Gille Family Gets After It At The Rockford Speedway

ROCKFORD-The Rockford Speedway is known for its emphasis on family entertainment. One Stateline family takes that to heart.

It' not unusual in a Late Model feature race to have three members of the Gille family on the track at the same time.

Jerry, his brother Tom, and Tom's son Jake all race Late Models. All three of them were introduced to the race track at a young age.

"That's kind of the Gille thing," says Tom. I was out here, my mom and dad brought me out here when I was six months old."

"I think my mom brought me here, I was born in December and brought here in April," says Jerry.

Tom and Jerry have been racing here for thirty years. Jake came here as a little tyke with his father, so it's no surprise that he also got hooked on the sport.

"Yea I was here pretty much every week.  As long as I can remember I wanted to do it," says Jake.

One thing the Gilles all have in common, they're all competitive, so they don't cut each other any slack when they're racing each other.

"The three of us probably run each other harder than we do anybody if that's possible," says Jerry.

"When I've got my helmet on, and I'm sure Jake and my brother are the same way, they could care less who's in the car next to them. They're wanting to pass that car," says Tom.

And some times tempers can flare a little.

"We've all had run-ins with each other," says Jake. "My dad and uncle have raced together for thirty years. They've had issues, and I've had issues with each of them."

"We've had our moments, but you've got to figure that nothing that's happening is happening on purpose," says Tom. "If something does happen you go talk it out, and you meet at mom's Sunday for supper ha-ha."

Jake is 26 years old and in his fourth season of racing Late Models. His father is high on his future.

"He's really coming into his own as far as what he wants with the car. What he wants it to feel," says Tom.

But Jake's uncle Jerry is the Gille who has three Late Model Season championships under his belt. So Jerry figures he's still the king of the Gille family.

"I'm still going to be the top racer when all is said and done," chuckled Jerry. "The kid really is doing a good job."

You can see the Gille's racing at the Rockford Speedway almost every Saturday night.

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