Rockingham Speedway Track News Archive

  • Speculation grows for Rockingham date next season as NASCAR cancels K&N race UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced today the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event scheduled for Rockingham Speedway on Saturday, November 2 has been cancelled."It is unfortunate any time a race must be cancelled," said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring. "However, the race track failed to meet its obligations and we were forced to terminate the sanction agreement."(
    UPDATE: Officials from three different series have confirmed that all the events that were scheduled for November 2 at Rockingham Speedway have been cancelled. Shortly after NASCAR made its announcement, the UARA-STARS Late Model Series announced it has also cancelled its event at Rockingham.The third and final series, the CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series, released a statement Monday afternoon confirming that they to would be canceling their event that was scheduled for November 2. Series officials announced earlier this year that the event would offer a $20,000 payout to the race winner. The events of Monday call into question Rockingham Speedway's future. That is expected to be addressed sometime Tuesday by Andy Hillenburg.(Speed Sport News)(9-10-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Rockingham Speedway, which began hosting NASCAR races again two years ago after an eight-year absence, will not host a Truck Series race in 2014, speedway owner Andy Hillenburg confirmed. The one-mile track located about 90 miles southeast of Charlotte remains open for track rentals but won't be hosting any NASCAR events in 2014. "We've got a number of issues that have to be resolved before we can host races again," Hillenburg told the Observer on Thursday. "These issues have been mounting over the last two to three years. "I'm not giving up on this. My plan is to keep doing it. I want it and NASCAR wants it and I'm determined to have it continue." NASCAR is expected to release its 2014 Truck schedule as early as Friday - the last of its three national series scheduled to be released.(Charlotte Observer)(10-24-2013)

  • Rockingham Speedway to hold autograph session:Fans hoping to get to meet their favorite Camping World Truck Series drivers will have the opportunity to do so on Saturday, April 13 at Rockingham Speedway. The speedway will hold a driver autograph session that morning from 10:15 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. by the famous rocks by the main entrance of the track. The session will take place before the first NCWTS practice for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine The autograph session is open to anyone holding a ticket for Saturday's or Sunday's races. (Rockingham Speedway PR)(4-1-2013)

  • Three bands to perform at Rockingham:When Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg started making plans for April 14th's Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine, he was consumed with one thought. To that end, the City of Rockingham and the speedway have brought in three bands instead of one to perform at the track on Saturday, April 13. Kernersville, N.C.-based Chris Lane Band will take the stage at 6 p.m. following the UARA and Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals races. Ty Brown will follow at approximately 7:40 p.m. Headliner Hoss Howard Band will perform at approximately 9:15 p.m. Admission is free to anyone holding a ticket for Saturday or Sunday's races.(Rockingham Speedway PR)(3-15-2013)

  • Hoss Howard Band tapped for National Anthem:Western N.C.-based Hoss Howard Band will be performing the National Anthem to kick off the Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine at Rockingham Speedway on April 14. Howard and the band play Southern rock and country-style music and should not be strangers to Carolina race fans. For the last two years, Hoss Howard Band has been part of the Coca-Cola 600 race activities, playing at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speed Street. (Rockingham Speedway PR)(3-13-2013)

  • Rockingham Speedway brings back "Send a Soldier to The Rock" campaign: Buoyed by the success of last year's "Send a Soldier to The Rock" promotion, Rockingham Speedway is partnering with the United Service Organization of North Carolina (USO of NC) to continue the program for the April 14 running of the Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine. Through Send a Soldier to The Rock, race fans can purchase tickets to the event that will be distributed by the USO of NC to servicemen and women and their families. Rockingham Speedway will be donating a portion of ticket sales from Send a Soldier to The Rock back to the USO of NC. Fans can purchase $25 Send a Soldier to The Rock tickets by calling 910.205.8800 or online at The NCWTS will practice on Saturday with qualifying and racing on Sunday, April 14. (Rockingham Speedway PR)(3-6-2013)

  • NC Education Lottery on board at The Rock: Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg announced today that the North Carolina Education Lottery will serve as title sponsor when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the legendary North Carolina oval on Sunday, April 14. (Rockingham Speedway PR) (2-7-2013)

  • Trucks to qualify, race on same day at Rockingham: When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) makes its return to Rockingham Speedway for the Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine in April, the field for the second event at the venerable one-mile track will not be set until morning of the race. Qualifying for the race will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 14. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 2:00 p.m. for the 200-lap tilt. For this year's event, the trucks will arrive at Rockingham on Friday, April 12 and will practice on Saturday, April 13 before Sunday, April 14's time trials and race.Tickets, suite packages and camping are now available for the April 12-14 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine weekend at or by calling 910.205.8800. General admission tickets for Saturday are $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) and grandstand tickets for Sunday range from $20 to $35. ( Rockingham Speedway PR)(1-29-2013)

  • Tix for sale for NCWTS race at Rockingham: Ticket sales are open for the April 14, 2013 running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) 200-mile race at Rockingham Speedway by visiting or by calling 910.205.8800. Matt Crafton led 40 laps in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham in April. The series returns to The Rock on April 14, 2013. "I can't think of a better stocking stuffer than tickets to the second annual NASCAR truck series race at Rockingham," said speedway president Andy Hillenburg. "Our renewals were very good from last year's race, so the remaining tickets will be in high demand." Ticket renewals ended on November 20. "Every seat we have left is now up for grabs," said Hillenburg. Grandstand seats begin at $20 and go up to $35 depending on the location. Suite or camping packages are also available by calling the speedway. The inaugural NCWTS event at Rockingham drew nearly 30,000 people last April, and Hillenburg promises an event better experience for race fans who fill the Rock for the second event.(Rockingham Speedway)(11-24-2012)

  • NCWTS returns to "The Rock" in 2013: After staging the most talked-about event of the 2012 NASCAR season to date, Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg made it official today; confirming that the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to "The Rock" on April 12-14, 2013. Kasey Kahne celebrates in victory lane after winning the inaugural NCWTS race at Rockingham last April. "We got our report card from NASCAR, and it looks like we got an A+," said Hillenburg of NASCAR's April return to Rockingham for the first time since 2004. Sprint Cup Series star Kasey Kahne topped an all-star field of Camping World Truck Series regulars to win the Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine, in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd of race fans. "Fans, drivers, teams; everyone embraced our 2012 event," said Hillenburg. "I'm happy to announce that with their help, we'll do it again in 2013; bigger and better than ever before." Tickets are already on sale, with adult tickets ranging from $20 to $35 and kids age 12 and under half-price.(Rockingham Speedway PR)(9-26-2012)

  • Hillenburg Spirit Award recipient for second quarter: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association have selected Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. Hillenburg was selected for his efforts to return Rockingham Speedway to prominence. He purchased the track at auction in October 2007 and in April of 2012 NASCAR returned to the track for the first time since 2004. Also receiving votes were: Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Benton Racing, Ellen Siska and Tony Stewart. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer was the first quarter winner of the award.(NMPA)(8-28-2012)

  • Rockingham Speedway to host Classic 3 Championship Presented by RCR Racing Museum: Rockingham Speedway will host the biggest single day of championship stock car racing in the track's 47-year history on Saturday, Nov. 3 with the inaugural running of the "Classic 3 Championship Presented by the RCR Racing Museum." The first-time event will feature championship-deciding races for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, UARA-Stars Late Models and Frank Kimmel Street Stock Series, all in one jam-packed afternoon of excitement on the one-mile Rockingham oval. "I'm a big believer in `Go big or go home,'" said Rockingham Speedway president Andy Hillenburg in announcing the event. "Most people would be satisfied to host the final point-counting race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. But my first thought was, `How do we make this even bigger?' With the help of Richard Childress and his staff at the RCR Racing Museum, I think we've managed to do exactly that." More info about the Classic 3 Championship, tickets and events, go to Every ticket is also good for a special, $3 admission to the RCR Racing Museum in Welcome, N.C.(8-29-2012)

  • Tickets available for Rockingham Truck Series race; special Hame of Fame package: Thanks to a partnership between the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Rockingham Speedway, race fans will be able to get a double dose of racing history in the coming weeks. TheNASCAR Hall of Fame is offering a 20% discount on admission to anyone presenting a ticket, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office, for the April 15, 2012 running of the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Rockingham Speedway. Conveniently located in uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. For more information on the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine, or to purchase tickets for any of Rockingham Speedway's events, contact the speedway at 910.205.8800 or visit online at This special price may not be combined with any other offer and is available until December 31, 2012, excluding May 12 - May 28 and October 6 - 14, 2012.(Rockingham Speedway)(4-10-2012)

