PHOENIX, Ariz. (WTVO) — Jody Deery can add a NASCAR Cup championship to her storied history.
The former Rockford Speedway owner’s name appeared on Ryan Blaney’s number 12 Team Penske race car during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race in Phoenix on Sunday.
Though Blaney finished second in the race, he secured his overall spot as the champion of NASCAR’s Cup Series.
Throughout NASCAR’s playoffs, sponsor Advance Auto Parts has been spotlighting a series of “Home Track Heroes” from NASCAR’s short tracks around the country. Deery is the latest “Home Track Hero.”
Deery was a pioneer in women becoming involved in the sport of auto racing. She and her husband Hugh bought the Rockford Speedway in 1966. She continued to work at the track until the age of 95. She passed away last year at the age of 97.
In 1994 Deery became the first woman in the nation to be named the “Auto Racing Promoter of the Year.”
Blaney beat out four other finalists, Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson and William Byron, who had a shot to be crowned NASCAR’s Cup Champion on Sunday with a solid performance.