Rockford Speedway celebrates 73rd season opener under new guidelines

The racing season was delayed many months due to the coronavirus pandemic
Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 11:28 PM CDT
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LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - It has been a long time coming for sports fans in the Stateline, but one of the biggest sporting attractions in Rockford finally reopened. After months of playing the waiting game, the Rockford Speedway is back up and running for its 73rd season, with a few new guidelines in place.

Track owner Jody Deery waived the green flag to start another season at the Rockford Speedway. But this year will look and feel a little different because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rockford resident Libby Ward made her first trip to the speedway on Saturday.

“It makes everything a little normal. Still seems a little surreal, but it’s cool to be out again.” As Illinois enters Phase 4, the Speedway will operate at roughly 25% capacity, with social distancing guidelines in place and masks are recommended but not required. That has some fans split on wearing them.

“I think because we’re outside in public, everybody is keeping six feet apart, I think that’s a reason not to wear a mask,” said Ward.

“People should embrace wearing masks more, because it’s more to protect the people around you, then yourself,” said Maya Hoffmann of Chicago Heights, making her first trip to the Speedway as well. “You should be cautious about who you interact with.”

Beloit resident Maralee Williams is an ovarian cancer survivor. She said she’s had to wear a mask for the last year and a half. She would like to see more people wear masks for people like her.

“We know the risks that are involved, people do have their rights and I understand them not wanting to wear it on a hot day like today,” explained Williams. “But everybody should care about other people who might be at risk.”

Even though it may not be comfortable for some, others see it as doing their part to keep Illinois reopened.

“This mask makes it a little lame, I’m not going to lie, it’s quite hot. But, I’d rather be hot and enjoy the weather, than spreading germs and being inside,” said Hoffmann.


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