  • Former Rockingham Speedway boss honored by alma mater: As the Rockingham Speedway is honored with the return of NASCAR to its track, a former president of the speedway is receiving honors of her own. Ellerbe native, Jo DeWitt Wilson, has been given the title of Trustee Emerita from Queens University of Charlotte. "My father, L.G. Dewitt, was president of the speedway until he passed away in 1990," said Wilson. "Frank Wilson - no relation - took over the position until he had a stroke four years later." Wilson said her mother, Carrie DeWitt, called her and asked her to return to Richmond County and serve as president for the speedway. "The board of directors elected me, and I served from 1994 until 2002," she said. "We cleaned up, made a lot of improvements, built more stands and did some landscaping," she said. "When I realized there wasn't enough money coming in to pay for all the upgrades, I contacted Roger Penske, who purchased the track from my mother. He allowed me to stay on through the end of my contract." After leaving the track, Wilson retired and began to pursue personal interests. Wilson, who received her degree in home economics from Queens University of Charlotte in 1959, decided to return to her alma mater. She was elected to the board of trustees in 1999, and served until 2011. Recently, the school named her Trustee Emerita. "I no longer serve as a fiscal trustee for the college, but I remain very active," said Wilson. "I also still closely follow the news of Rockingham Speedway." Wilson said that she will be in Georgia on business during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine, on April 15 at The Rock, but her sister Nancy Daugherty, also a Queens alumni, will be working at a concession stand during the race. "So my family will be represented at the speedway when NASCAR returns," she said.(Richmond County Daily Journal)(4-10-2012)

  • SAFER Installation Continues at Rockingham Speedway: The second phase of Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers is underway at Rockingham Speedway in advance of the April 15, 2012 running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance Carolina 200. When complete, this installation will encase the south and north ends of the speedway (turns one and two and turns three and four, respectively) in the force absorbing barriers. For the first phase, crews installed SAFER barriers along the inside backstretch wall in October 2011 before the American 200 and Polar Bear 150. NASCAR requires the technology at any facility at which it sanctions an event in its top-three National Touring Series - Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Commonly referred to as "soft walls," SAFER barriers are designed to absorb a portion of the energy in a crash, lessening the impact on the driver. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the speedway office at 855.NC.ROCKS or visit online at Speedway)(1-10-2002)

  • SAFER Barrier Installation Underway at Rockingham: For over 40 years, Rockingham Speedway has been a tough place to get around. Time and time again, one little miscue or a worn-out tire has led to some hard hits against the track's unforgiving concrete walls. While the track won't be any less difficult for drivers to navigate when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its inaugural trip to Rockingham on April 15, 2012 for the Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance Carolina 200, the hits will not be quite as bone-jarring as the speedway has begun the installation of Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers along the inside back stretch wall. Installation of the SAFER barriers in the turns will begin at Rockingham after the running of the American 200 doubleheader (Nov. 5, 2011) and the Polar Bear 150 (Nov. 26, 2011). In all, a mile's worth of the soft walls will be installed around the facility. Commonly referred to as "soft walls," SAFER barriers are designed to absorb a portion of the energy in a crash, lessening the impact on the driver. The project, when complete, represents a nearly one million-dollar investment. But to speedway president Andy Hillenburg, it's a worthwhile expense. "As a racer, safety is always my number one concern," said Hillenburg, who made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start at the track in 1991. "Regardless of NASCAR's decision to come back to Rockingham, SAFER barriers were a need for us and I'm glad we are able to get that process underway. As we've seen over the years, there are some hard hits along that inside wall coming off of (turn) two and when things go bad getting into (turn) one, they go very bad." NASCAR requires the technology at any facility at which it sanctions an event in its top-three National Touring Series. For more information, or to order tickets for any event at Rockingham Speedway, please contact the ticket office at 910.205.8800 or visit us online at Great seats and suite packages are still available.(Rockingham Speedway)(10-5-2011)

  • Rockingham to make announcement - Trucks? UPDATE Governor Bev Perdue and Rockingham Speedway owner, Andy Hillenburg are scheduled to make a joint announcement on the facility's growth and the potential economic boost it will have to Richmond County, the city of Rockingham and the state of North Carolina (Rockingham Speedway), rumor has it that the track will get a NASCAR Truck Series race in 2012.(9-3-2011)
    AND: Rockingham Speedway will host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, tentatively scheduled for the second weekend of April 2012, sources have told ESPN The Magazine. The event will mark the track's first NASCAR event since the then-Winston Cup Series held its 78th and final race at "The Rock" on Feb. 22, 2004.(ESPN)(9-3-2011)
    UPDATE: Rockingham Speedway announced that Richmond County and the city of Rockingham, N.C., will once again be home to NASCAR-sanctioned racing with the addition of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 on April 15, 2012.
    "In 2007, we set a goal to return Rockingham Speedway to its roots," states Andy Hillenburg, president of Rockingham Speedway. "The introduction of the truck series to Rockingham Speedway is representative of years of hard work and the support of the county, city and state government officials, who understood the positive economic impact a NASCAR-sanctioned race could offer to the Piedmont region. We are very excited about this news and know our supporters are just as proud to have Rockingham's national racing roots become a reality once again."
    Good Sam Club, the world's largest RV owners' organization will serve as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway, while Cheerwine, legendary soft drink of the south will serve as presenting sponsor. "We are thrilled about the return of NASCAR racing at Rockingham Speedway and we're even more excited to have a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on the schedule for 2012," said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World & Good Sam. "The Rock has a rich tradition of hosting tough racing and thrilling finishes, and we expect the same to hold true next April. We look forward to being a part of next year's race and exposing those avid fans to the Good Sam RV products and services."
    Rockingham Speedway, affectionately known as "The Rock," will begin safety improvements to its race track this fall. One improvement will include the installation of a Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier, known as the SAFER barrier system, which is a required feature for all top three tier NASCAR-sanctioned race tracks to help improve driver safety. Additional upgrades will be made to the track's scoring system and pit road, as well as other aesthetic improvements. "NASCAR is looking forward to returning to Rockingham Speedway with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in 2012," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice-president for Racing Operations. "The fans and community have shown strong support and the track is making significant improvements to its facility. We appreciate all the hard work by Andy Hillenburg and his staff to get to this point. It should be a fun event."(NASCAR)(9-7-2011)

  • SAFER walls to be installed at the Rock: The Rockingham Speedway, which hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup races from 1965 to 2004, is taking a huge step toward once again hosting big-league racing as SAFER "soft wall" barriers will be installed next month. The energy-absorbing system will be installed in two phases, in mid-September and late December, covering all four turns of the one-mile oval and the inside of the backstretch wall. The most common estimate of the SAFER barrier cost is $1 million per mile. "Yes, that's expensive," said Robert Ingraham, the track's general manager, "but nothing's more expensive than having someone hurt." NASCAR requires racetracks to have the SAFER barrier in place before they can host one of the sanctioning body's top three national series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Camping World Trucks. Rockingham, then known as North Carolina Motor Speedway, hosted 78 Sprint Cup events and 42 Nationwide Series races, but it hasn't held a NASCAR event since Matt Kenseth's victory in the Subway 400 on Feb. 22, 2004. The track and the 244 acres it sits on were dormant for nearly four years before it was purchased by veteran racer Andy Hillenburg at auction on Sept. 27, 2007. Rockingham officials have had discussions with NASCAR, albeit informal, about the possibility of a Nationwide or Truck Series event returning to the track more commonly known as The Rock. A source within NASCAR, speaking on condition of anonymity, admits as much. However, the lack of a SAFER barrier had always been an insurmountable issue. Without the promise of a NASCAR race, Hillenburg wasn't confident enough to try and secure funds for SAFER installation. That now appears to have changed. Just last month, Nashville Superspeedway announced it was closing, essentially orphaning four NASCAR events, two each in Nationwide and Trucks. Since that announcement, speculation has run rampant as to where those races might end up in 2012. Next season's NASCAR schedules have not yet been finalized.(ESPN)(8-17-2011)

  • Dillon wins ARCA race at Rock; Sheltra the champ: Ty Dillon returned Richard Childress Racing to victory lane at Rockingham Speedway Saturday, winning the American 200, while Patrick Sheltra claimed his first-ever championship in the ARCA Racing Series [by 20 points over ]. Dillon, who played with "little box cars" in the Rockingham grandstands as a child, said he plans to compete for the ARCA championship in 2011. Racing returns to Rockingham Speedway on Nov. 27, 2010 with the third-annual running of the Polar Bear 150 Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals. Tickets are available by calling the 910.205.8800 or by visiting Speedway), Pole Sitter Kevin Swindell finished 2nd followed by Chad Finley, Patrick Sheltra and Craig Goess. Former Sprint Cup driver Steve Park finished 35th.(10-10-2010)

