rookie and General meetings, stating that she was looking forward to a “great 2009 season.”
The biggest change that will be seen on-track in 2009 is the return of the “cone” on restarts in the Late Model, Sportsman, and American Short Tracker divisions. The “cone”, back after a one-year hiatus, will once again be utilized, allowing drivers to choose which lane they will battle from at the drop of the green flag, while providing the fans with even more door-to-door action.
A new Rookie of the Year Bonus made available by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series was unveiled during the rookie meeting. The winner of the NASCAR Stanley Steemer Late Model Rookie of the Year State Title will receive an additional $1000 from NASCAR. The Rockford Speedway Late Model Rookie of the Year is by default the Rookie Titlist, as Rockford is the only NASCAR HomeTrack in Illinois. An additional $2000 bonus can be had if the Rockford Rookie is able to finish highest amongst all rookies in the NASCAR Weekly program. Overall, the winner of the Late Model Rookie of the Year will bring home $1500 in cash and awards while the Sportsman Rookie of the Year will garner $300 in prizes, and the 2009 Rockford Speedway American Short Tracker Rookie of the Year will bring home an additional $200. Each Rookie of the Year will also receive a Budweiser Coat and Custom Bud Racing Rookie of the Year Banner. In order to win the 2009 Rockford Speedway Rookie of the Year in the top three NASCAR divisions, drivers must be registered as a rookie and run at least 75% of the weekly races during the season.
The biggest response from the crowd came as drivers learned of three sponsorships available from local radio stations worth $1000 each. Teams must e-mail their proposals to Rockford Speedway General Manager Gregg McKarns by Friday, March 13 for consideration. All teams are eligible to receive these sponsorships. The recipients of the sponsorships will participate in weekly updates live on-air.
On the minds of many in attendance were pit pass prices, but once again Rockford Speedway will offer one of the nation’s lowest entrance fees, as NASCAR and RACE Members will be admitted into the pit area for just $18, with additional prices set at $25 and $30 for non-members. Rockford Speedway will be holding a Tire Sale at the Tire Barn on Thursday, April 9, from 5pm until 8pm. It was announced that all divisions will utilize the same Goodyear and Hoosier rubber compounds as 2008.
All told, over $7,500 in cash and awards were announced for the 2009 season in addition to the lucrative NASCAR Point Fund. Cash bonuses were announced for the Speedway Auto Mall Dash Series, Sam’s Drive-In RoadRunner Challenge and Yellowbook Hornet Challenge.
Racing gets underway at the Rockford Speedway on Saturday, April 11, 2009, with the WXRX 104.9 Stone & Double T 200 lap enduro beginning at 3pm. The 32nd annual 2009 Spring Classic is scheduled for Sunday afternoon April 19, featuring the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet in a 108 lap feature and the Mid-American Stock Car Series clashing on the high-banked quarter-mile in a 50 lap feature.
For a complete schedule of events, rules, as well as additional information please visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or call the Speedway Box Office at (815)633-1500.
This article was posted to the website on March 11th, 2009
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