ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As the Rockford Speedway winds down its “Last Lap” season before closing forever, driver Wally Thiering celebrated a historic win in Saturday’s final Figure 8 race.

Fifty years prior, Thiering’s dad, Bill, won the Speedway’s very first Figure 8 race, in 1963, and was enshrined in the Walk of Fame.

“I was so on cloud nine because I thought I would have a chance. But I you know, it was just a chance. And then once we got working on the car and the car came around so good, I thought it would be inevitable, then,” Thiering said after Saturday’s race.

Thiering, 67, has won over 20 races in his racing career at the Rockford Speedway. His brothers, Warren and Sam, have also raced at the track.

“It’s in the family,” he said. “We’re really sad to see Rockford go away. Really sad because we’ve been there since the early 60s. The Speedway has brought all these different families together and made them one family if you will.”

The Rockford Speedway opened in 1948 and was sold earlier this year after owner Jody Deery died last year. It has been sold to HJS Development, which is managed by Shorewood Development.

Thiering said he had taken a 30-year break from racing before coming back for the weekend event.

A family friend, Bob “Bullet Bob” Frische, let him borrow the number 63 car he drove to win. Thiering says others, including his sponsors and crew, share the credit.

“All of my kids and family were big supporters of [the Speedway]. They thought I was nuts at the beginning of the year, 67 years old out here, playing with these guys. They’re half my age and [their] reflexes are so much better. But, with good equipment, it just shows that anybody can do it,” he said.

The Rockford Speedway’s “Last Lap” events run weekends through October 28th.