  • Steve Park returns to race at the site of his biggest win UPDATE: Most race fans remember Steve Park's last NASCAR Winston Cup victory. Coming just one week after car owner's Dale Earnhardt tragic death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, Park edged Bobby Labonte for the emotional win in the Dura Lube 400. The track? The Rockingham Speedway. Park makes his return to the track for the Oct. 9, 2010 running of the ARCA Racing Series. "It is always great to have former winners back to race at 'The Rock,'" said track president Andy Hillenburg. "Steve's win here was one of the most memorable races I have ever seen, being such a fantastic finish and coming on the heels of such tragedy for that team and race fans everywhere. We are thrilled to have him back racing at Rockingham in the American 200."
    Also scheduled to race in the American 200 is Ricky Carmichael. A 30-year-old native of Clearwater, Fla., Carmichael is best known for his successful motocross career which includes 10 AMA Motocross Championships, five AMA Supercross Championships, and two World Supercross Championships. Carmichael has driven to six top-10 finishes in 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season. Rockingham will mark Carmichael's fifth ARCA Series start of the year, with a best finish of seventh in the season-opener at Daytona.(Rockingham Speedway)(10-5-2010)
    UPDATE: Kevin Swindell, son of three-time national Sprint Car champion Sammy Swindell, earned his first career pole in the ARCA Racing Series Friday during qualifying at Rockingham Speedway for Saturday's season finale American 200 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service. Swindell, driving a Toyota, posted a 145.378-mph, 24.763-second lap on Menards Pole Day presented by Ansell, to edge Chad Finley for the No. 1 starting position. Finley's Chevrolet clocked in at 145.361 mph. Craig Goess earned the third starting position to edge five points closer to standings leader Patrick Sheltra in the championship battle. Sheltra qualified eighth. Entering Saturday's season finale, which will be televised live at 1:30pm on SPEED, Sheltra now leads Goess by a mere five points -- 4,495 to 4,490. Tom Hessert is third in the standings, 20 points in arrears to Sheltra. He qualified his Dodge 14th. Rounding out the top five, respectively, were Justin Marks and Steve Arpin. Ty Dillon, grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and the winner of the most recent ARCA event at Kansas Speedway, qualified sixth. Brandon McReynolds, son of TV analyst and former NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds, qualified seventh. Steve Park, who won a NASCAR Winston Cup race at the 1-mile oval in February 2001, qualified 20th in a Ford. Veteran James Hylton used a provisional to gain entrance into the 41-car starting field. He will start 37th.
    For more info about the American 200 race weekend, annual Thunderfest in downtown Rockingham and tickets for the races, contact the Rockingham Speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit Tickets, starting at $20 in advance, and suite packages are still available.(Rockingham Speedway)(10-9-2010)

  • Rockingham would like a NASCAR race: Wedneday's announcement that Gateway International Raceway doesn't want NASCAR racing next year has piqued the interest of Rockingham Speedway owner Andy Hillenburg. "There's always interest" in a NASCAR return to the track, Hillenburg said. But, he added, "with the timetable we have for the next couple of years, I don't feel like we're ready yet." The 1-mile oval formerly hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series races. Gateway is giving up its two Nationwide and one Camping World Truck Series events at the end of the year. NASCAR's return is "something that's been on my mind," Hillenburg said. "It's encouraging to see opportunities present themselves." Of more immediate concern for him is the Oct. 9 ARCA season finale, and Hillenrburg has also moved the track's New Year's Day event for the Kimmel Street Stock cars. That's been shifted to Nov. 27 because of "sponsorship, it's a tick warmer, and we think this will help us getting closer to the idea of having a 99-car field," Hillenburg said.(Fayetteville Observer), the track would need SAFER before NASCAR would consider a race there.(8-2-2010)

  • Barnes wins Polar Bear 150 at the Rock: Chuck Barnes Sr. held off a furious charge from Brett Hudson over the last five laps to win his second Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals Polar Bear 150 at the Rockingham Speedway. In a race that featured 18 lead changes and was slowed by 12 caution flags and 2 red flags, Barnes bested Hudson by less than car length at the checkered flag. Will Kimmel came home in third with Frank Kimmel II finishing fourth. Chad Hall rounded out the top-five. Jimmy Elledge, crew chief for #82-Scott Speed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, found trouble on lap 60 that ended his day. More info and images at the Rockingham Speedway site.(1-2-2010)

  • Moody to Wave Green Flag at The Rock: Dave Moody, host of "SIRIUS Speedway" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio 128 and lead turn announcer for MRN's NASCAR race broadcasts, has been named as the official starter of the Polar Bear 150 at Rockingham Speedway. Moody will wave the green flag at the New Year's Day event, officially starting the first race of 2010. The 2nd Annual Polar Bear 150, which will be held at noon January 1, will be a chance for race fans to celebrate the beginning of the 2010 racing season with competitive racing by the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals Series. The entry list, which already has 61 registrants, includes a combination of NASCAR drivers and crew members, drivers from the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards, and previous Rockingham winners from the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals Series. The 2nd annual Polar Bear 150 kicks off on Thursday, December 31, 2009. Gates open at 8:00am/et and practice sessions take place from 1:00-1:45pm/et and 3:00-3:45pm/et. Grandstand admission for Thursday's activities is free, and tickets for Friday are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Kids (12 and under) are $5. Military discounts and public suite options are both available as well. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (910) 205-8800.(Rockingham Speedway)(12-28-2009)

  • Humpy Wheeler to wave the green flag at the Rock: Legendary race promoter H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler will serve as the Grand Marshal and will wave the green flag for Sunday's running of the ARCA RE/MAX American 200 at the Rockingham Speedway. Wheeler, the former President and General Manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, currently is the chairman of The Wheeler Company, a consulting management firm focusing on general business, professional sports, and motorsports he founded last year with his son, Trip. The Wheeler Company has been involved with the Rockingham Speedway through a driver development program, Humpy's Heroes, which has used the facility for testing and practice for its young drivers. For more information about the ARCA/REMAX American 200 or the accompanying USARacing Aaron's 150 October 9-11 or to order tickets, please contact the Rockingham Speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit the website at Tickets begin at $20 for single-day reserved seating with $5 back-to-school special pricing for students. Weekend and pit passes are also available.(Rockingham Speedway)(10-8-2009)

  • Kevin Harvick Will Wave the Green Flag at the Carolina 200: Kevin Harvick will be atop of the flagstand at the start of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Carolina 200 race at the Rockingham Speedway on April 19th and will wave the green flag to begin the highly anticipated race. Harvick's part time Nationwide Series driver, Tony Stewart had the honor during last season's ARCA race at the historic track. Kevin Harvick Incorporated will also field a car in the Carolina 200 with Ricky Carmichael getting his first laps at the one-mile speedway. For more information about the Carolina 200 or to order tickets, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit our website at

  • Economaki and Schrader to be Honored at the Rock: Last season, Rockingham Speedway honored three of NASCAR's greats and made them a permanent part of the historic track. The Benny Parsons Tower, the Papa Joe Hendrick Garage Area and the Ricky Rudd Grandstands were all named for three men instrumental to the speedway's legacy. This year Chris Economaki and Ken Schrader will be honored by the speedway with the naming of the Media Center and Turn Four grandstands, respectively. The Chris Economaki Media Center is dedicated to the man who has covered the sport of auto racing for more than 70 years as a journalist, track announcer, radio and television announcer and has been the editor for National Speed Sport News since 1950. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1994 and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993. Ken Schrader is no stranger to Rockingham Speedway - he earned six top-fives at the track including a second place finish in 1991 during his Cup career at the track. He also had 10 top-10's at the historic track as well as one pole in 1990. Schrader just missed winning last year's ARCA race when he finished second in the first race since the track was reopened. He will be looking to improve by one position with the second running of the race on April 19th. Carolina 200 race weekend kicks off on Friday April 17th with Thunderfest in downtown Rockingham from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. There will be a hauler parade through downtown Rockingham at noon on Friday for the day-long celebration as well as most of the drivers signing autographs at 6:00 p.m. For more information about the Carolina 200 or to order tickets, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit our website at

  • Rockingham Speedway Announces Free Saturday Ticket Promotion: Rockingham Speedway has announced a special promotion for tickets for the Carolina 200 race weekend - Buy For Sunday, Bonus For Saturday. Starting Monday March 23rd until Friday April 10th, fans that purchase a reserved seat ticket for the Carolina 200 on April 19th will receive a complimentary ticket for the UARA Late Model race/ARCA Pole Day events on April 18th. That is a $20 value for the UARA race and two races for the price of one! For more information about the Carolina 200 or to order tickets, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit our website at

