Thompson Speedway director of competition Jeff Zuidema confirmed Saturday that he has resigned his position with the track.
Chronic back issues forced Zuidema to give up his competitive career in motorsports and move to the management side of racing. Multiple sources have said it’s those same issues that have in part forced him to make the decision to leave the track.
Thompson Speedway general manager Josh Vanada did not immediately respond to messages inquiring about the situation.
Zuidema, a former Thompson Speedway regular and 4-time division champion at the track, was named the racing director at the facility in Dec. 2012.
In October, about a week before Thompson closed its season with the World Series of Speedway Racing, Zuidema, 51, was talking excitedly about returning in 2014.
“It was an extreme learning experience,” Zuidema said in October of his first year in a management position. “I think I originally thought I knew more than I did, and every week was a constant learning curve. I give myself maybe a C for the year. I know there’s a lot of areas I can improve in. But the one thing I always wanted to do was keep the lines of communication open with the competitors and everybody and I think that was one thing that I was able to accomplish.”
After the conclusion of the 2013 season, Thompson Speedway officials announced that Zuidema was being promoted to director of competition and Scott Tapley would take over as racing director for the 2014 season. Tapley, the former racing director at the Waterford Speedbowl, is also the series director for the Valenti Modified Racing Series.