ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Rockford Speedway won’t be quite the same going forward. Longtime owner and CEO Jody Deery has retired from her day-to-day duties at the track.
Deery will turn 96 years old in November. She first started helping out at the track in the Mid-1950s when she and her husband Hugh moved to Rockford from Indianapolis. Hugh Deery died in 1984, but Jody Deery has continued to oversee things with the help of her children.
She has been present on race nights waiving the green flag for the start of some races, and she cheerfully has greeted the winning drivers after races. She also has worked regularly in the ticket booth on race nights. Throughout the week she has worked in the Speedway’s offices next door at the Forest Hills Lodge.
In 1994 she became the first female to receive the ‘Auto Racing Promoter of the Year’ award. Deery has also been on the nominating committee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and she has been on the voting panel for the inductees.
Jody’s son and current Rockford Speedway General Manager David Deery tells me that we will still see his mother at the track from time-to-time. The family is hoping to hold an Open House for her at the track the weekend of the Short Track National Championships which is set for the first weekend in October.
David Deery, his sister Susan Deery and the Conti family (JoAnne, Margaret and Lou) will continue to oversee the operations at the Rockford Speedway.