  • Barnes Wins the Polar Bear 150 at the Rock: Chuck Barnes, Sr., who started from the R.A. Jeffrey's Distributing Company pole, took advantage of blown engine in Brett Hudson's Chevy Monte Carlo with ten laps to go to take the checkered flag in the inaugural Polar Bear 150 at the Rockingham Speedway Thursday afternoon. Clinton, Indiana's Anthony White, the NASCAR Technical Institute's Hard Charger of the race award winner, finished second in his first start on a paved track. Rounding out the top-five were Clint Watkins of Maggie Valley, NC and Bonaire, Georgia's Tim Jensen and Tony Conway of Louisville, KY. J.D. Frey, a mechanic for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's Sprint Cup team, whose entry was owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., ran with the leaders most of the day, only to be caught up in a late-race accident.(Rockingham Speedway PR)(1-2-2009)

  • RADIO coverage of the Polar Bear 150: and Victory Lane Productions will team up to bring race fans exclusive Internet Radio coverage of the Polar Bear 150 from Rockingham Speedway on New Year's Day. Visit to listen live to the race. The green flag will fly at 1:00pm/et on New Year's Day and you can listen to it live on RaceTalkRadio starting at 12:00noon/et.(12-31-2008)

  • R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company to Sponsor the Pole Award at the Polar Bear 150: The Polar Bear 150 is already one of the biggest Street Stock races in the country and now the competitors will have another prize to claim - a pole award from R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company. The driver winning the award will have their work cut out for them. With up to 99 drivers starting the race, qualifying will be very important and will be determined through a very exciting 'European Style' qualifying format. Several will be on the track at the same time making qualifying runs to get the best time and win the R.A. Jefferys Distributing Company Pole Award. The pole award is not the only involvement that the R.A. Jefferys Distributing Company will have with the Polar Bear 150 - they will be supplying the concession stands with Anheuser-Busch products as well as the New Years Eve Celebration that will ring in the New Year in the Rockingham Speedway's Infield. The Polar Bear 150, the New Year's Eve Celebration and the partnership with R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company are all new traditions for the Rockingham Speedway that are a part of a long term strategy for the track. The Polar Bear 150 kicks off on December 31st with practice during the day and a New Years Eve celebration in the garage area and infield of the track starting at 7:30 p.m. Fans can join the drivers and teams for the celebration for only $10. The race will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday January 1st with qualifying at 10:00 a.m. General admission seating is only $15 when purchased in advance and $20 the day of the race. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult. For more information please call the speedway at 910-205-8800 or visit Speedway PR)(12-30-2008)

  • Testing at the Rock: GEM tested Tuesday and Wednesday at Rockingham Speedway with #9-Kasey Kahne and on Wednesday, Stewart-Haas Racing was at the track with #39-Ryan Newman testing. Bill Elliott was behind the wheel Wednesday of his own ARCA car early in the test session to get a base line set up and then assumed the role of driver coach for Casey Roderick the 16 year old phenomenon who was getting his first laps on a superspeedway. Roderick is hoping to come back next spring and race in the Carolina 200 ARCA Series race on April 19th, 2009 as well as the season ending ARCA race on October 11th, 2009. The first race of the 2009 season for the Rockingham Speedway is the Polar Bear 150 on New Year's Day. For more information visit

  • Teams test at new 1/2 mile track at the Rock: Monday morning, October 13th, the final strip of pavement was placed on "Little Rock," the new half-mile track built [supposedly shaped and banked like Martinsville] just outside the backstretch of the one-mile oval at Rockingham Raceway Park. Fast Track High Performance Driving School cars worked rubber into the new track surface Monday evening and then turned the track over to 10 Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series teams that were testing for this weekend's race at Martinsville. Kyle Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Joe Nemechek's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy, Scott Riggs' #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and Jack Sprague's #60 Wyler Racing Toyota Truck all tested at the Little Rock Speedway on Tuesday. Wednesday's test session featured current Sprint Cup Series points leader, Jimmie Johnson and his #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy as well as Chad McCumbee's #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and two test teams from Gillett Evernham Motorsports driven by A.J. Almendinger and Dennis Setzer. Thursday, Roush Fenway Racing's test team brought two cars to be driven by Colin Braun. The team spent the morning on the one-mile speedway before taking their second car to Little Rock for the afternoon testing. The Little Rock Speedway will also see plenty of racing action during the 2009 season with over 15 races planned on the mile race track that is contained inside of the half-mile. Those races will feature the INEX Legend Series and Bandolero Series cars. Tickets will be going fast for the Black's Tire American 200 with reserved seats starting at $25 and kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult. A special John Anderson concert will be held following the race and is included in the ticket price as well. Call the Rockingham Speedway ticket office to order your reserved seats today at 910-205-8800 or visit Raceway Park PR)(10-17-2008)

  • Polar Bear 150 Coming to Rockingham Speedway: On January 1, 2009, 99 cars will take the green flag for the first ever Polar Bear 150 at Rockingham Speedway. The Frank Kimmel Street Stock Series has given Street Stock drivers who normally only run their hometown short track the opportunity to race on major speedways including Bristol and Kentucky in addition to the "The Rock". The Polar Bear 150 will be the third race since Andy Hillenburg purchased the track last year. In addition to last weekend's Carolina 500, the Hooter's Pro Cup Series will crown there champion at "The Rock" on November 1st. Other activities at the track this summer include the Super Stang Fest on June 14th - an all Ford Mustang car show as well as several Fast Track High Performance Driving Schools. More info at

  • The Rock is Racing Again: Joey Logano led ARCA RE/MAX Series practice Friday at Rockingham Speedway, but only in the final minutes of the three-hour session as festivities began for Sunday's Carolina 500 - the reopening of "The Rock". Throughout Friday's practice at the 1-mile track, Matt Carter, the series point leader and son of former NASCAR crew chief and team owner Travis Carter, sat atop the speed chart. But in the session's final minutes, Logano's team placed a new set of tires on his Joe Gibbs Racing Oil-Gresham & Associates Chevrolet, allowing him to leap over Carter and into the No. 1 position with a 25.111-second, 143.363-mph lap. Carter, in his Stine Seed-NuSouth Lemonade Ford, wasn't far behind at 25.121 seconds, 143.306mph. Rounding out the top five, respectively, were Michael Annett and Justin Marks, both in Toyotas, and Dexter Bean in a Chevrolet. Austin Dillon, grandson of NASCAR championship car owner Richard Childress, posted the 13th quickest lap. Driving his Garage Equipment Supply Chevrolet, Dillon recorded a lap of 25.852-second, 139.254-mph lap. Defending series champion Frank Kimmel was 17th quickest, while Chad McCumbee was 18th fastest. Craftsman Truck Series regular Johnny Benson, a former Cup winner at Rockingham, practiced Ken Schrader's Four Winds Motorhomes Dodge. Schrader was in Richmond for Sprint Cup qualifying. He will be at Rockingham Saturday for qualifying. Veteran James Hylton, who finished second to Richard Petty in the Grand National [now Sprint Cup] standings in 1967, hit the wall during practice and had to settle for 48th quickest. Qualifying for Sunday's race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the second round of time trials set for 2:30 p.m. Tony Stewart is scheduled to wave the green flag on the Carolina 500, signaling the reopening of The Rock, at noon on Sunday. For more information or to order tickets for the May 4 ARCA RE/MAX Series Carolina 500 and the Nov. 1 Hooters Pro Cup American 200, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit

  • Schrader, other notables, planning to run Rockingham ARCA race: The Carolina 500, ARCA's May 4 race at Rockingham Speedway, has drawn the attention of several drivers who don't typically participate in the ruling body's races. Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Ken Schrader have recently joined the list of entrants. Schrader has won 15 ARCA races during his career. Other notable entries have been filed in the names of drivers Joey Logano by Joe Gibbs Racing, Austin Dillon by Richard Childress Racing, Scott Speed by Eddie Sharp Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Annett by Bill Davis Racing, Chad McCumbee, Bobby Gerhart and Matt Carter. Dillon is Childress's grandson. Speed is a former Formula One driver. Carter is the son of famed NASCAR mechanic Travis Carter.(Gaston Gazette)(4-20-2008)

