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Deery Has Say In NASCAR Hall Of Fame

Rockford Speedway CEO Jody Deery is one of the voters for NASCAR's Hall Of Fame.
ROCKFORD-The NASCAR Hall of Fame will induct it’s newest class of members this Thursday in Charlotte.  It’s one of the fastest growing, and most popular Halls of Fame in sports.  And Rockford’s own Jody Deery is one of the few people who has a say in who gets inducted into that Hall.

Deery is the CEO and owner of the Rockford Speedway, Rockford’s little, but historic quarter mile track.  Every May for the past five years since the NASCAR Hall of Fame has opened she travels to Charlotte to vote for that year’s inductees.  She and 50 other NASCAR VIPs gather in a room to look over the list of nominees, debate their merits and then vote.

"And then there’s discussion," says Deery. "And lots of the discussions that’s very, very interesting because it might be Richard Petty saying he didn’t do this and that and that, or somebody else saying he did this."

The discussion never gets heated, but…

"It is controversial," says Deery.  

Deery is one of about 6 women on that 50 person voting panel.  She says the women’s voices are heard.

"Oh yes, yes."

Deery says she always sits in the back of the room right next to the King, Richard Petty.  Last year during the discussion he sketched some pictures of birds.

"I said 'That’s wonderful.' He said 'Would you like them'. I said 'yes. Yes."

Petty of course was part of the first Hall of Fame Class five years ago which also included Dale Earnhardt Senior, Junior Johnson and the Frances Bill Senior and Bill Junior.

"I think everybody voted for Richard Petty," says Deery.

The five inductees this year are Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty, and Fireball Roberts.

"Jack Ingram I really didn’t know about him, but after listening to everybody he was well deserving of it," says Deery.

Deery says when she first got the call several years ago to be a part of the Hall of Fame voting committee she was very surprised.

"I wanted to know why. They said they were looking for a variety of people. That’s what they wanted. Not all big tracks."

And it makes sense since many of the NASCAR Hall of Famers have appeared at the Rockford Speedway at one time or another either to race or in some other capacity. And those legends never forget Rockford.

"They say Oh yea Rockford. I remember that little track and that makes you feel good," says Deery.

Deery says one you are on the voting panel for the Hall of Fame. You’re on it for life.
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