Deery resigns from Speedway LOVES PARK -- Jack Deery announced his resignation Wednesday as president of family-owned Rockford Speedway. "Because of the dwindling car count and our (subpar) early season attendance, a change was needed," Deery...
Deery resigns from Speedway
LOVES PARK -- Jack Deery announced his resignation Wednesday as president of family-owned Rockford Speedway.
"Because of the dwindling car count and our (subpar) early season attendance, a change was needed," Deery said. "And I thought maybe the best way for the change to occur was for me to be out of there, for me to step down and bring in some new blood."
Deery, 51, had been track president for seven years, overseeing the facility's operations.
He had worked at the Speedway in full-time positions since 1976 and part-time jobs since 1962.
"It's a very heart-wrenching decision," Deery said of the move.
Track promoter Jody Deery expressed regret over her son's resignation.
"He's been a huge asset to the corporation and the family business. He'll be greatly missed," she said.
The resignation wouldn't affect the track's race schedule, Jody Deery said, adding she'd assume the president's responsibilities.
She also said the resignation would have no bearing on any decision to sell the track. It's been rumored in recent years Rockford Speedway was sold or was going to be sold to developers planning to build retail outlets on the site, which is in a fast-growing commercial corridor.
"We are absolutely not for sale," Jody Deery said.
Rockford Speedway has had a difficult season in 2003.
The track attempted to rejuvenate the Late Model class by installing new rules. However, the changes resulted in a low car count and an eventual driver mutiny against the rules.
The crowds also have been below average this season. Jody Deery said the weak local economy is a major reason for the decline.
Two-time Late Model track champion Ricky Bilderback was surprised by news of the resignation.
"It's a shame. He's done really well for Rockford Speedway," he said. "Hopefully Jack will be back."