  • Rockingham Speedway Honors NASCAR Greats: Honoring Rockingham Speedway's history has been paramount with owner Andy Hillenburg since he acquired the track last fall, and Friday he continued his philosophy with the naming of the tower, garage and grandstands for three men instrumental in the speedway's legacy. The frontstretch tower housing race control, scoring, the track's suites, and press box is now the Benny Parsons Tower. Parsons, a former Ellerbe resident, earned the ARCA championship in 1968-69 and in 1973 claimed NASCAR's Cup title at the 1-mile track while driving for Richmond County businessman L.G. DeWitt, builder of the facility that opened in 1965. Recently retired NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd will now have his name on the first- and second-turn grandstands, while the garage has been named for Papa Joe Hendrick, the father of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. Parsons' family called the naming of the tower for the late driver and broadcaster "outstanding" and "quite an honor."
    "I think Benny would be so proud to have the tower named after him, because this was his home track," said Terri Parsons, Benny's wife. "For us, as a family, it means a lot. For Benny, personally, I think it would be huge in his mind; he would be very humbled by it." Son Keith Parsons added, "I can't really express how much gratitude I feel toward Andy and everybody at the race track. It's such a neat thing for Andy to remember my dad at a time like this. We're all just very, very thrilled." Rick Hendrick said he remembered winning a pole at Rockingham during his team's first season - 1984 - and how special it was for everyone. "I started going to races there back in 1975, and it's always been a great track with really good, close racing," Hendrick continued. "It's exciting that Andy (Hillenburg) is reviving it the way he is. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that. Andy has been a close friend of our family for a long time, and my dad always thought so highly of him. Pop loved Andy, and he loved the old tracks - the ones with great racing history - so he would be truly humbled and honored by this gesture. It means so much to my family and to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports." Rudd, who made his Cup debut at Rockingham in 1975, said having the grandstands named for him was a "tremendous honor" and "something I never expected."
    "I always liked that speedway because you could run on the bottom and nobody ever handled perfectly there," Rudd said. "That was the good thing about it; it made for good racing all day long. Andy is a great guy and he's trying to revive the speedway. If you talk to all of the competitors that raced on it, they never wanted to see it leave the schedule. That was a lot of drivers' favorite track and I put that in my category, also. To have him [Andy] named a grandstand after me, it's unbelievable." Hillenburg's announcements came on the first day of a two-day ARCA test at Rockingham Speedway. The ARCA teams are preparing for the May 4 Carolina 500. For more information about the Rockingham Speedway or to purchase race tickets for the upcoming Carolina 500 ARCA RE/MAX Series race, please visit or call the track at 910-205-8800.(3-22-2008)

  • Racing returns to the Rock in 2008: Pack the motor home, throw a grill in the truck and head for North Carolina's Sand Hills Region, because with the arrival of 2008, auto racing returns to "The Rock" with the inaugural Carolina 500 ARCA race, Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg announced Friday. The ARCA race, which carries the name of the tough, 1-mile track's inaugural Grand National [Nextel Cup] event in 1965, is scheduled for May 4 at noon. Practice for the 312-lap race will be May 2 with qualifying set for May 3. "The Carolina 500 is going to be a cornerstone event for the ARCA schedule," said Hillenburg, the 1995 ARCA champion who became the speedway's new owner on Oct. 31. "It's going to be the longest race in the series and carry the richest purse. It also will have the largest field with 50 cars." The May 4 Carolina 500 will be the second-ever ARCA race at the Richmond County track. ARCA's only other race at the speedway occurred in 1973 and was won by Charlie Glotzbach. Fans may begin requesting ticket information on Wednesday, Nov. 7, by calling (910) 205-8800 or by going to the speedway's Web site,
    UPDATE: United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR) president Gene Cox said his circuit will wrap up the 2008 season and crown its champion with a race Nov. 1 [at Rockingham Speedway](Fayetteville Observer)(11-3-2007)

  • Rockingham Speedway Purchased for $4 Million: The owner of a high-performance driving school in Charlotte submitted the winning bid Tuesday -- $4 million -- for the nearly abandoned North Carolina Speedway. Andy Hillenburg, who competed in 16 NASCAR races, finished 28th in Indianaolis 500 in 2000. His bid was one of less than 10 submitted. Hillenburg is trying to bring lower-tier NASCAR races to the track, which was abandoned by NASCAR in 2004. "We'll definitely have racing here," Hillenburg said. "We'll have some driving shcools. We'll have some movies and commericials, and have a few legends races, and hopefully be an important part of the community. And that's the thing. I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of this community. I love this sport a lot, and I want to make a difference." Hillenburg plans to move his family to Rockingham from Charlotte. The speedway was put up for auction by Speedway Motorsports Inc., whose chairman is Bruton Smith. Speedway Motorsports owns tracks in Concord; Atlanta; Fort Worth, Texas; Bristol, Tenn.; Las Vegas; and Sonoma, Calif. "Today is a win for Rockingham. No question about it," said Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin. "It's a win for this community. And I'll tell you what else it's a win for. It's a win for race fans, too."(

  • Rockingham to be autioned off on Oct 2nd: The National Auction Group has been retained to auction the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, N.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 1:00pm/et. With a long and distinguished track record for selling high-end, high-profile properties, The National Auction Group has made its specialty finding buyers for unique properties by attracting bidders from all over the world. The legendary race track dates to 1965. North Carolina Motor Speedway enjoyed a rich tradition of NASCAR racing and other motorsports events spanning five decades. The 253.6-acre facility features a 1.017-mile speedway with more than 60,000 grandstand seats, an administrative building, an infield garage, control tower with suites and numerous other buildings. Located convenient to the Carolina coast, Southern Pines Resort area, Charlotte and Interstate 95, the facility is a complete multi-use entertainment complex with several recent upgrades. More info at The National Auction Group site. The property will be open for inspection daily and by appointment, from 10:00am to 5:00pm beginning Sept. 14. To schedule an appointment prior to this date, please call 1-800-503-9434 or (256) 547-3434. Beginning Sept. 14, call the site directly at (256) 504-6858 or (256) 504-5201.(PR)(8-12/10-1-2007)

  • The Rock goes up for auction in Oct: The sale of North Carolina Speedway, which last held a race in February 2004, has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2. The date for the track's absolute auction - meaning it will be sold to the highest bidder without a minimum price or "reserve" - appears on the Web site of National Auction Group, a company in Gadsden, Ala., that is handling the sale. William Bone, the president of National Auction Group, said the Oct. 2 date could change, but that the final date should be "carved in stone" within a week. "I don't think anybody's ever sold anything like this. It's unusual, but there's got to be a big demand for it," Bone said from Daytona Beach Shores, Fla., where he is conducting the auction of a dozen condominium units today. That place has got to have a lot of other uses for racing," he added. "It ought to be quite an event. It's going to sell. Regardless of price, it'll sell, and we hope we do well for them."
    "Them" is Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which is headquartered in Charlotte. It acquired the 1.017-mile track and the 247-acre site in May 2004 as part of a lawsuit settlement. The track wedged into the intersection of U.S. 1 and N.C. 177 north of Rockingham, NC. It has hosted only racing schools, private track rentals, and movie and video recording since the SMI acquisition. It opened in October 1965 and has seating for 60,112 spectators.(Fayetteville Observer)(7-16-2007)

  • The Rock up for Auction: The North Carolina Motor Speedway will be put on the auction block. Speedway Motorsports Inc. notified Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin by letter of the impending sale. "I wanted to make you aware ahead of time that our company has made the decision to sell North Carolina Motor Speedway via an auction," wrote H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, in a June 13 letter. The track also known as "The Rock" was built in 1965 and is owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. Lowe's Motor Speedway Senior Vice President and SMI spokesman Jerry Gappens said Wednesday Wheeler sent the letter to the mayor, because he has remained in contact with city and county economic development officials about exploring opportunities for the track. "We regret we have to make this decision but we really have no other choice," Wheeler wrote in his letter. "We have been unable to sell it and track rentals are simply not enough to keep the facility running." Since SMI bought the track in 2004, Rockingham's final race date was moved to the Texas Motor Speedway also owned by SMI. The 1.017-mile oval has since been used by NASCAR drivers for testing and for a variety of special events and movies. No date has been set for the auction. "We've had some meetings with an auction company," Gappens said. A fall auction date is anticipated. McLaurin said Wednesday the community has been concerned about the track's fate since the loss of the Nextel race. "It's a situation where we may have to wait and see," he said. Recent rumors about an Indy Racing League event at the track are just rumors. "No one has contacted us about using it," Gappens said.(Daily Journal)(6-21-2007)

  • IRL at the Rock? Sources inside the IndyCar Series are saying that the series is considering staging an event at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. The track known as the 'Rock' was a staple on the NASCAR circuit for almost 40 years. The last Nextel Cup race was staged there in 2004. North Carolina Motor Speedway was built in 1965 as a flat oval. The track was rebuilt in 1969 into the current banked oval. In 1997, NCMS merged with Penske Motorsports, and was renamed North Carolina Speedway. Penske subsequently sold his speedway operations to International Speedway Corporation, the parent company of NASCAR. One of the Cup races at Rockingham was transferred to the new California Speedway in 2004. Shortly after a lawsuit (the "Ferko" Lawsuit) involving NASCAR, ISC, and shareholders in Speedway Motorsports was filed. As a part of the settlement, the second and last Cup date at Rockingham was transferred to Texas Motor Speedway. SMI purchased Rockingham, and agreed that there would be no NASCAR events there while the track was owned by SMI. The ovals are currently being used by NASCAR teams for testing. According to the source, the 17 event IndyCar Series, which currently races on seven tracks used for the Nextel Cup Series and three tracks that stage Busch Series races, is interested in the location of the Speedway in relation to the NASCAR fan base. The IndyCar Series currently shares an event weekend with the Craftsman Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway and according to the source, officials have been pleased with the event there and might be interested in the same type of weekend at Rockingham.(

