Hearts all over the Rockford area broke earlier this week when the Rockford Speedway announced that 76 years of racing action will officially end in 2023.

Whether you love racing or not, if you've lived in the Rockford area for a while, I'm willing to bet you have several happy memories that Involve the Rockford Speedway.

Rockford Speedway via Facebook, Canva
Rockford Speedway via Facebook, Canva

Rockford Speedway Memories

I remember going to the races as a kid with my Dad and Grandpa and loving all the action. I remember "racing" a car (I don't even think I made it to 20mph) around the Speedway's track in a media race. (Obviously, I lost). I fondly remember drinking many beers and laughing a LOT at so many events at the Rockford Speedway through the years, so yeah, I'm super bummed about the closing news too.

So why is the Rockford Speedway closing and breaking all our hearts? To make more room for development on 173.

Rockford Speedway General Manager David Deery said in a statement;

“For years we have watched the surrounding area evolve into a vibrant retail corridor, this day has been coming and while it’s great for the city, it stings for the thousands of fans and racers who have made Rockford Speedway their ‘family’ for generations.

Fight to Save the Rockford Speedway

HJS Development is now the new owner of the land where the Rockford Speedway resides and infrastructure construction of the frontage road will begin this summer, but should not affect the final summer of racing at the Rockford Speedway...unless hundreds of concerned citizens get their way.

A Change.org petition has been started to show HJS Development that Rockfordians are against the demolishment of our beloved Rockford Speedway. The petition states in part;

We are a proud people & over the years we’ve lost a lot of what makes us Rockfordians. Rockford Speedway should not be one of them. Sign to show the city and developers that we don’t want another apartment complex, we want a space to build memories, celebrate together, and race.

As I write this, the petition currently has over 2,500 signatures and is growing every minute. Will signing this petition change the fate of the Rockford Speedway? Maybe not, but it sure is worth a shot!

Sign the petition here.

Can You Guess The Abandoned Rockford Business?

Can You Guess The Abandoned Rockford Business?

What Are They Now Former Rockford Music Venues

Photos of what replaced legendary music venues in Rockford.

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5