Deery at Daytona

Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery wouldn't think of missing a Daytona 500.
ROCKFORD-There's no keeping Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery away from Daytona.

"I've gone every year," she says.

Every year since the early '60s when she her late husband Hugh used to load up the kids and head south. 

"That's where we took our vacation around the Daytona 500. We used to have the motor home and put it in the infield and the kids hated it because there wasn't anything to do, but that's where they had to be."

Deery was never at the first Daytona races prior to the 500 that were actually contested on the Florida beach. But it wasn't long after that when those family trips began.

"It's changed a lot since the first time we ever went," she says.

But one thing never changes. The goose bumps she gets right before the race begins.

"That's the thing when they say 'Gentleman start your engines'.
And they all varoom! It's great! It puts you right up in the air."

When the green flag drops Sunday Deery will be pulling for a couple favorites.

"I like Jimmie Johnson because Chad Knaus is his chief crew man, so I'm always pulling for Jimmy."

Her other favorite driver is Tony Stewart, because he once gave her a rose.

"I have a soft spot in my heart for him."
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