  • Petty to test at the Rock: #45-Kyle Petty is scheduled to test his Darlington car at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC on Monday, May 2nd. While the track is not holding any races, it still is open for testing and the Buck Baker Racing School still holds classes there.(4-27-2005)

  • Still testing at the Rock: North Carolina Speedway - or "The Rock," as it is known in the sport - hosted two top-level NASCAR races per year for nearly 40 years. But for the 2004 season, one of those races was taken away and given to one of the newer tracks (California Speedway) built by International Speedway Corp., a company majority-held by NASCAR's France family. Then Francis Ferko, a shareholder in the Bruton Smith-led Speedway Motorsports Inc., claimed in a lawsuit that NASCAR had breached agreements by not awarding a second Nextel Cup race to SMI-owned Texas Motor Speedway. As part of the settlement of the lawsuit, North Carolina Speedway was purchased by SMI for $100.4 million and the track's remaining race went to Texas.
    Although it's been a year since it hosted its last Cup race, North Carolina Speedway still appears ready to stage an event. For that, credit caretaker Ronnie Chavis, who has worked at the track for 24 years and is one of only two remaining employees. Since racing has ceased, the track has become the home to several driving schools while also serving as a test track for NASCAR teams. Roush Racing is scheduled to test there next week, and the track also is seeing overflow rental business from Lowe's Motor Speedway outside Charlotte. There is also activity on the track's infield road course as well as on a go-kart track in the infield. Although there has been some talk about NASCAR staging a Craftsman Truck Series race at Rockingham, it's been just that - talk. Some have suggested that in the future, Rockingham and Darlington might flip-flop the latter track's one remaining race. Any event run at this or any other race track must be profitable for the facility to continue, and stand-alone events like a Craftsman Truck race or a combination truck and Busch Series weekend are only marginally profitable.(Yahoo! Sports)(3-2-2005)

  • NC Governor's visit will unveil results of motorsports impact study: Gov. Mike Easley will pay a visit to Mooresville next week for the annual meeting of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA). Easley is expected to speak Tuesday about the results of an economic impact study for the motorsports industry in North Carolina. The yearlong study analyzed the financial benefits that auto racing has and could bring to the state. N.C. Rep. Karen Ray of Mooresville was instrumental in landing the annual meeting here for the first time. A representative for Iredell and Catawba counties in the N.C. General Assembly, she has brought auto racing, and especially NASCAR, to the forefront of initiatives in Raleigh. That includes sponsoring a bill for stock car racing license plates, helping form a racing caucus in the General Assembly to promote racing, and now, bringing the NCMA annual meeting to Mooresville. "A good cross section of motorsports industry people will be present at the meeting, from (NCMA Chairman) Richard Petty to small businesses," Ray said. Anyone can become a member of the NCMA [], she added.(Mooresville Tribune)(10-2-2004)

  • Tax/Sale Issues at the Rock: Richmond County officials, already stung by the loss of NASCAR races at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham and the accompanying loss of economic benefit, are upset over a discrepancy related to the sale of the track by International Speedway Corporation to Speedway Motorsports Inc. As a consequence of the purchase of North Carolina Seedway [from ISC to SMI], the Rockingham track lost its lone remaining date on the Nextel Cup schedule. That date will move to Texas Motor Speedway, also owned by SMI. North Carolina Speedway Inc. recently recorded its deed of sale with the county for a fee of $9,000. Richmond County officials contend that's $191,800 shy of what is owed. The county's Register of Deeds, Patsy McDonald, based her claim against the facility on an announced purchase amount of $100.4 million. However, an attorney representing the speedway cited the purchase price as $4.5 million. The transaction was part of a lawsuit settlement dated April 8 between SMI shareholder Francis Ferko and NASCAR/ISC. In part, the settlement, reads, "SMI shall purchase from ISC, or an agent designated by ISC, all the assets of North Carolina Speedway, Inc. ('Rockingham') for a price of One Hundred Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ..." An ISC spokesman, Wes Harris, said Thursday, "The purchase price to ISC was $100.4 million. That is the actual cost of the sale." At a rate of $2 per $1,000 of that purchase price, the recording of the deed should have cost $200,800, according to Richmond County sources. Instead, the $9,000 fee from the deed of sale was based on a purchase price of $4.5 million. McDonald sent a letter to the track requesting the remaining amount and questioning the purchase price. An attorney representing the speedway, Robert G. Brinkley, replied with a letter that read, in part: "Contrary to the media reports that you reference in your letter, the sales price for the North Carolina Motor Speedway real estate was $4,500,000. This was the price upon which the state transfer taxes were calculated and paid when the deed was recorded, in accordance with North Carolina General Statute Section 105-228.30." According to Richmond County's County Manager Jim Haynes, the tax value of the speedway had been recently revalued at $32 million, based on the settlement agreement. Haynes also added that the speedway's own records showed assets of $40 million. SMI chief executive officer O. Bruton Smith was unavailable for comment on Thursday, as was Lowe's Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler. LMS is also a property of Speedway Motorsports, and Wheeler has met with Richmond County officials regarding the Rockingham track's future.(Gaston Gazette)(8-13-2004)

  • Latest on the NASCAR test track in NC: The budget proposal introduced yesterday by the N.C. Senate includes $4 million to plan for a NASCAR test track - not as much as Gov. Mike Easley wants but definitely more than the House budget, which contains no money for the project. The Charlotte Regional Partnership has pushed for the state to provide $50 million to build a motorsports test track somewhere within 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway near Concord to provide testing for the 400 race teams in the state. But even some in the industry - including the N.C. Motorsports Association, which is conducting its own study of the racing industry's needs - have urged a slower approach. So even though Easley provided $15 million for the test track in his proposed budget for 2004-05, the House's version of the budget provided nothing at all.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2004)

  • Delegation Meets With Lawmakers In Effort To Bring NASCAR Back To Rockingham: There is a new push to bring NASCAR back to the North Carolina Speedway. Gov. Mike Easley wants to build a test track in the Charlotte area. Tuesday, leaders from Rockingham said there is no need to build a new track when they have one ready to use. The race is on for cities and counties that want to be the home of NASCAR's new testing and research facility. With NASCAR removing Rockingham from its Nextel Cup Series schedule 10 days ago, local leaders wasted no time getting their dibs in. The overall cost of the facility NASCAR wants is about $50 million. The governor wants the state to kick in $15 million to get it going. Easley is recommending the track be built near Charlotte. Several counties are vying for it.(

  • King named Director of PR for Talladega: Kristi R. King has joined Talladega Superspeedway as the Director of Public Relations, track president Grant Lynch announced today. King comes to Talladega after serving as Director of Public Relations for North Carolina Speedway. "Kristi spent some time with us this spring and really fit in well with our team here at Talladega," Lynch said. "We are excited she has decided to take this opportunity. I think she will quickly become an asset not only to our facility but to our community as well." A 10-year veteran of the sport, King's duties at Talladega will include all aspects of public relations including advertising and promotions as well as media relations. She will begin her duties in early June. "I am excited about this new opportunity at Talladega Superspeedway and remaining a part of the International Speedway Corporation family," said King. "Talladega is known for its competition and tradition and has the greatest fans in world. I am honored to be joining their team and look forward to the EA SPORTS 500 Weekend." King, an Ellerbe, NC native, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. King and her husband of three years, David, will relocate to Alabama next month.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(5-19-2004)

  • Chris Browning named president of Darlington Raceway: Former North Carolina Speedway Vice President and General Manager Chris Browning has been named president of Darlington Raceway, International Speedway Corporation officials announced today. Andrew Gurtis, who has served as Raceway president for the past three years, has been named senior director, operational planning and integration for ISC. In his new position, he will act as lead assistant to Chief Operating Officer John Saunders on matters related to ongoing business unit operations and field integration. Browning, who has been executive vice president and general manager for North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC since 2002, said he is excited about the move. "I look forward to helping continue the history and tradition that has earned Darlington Raceway its special position in the sport of stock car racing," he said. Browning began his tenure at North Carolina Speedway in 1992 as director of public relations. He is a graduate of Pfeiffer College with a degree in business administration.(Darlington Raceway PR)(5-19-2004)

