ROCKFORD -- Former Rockford Speedway president Jack Deery has been hired as general manager of Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn. "As I look at it, all I can see is great potential," said Deery, who will start the job Nov. 1. "Our goal...
ROCKFORD -- Former Rockford Speedway president Jack Deery has been hired as general manager of Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn.
"As I look at it, all I can see is great potential," said Deery, who will start the job Nov. 1. "Our goal will be to put it back on the map as a premier weekly race track."
Deery was hired by LJ&J Enterprises of Tennessee, which began a five-year lease of the facility this month.
Deery, 51, had been Rockford Speedway's president for seven years before resigning in June. He had worked at the family-owned facility in full-time positions since 1976 and part-time jobs since 1962.
His new boss, Joe Mattioli, has a similar background. His family owns Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and he worked there for 25 years, starting on the maintenance crew and advancing to president. Mattioli then went out on his own, purchasing South Boston (Va.) Speedway four years ago.
Mattioli believes he's found the perfect person for the Nashville job.
"When we visited it was like I met my brother. It almost got to the point where we started anticipating what the next word out of the other one's mouth would be," said Mattioli, LJ&J president.
"The Deery family and Mattioli family in motorsports, I think those two names collectively can do great things."
Mattioli and Deery will focus on repairing the facility and the relationship with the drivers in their inaugural year.
"Physically, the first thing is getting the place looking right ... painting, landscaping. That's going to be a big part of the first season. As well as getting the competitors convinced we're going to provide a level playing field and consistency, and do everything in our power to reduce their cost," Mattioli said.
Deery plans to bring some of Rockford Speedway's fan favorites to his new track.
"Nashville has never experienced anything like a school bus race, trailer race or some of those other fun-type events, which we'll introduce right away," he said.
Deery said he considered offers from other tracks before selecting Nashville.
"The potential there is just too exciting to pass up," he said.
--Courtesy of Doug Goodman, Rockford Register Star