116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Jeff Selfridge was like a lot of kids who grow up in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Kennedy in 1985 before earning his bachelor's degree from Mount Mercy. Once his studies were complete, Selfridge did what a lot of kids from Cedar Rapids do — he moved to a bigger city.
“I lived in Chicago for a while, but when it was time to raise a family, I came right back here,” Selfridge said. “This is my town. I love it.”
So Selfridge moved home and mingled about until one fateful night at the Red Stallion when he saw a woman and decided to invite her to join him on their large wooden dance floor.
“I don't even know why I asked her, I just did,” said Selfridge, who is working on year 25 with his wife/dance partner Sallie.
Twenty-five years ago is also when Selfridge started racing after going to Hawkeye Downs as a boy with his parents, James and Carolyn.
“I remember being 14 years old and Merv Chandler was driving in the Modified class with his No. 2 Safari Lounge car, when he had the big block in it with the radiator in the back,” Selfridge said. “I was so excited because I helped him push it on the trailer after the race when they pitted in the infield. I remember it like it was yesterday.”
Those fond memories have stayed with Selfridge, who then joined the Friday night racing broadcasts on the local ESPN radio affiliate in 2010 and 2011.
After that ended, the father of three daughters began doing post-race interviews from Victory Lane each Friday.
Before the 2020 season, race director Scott Unash asked Selfridge if he'd be interested in doing the PA announcing as the races take place, essentially doing everything from introductions to play-by-play with track promotion in between.
“Most of the time I'm entertaining myself,” Selfridge said. “I know that I'm an ambassador for Hawkeye Downs through racing and I take that very seriously. We have to remember how lucky we are to get the keys to the kingdom to entertain the people.”
Not only does Selfridge appreciate the fans, he roots for all of the drivers.
“These are my friends and I treat them all the same,” Selfridge said. “We need every one of them here and that's why we treat them with respect. I tell people all the time, I get to come out here and do racecar stuff with my racecar friends.”