  • Darlington Personnel Changes: International Speedway Corporation (ISC) announced several key strategic moves including naming Andrew Gurtis, who most recently served as President of Darlington Raceway, Senior Director, Operational Planning and Integration for ISC and former North Carolina Speedway President Chris Browning President of Darlington Raceway. ISC President Lesa Kennedy made the announcements today. Prior to his 3-year stint at Darlington, Gurtis served as Vice President of Administration at Daytona International Speedway for 4 years. In his new position, Gurtis will act as lead assistant to Chief Operating Officer John Saunders on matters related to ongoing business unit operations and field integration. Browning has been Executive Vice President and General Manager for North Carolina Speedway since 2002. As EVP and GM, he was responsible for all marketing, sales, public relations, operations and governmental relations. As President, he will continue those duties at Darlington. ISC is a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events annually.(Darlington Raceway PR)(5-19-2004)

  • SMI Not to Shut Down the Rock: Lowes Motor Speedway and SMI President Humpy Wheeler say their company will not shut down the North Carolina Speedway. "No, no there's no thought about shutting it down at all" said Wheeler who says they're studying options as to how to use the facility. They may expand the three driving schools which use the Rockingham track, put on various other events, and Wheeler didn't rule out racing events. "With a lot of these tracks lying around without Nextel Cup races like Kentucky, Memphis and Nashville there needs to be something else. Maybe there's somebody out there with a good brain that can think up a new type of racing that we can bring to these tracks. It certainly is needed."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-15-2004)

  • Comments From the 'Rock's' Prez: North Carolina Speedway President Chris Browning says obviously he's disappointed and a little frustrated Rockingham will no longer host NASCAR racing. "Number one I feel like we're the victim of our sports own success...and it's good and it's's bad for facilities like ours. The second part is that I do feel like we never really had a fair shot at filling the facility up with our date. The criteria that NASCAR has laid out for realignment....the saturated market and the major market....those are things that we can't change and we know that. I know we gave it our best shot with what we had to work with but it's something that's way beyond our control." Given the part Rockingham has played in NASCAR history Browning said "I guess in a way it's kinda fitting that it goes out like this because this is a pretty historical announcement and again the track was right in the middle of it one more time."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-15-2004)

  • Martinsville bought by ISC, Rockingham sold to SMI by ISC: International Speedway Corporation [ISC] announced the following: The Company will acquire the assets of Martinsville Speedway, which hosts two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events annually, for $192 million. The acquisition will be funded by $100.4 million in proceeds from the sale of the assets of North Carolina Speedway, which currently hosts one NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event annually, and $91.6 million in cash. Speedway Motorsports, Inc. [SMI] will purchase North Carolina for $100.4 million, as per the terms of a settlement agreement in the Ferko/Vaughn litigation filed with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. The Settlement Agreement releases ISC and NASCAR from all claims related to the litigation. The released claims include, but are not limited to, allegations or assertions with respect to the awarding and/or sanctioning of races, the effect of the common control of NASCAR and ISC residing in the France Family Group, and the market power either individually or jointly of NASCAR and ISC. Separately, the Company received NASCAR's approval for the realignment of several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races within its portfolio beginning in 2005. The net result is the addition of a second Cup event for Phoenix International Raceway and the reduction of Darlington Raceway's event schedule by one Cup date. ISC also intends for Nazareth Speedway's NASCAR Busch and IRL IndyCar events to be realigned to other facilities within its portfolio and will cease major motorsport event operations at the facility after completion of the track's 2004 events. Martinsville Acquisition and Ferko/Vaughn Settlement The acquisition of Martinsville and the sale of North Carolina will happen in a series of transactions that will essentially occur simultaneously. Martinsville is privately owned, and the France family, which controls in excess of 60% of the combined voting interest of ISC, indirectly owns 50% of Martinsville. The addition of an incremental NASCAR NEXTEL Cup date resulting from the Transactions was integral to the Company's decision to settle the Ferko/Vaughn litigation through the sale of North Carolina. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, SMI will purchase North Carolina for $100.4 million in cash. The sale of North Carolina is expected to close following the satisfaction of conditions as provided in the North Carolina Asset Purchase Agreement and the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is subject to Court approval, which the Company anticipates receiving within the next 30 to 45 days. The purchase prices for the assets of both facilities are subject to certain non-material adjustments and prorations at closing, and both are expected to close within the next 30 to 45 days in ISC's third quarter. ISC expects to record an approximate $36 million after-tax gain, or $0.68 per diluted share, from the sale of North Carolina and will reflect the facility's operations as discontinued in the Company's financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles Significant Realignment Initiatives Announced for 2005 NASCAR has approved ISC's proposal for the realignment of several NEXTEL Cup dates, including races at Phoenix, Darlington and California Speedway. Commented John R. Saunders, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ISC. "In addition, race fans in the Southwest will have another opportunity to experience the excitement of live NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing. We will install lighting at Phoenix in order for the facility's 2005 spring race to finish under the lights during east coast prime time, typically a time of day with larger television audiences. Also, by realigning Nazareth's Busch and IRL events to other facilities in our portfolio, we believe we can successfully grow these events over the long term at a quicker rate than in their current venue. As such, we are presently working with the various sanctioning bodies involved." ISC will record a non-cash pre-tax charge of approximately $13 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, to reflect the impairment of Nazareth's long-lived assets.(ISC PR)(5-14-2004)

  • Rockingham gone...confirmed...All-Star race back at Lowe's in 2005: The 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule will be announced Friday morning at a 9:30am/et news conference at Richmond International Raceway, and North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham will not be on it. "NASCAR has made the decision to not run any more Cup races at North Carolina Speedway after this season," Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications, said Thursday, formally sounding the death knell for the 1.017-mile track. Its date will move to Texas Motor Speedway for 2005. Hunter would not comment further on the details of what will be announced by NASCAR chairman Brian France this morning, but sources tell The Charlotte Observer that next year's schedule will also include a second race for Phoenix International Raceway that will come at the expense of Darlington Raceway. That means the Carolinas will have only three Nextel Cup points events next season after playing host to five in 2004.
    There will be some good news today for Lowe's Motor Speedway, however. The Charlotte Observer has confirmed that the schedule to be announced today will leave the Nextel All-Star Challenge at the Charlotte track for 2005.
    The announcement of the move of a date from North Carolina Speedway, owned by International Speedway Corp., to Texas Motor Speedway, owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., indicates that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by SMI stockholder Francis Ferko alleging that NASCAR reneged on a promise to give a second Cup date to the Texas track. Speedway Motorsports will own Rockingham as part of that settlement, but in his statement Friday, Hunter emphasized that it is NASCAR's decision to end Rockingham's run as a host of stock-car racing's top series that began in 1965.

    Other Press Conferences Friday:
    Texas Motor Speedway will host the Dallas-Fort Worth media to listen in via teleconference to the announcement here. Sources said the second Texas race would be held on Nov. 6, making it part of the 10-race Chase for the Championship.
    International Speedway Corp. officials will then hold an 11 a.m. news conference at Richmond, discussing its decision to "realign" a date from Darlington to Phoenix.
    The Phoenix track will then host media from that area for at 3:30 p.m. Eastern (12:30 p.m. Phoenix time) to talk about its new race, which will be slotted on April 24.

    When the day is done, the 2005 Nextel Cup schedule is expected to take on a significantly different look.
    After beginning the year with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 next season
    the circuit will go to California Speedway on Feb. 27.
    After taking the first weekend in March off, teams will go West again to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 13.
    then go to Atlanta Motor Speedway the following Sunday. That pushes the races back at those two tracks one week later than this year.
    Darlington's only Cup race in 2005 will run on May 7, the night before Mother's Day. NASCAR's top series has traditionally taken Mother's Day weekend off.(

  • North Carolina Test Facility Planned: The Charlotte Regional Partnership is spearheading plans to seek state money to help build a $50 million motorsports test-track complex near Charlotte, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The group hopes the facility will cement the area's status as the home of most of NASCAR's top-tier teams in the wake of new and expanded programs in Virginia and South Carolina. Reporter Ken Elkins writes that organizers are looking for up to 150 acres within 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway for a facility that would include super speedway, mid-length oval and road-course tracks. No grandstands would be built. Teams could save money, the story says, by not having to travel to facilities such as Kentucky Speedway to conduct non-sanctioned tests.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-30-2004)

    AND An effort is gearing up to build a state-funded motorsports test-track complex near Charlotte, with organizers saying the $50 million facility would help attract more Nextel Cup teams to the area. The Charlotte Regional Partnership is spearheading the idea, seeking up to 150 acres within 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway for a facility that would include super speedway, mid-length oval and road-course tracks. "It could be configured to represent 75% of the types of tracks on the NASCAR circuit," says Michael Almond, chief executive of the regional partnership, a 16-county, public-private economic development agency. The complex, tentatively dubbed the N.C. Motorsports Testing and Research Complex, would include garages, administrative space and about $5 million in testing equipment but no grandstands. No site has been selected. The proposal faces two key challenges: Organizers are seeking state funds to pay for construction, and they want the land to be donated. "We are assuming that the land would be contributed as a way of having skin in the game," Almond says. Such property may already be available. Sources familiar with the test-track proposal say officials in Cabarrus, Iredell and Stanly counties have expressed interest in the project, suggesting sites that would be available at little or no cost. Also, Humpy Wheeler, president of Speedway Motorsports Inc., has offered 100 acres at the Lowe's Motor Speedway for the complex. Presumably, that Cabarrus site would have to be supplemented by 50 acres. Some have suggested using North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham for the testing complex, especially if that track loses its last NASCAR-sanctioned race.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-5-2004)

  • Some Rockingham Notes/Comments: Rockingham has gone the way of North Wilkesboro. And Hickory. And Bowman Gray. And Raleigh. And Asheville-Weaverville. The news out of Daytona is, once again, sad. We will race no more at North Carolina Motor Speedway. NASCAR will sacrifice it for a second race at Texas as a part of a convoluted settlement of a convoluted lawsuit. NCMS will be dropped from the 2005 schedule. The next schedule will also be without one of the Darlington events, the old track finally losing out to progress and legal battles. Phoenix is expected to add a second race for the 2005 season as the sport continues a trend away from its Southern roots toward nationalism. The official announcements will not come until later in the summer, and few people in the sport were willing to talk as the news trickled out this week. People in and around Rockingham were more than willing. "We're mad, we're angry and we're disappointed that we weren't given a chance," Rockingham city manager Monty Crump said. "This was a done deal. We were set up to fail." There's a lot of truth behind Crump's claim. The races at Rockingham could've easily been saved by moving the winter race to the summer, by adding lights and by NASCAR acknowledging that North Carolina Motor Speedway was an important part of the sport.(more at the Roanoke Times)(4-23-2004)

  • More on 'The Rock' losing it's date/being sold: It appears one more race is leaving NASCAR's heartland... sources tell WFMY News 2. North Carolina speedway will be purchased as part of a settlement in a lawsuit and the buyer will be SpeedwayMotorsports Inc [SMI]. Their goal is to move a second race date to their Texas Motor Speedway. Here's a breakdown of what's happening and why:
    Sources say SMI will buy the Rockingham track for 100-million dollars. Bruton Smith, the chairman of SMI, plans to shut down Rockingham and move that race to Texas Motor Speedway. Smith says NASCAR promised him they would give him a race at his Texas Motor Speedway, but that never happened and he had to go out and find his own. So SMI shareholders believe a deal to buy the Rockingham track and move the race to Texas will finally fulfill that promise from years ago. You may remember Smith set a precedent for moving races when he co-purchased the North Wilkesboro track years ago. That race is now at Texas Motor Speedway. So this new deal would likely mean two races that used to be in North Carolina are now in Texas.(

  • 2nd Texas Race for All-Star Race Trade? Bruton Smith is reported to be on the verge of getting NASCAR to agree to grant him a long-awaited second Nextel Cup date at Texas Motor Speedway, through the purchase of North Carolina Speedway, according to sources. But then it gets complicated, according to those sources. In turn NASCAR wants Smith to let Richmond International Raceway take the May all-star race from Smith's Lowe's Motor Speedway. For that, Smith wants a second Cup date for his Las Vegas track. If all that happens, Darlington Raceway could lose one of its two Cup races. Smith has considerable support at the moment, from teams and sponsors and TV networks, for his Las Vegas pitch.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-26-2004)

  • Darlington AND Rockingham to lose races? Alternating ONE racedate? Texas and Vegas get the dates? UPDATE 2 Darlington expects to get two dates in 2005:
    Settlement negotiations in a lawsuit over a second Nextel Cup date for Texas Motor Speedway have potentially major ramifications for two tracks in the Carolinas, The Observer has learned. A source close to talks in a suit against NASCAR by two Speedway Motorsports Inc. [SMI] shareholders said Monday a settlement could result in International Speedway Corp. selling both North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham and Darlington Raceway to SMI. If such a deal were made, two of three remaining Cup dates from Rockingham and Darlington would move - one to Texas Motor Speedway and the other to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, giving those SMI-owned tracks two dates each per season. The other date would alternate between Rockingham and Darlington, with the Nextel Cup, Busch and Truck series racing at Rockingham one year then at Darlington the next [so much for lights and SAFER]. "I am aware of the (settlement) talks," SMI chairman Bruton Smith said Monday. "I think that they have been going on for about two months, and they're further down the road than they ever have been. But there will have to be a written agreement among all of the attorneys before there's any done deal." Smith said that in his mind any settlement of the suit would have to include a second Cup date for Texas. "That's certainly the key to it, that's why it was filed," he said.(more at, see past news about this on my lawsuit page.(3-23-2004)
    UPDATE: After attracting the largest crowd in the 45-year history of Darlington Raceway's spring Nextel Cup event, track officials are feeling good about their chances of keeping two races for 2005. How good? "I feel confident we'll host two races next year. Frankly, I can't see it any other way," raceway president Andrew Gurtis said Tuesday. "As the promoter at Darlington Raceway, look at the last two races we've had here. We've had a sellout for the Mountain Dew Southern 500, and a record crowd for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. We have two strong sponsors on our Cup races, and great racing. Things are just stacking up." But sources have indicated to The Post and Courier that the millions of dollars ISC has spent to add the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier and a lighting system at Darlington guarantee that the Pee Dee track will have at least one annual event on the Nextel Cup schedule.(Chareslton Post and Courier)
    BUT Could a settlement be imminent in the battle to bring a second Nextel Cup race to Texas Motor Speedway? According to several media outlets, yes. But spokesmen for the opposing camps said they are simply following court orders in a mediation process. According to The Associated Press, Samuel Cherry, the attorney for a TMS shareholder who sued NASCAR over its refusal to award a second event, said Tuesday that progress is being made in settlement talks. Cherry said the plaintiffs and NASCAR have agreed not to discuss specifics of the 2-year-old suit. Spokespersons from both racing entities contend that no settlement is about to materialize. "(The suit) is based on the false presumption that NASCAR promised Texas Motor Speedway a second date, which NASCAR did not," NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said. "No settlement has been reached, to my knowledge." Lauri Wilks, Hunter's counterpart at SMI didn't know anything more. "Not as far as I know," Wilks said. "I don't have an official word of anything." Apparently, there is no agreement -- at least not in written form -- on the table. "Obviously, as everyone knows, it's in the best interest of the sport to put this thing behind us," Hunter said. "We're not at liberty to discuss any of the particulars. There is no timeline. In the meantime, we've got to get on with the business of running the races."(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(3-24-2004)

  • Last Race at the Rock? this weekend? UPDATE: North Carolina Speedway general manager Chris Browning said Saturday that no one from NASCAR or International Speedway Corporation has approached him regarding the possibility of moving the track's date to another venue, or selling the track and its date to Speedway Motorsports. Rumors have surfaced throughout the week that this weekend's Subway 400 could be the last race at the gritty 1.017-mile oval. Browning disagrees, saying that NASCAR and ISC understand the challenges of their February race date, and feels confident Rockingham would get the chance to prove their worth with a more favorable date. Browning is confident that the Nextel Cup Series will be racing in North Carolina's sand hills in 2005. "There's been nothing said internally, so I chalk it up to a good rumor," Browning continued. "For 10 years, we were supposed to lose a date, and it's just now happened." Some have speculated that ISC plans to sell the track to Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., who would then move the date to one of his tracks, likely Texas Motor Speedway. Shareholders of SMI are currently suing NASCAR, claiming NASCAR officials have failed to follow through with a promise to award Texas Motor Speedway a second Cup date. Subsequently, speculation has arisen that the lawsuit could be settled by selling Rockingham to Smith. "The Bruton rumors are just rumors," Browning said. "There is no indication of truth." Browning said ticket sales are already higher than they were for this event last year, due in part to Dale Earnhardt's Jr.'s victory in the Daytona 500, but that the Subway 400 won't sell out. Browning said track officials are working diligently to book events at the track, such as rodeos, car shows and racing events for other series such as ASA and ARCA. They're also open to the idea of installing lights.(in part from
    UPDATE: Bob Dilner reported on Speed News that word has it that the race this weekend at Rockingham/North Carolina Speedway will be the last Cup race held there, with rumors having the date going to either Phoenix or Texas.(Speed Channel's Speed News - NASCAR Edition) and on Speed's NASCAR: Victory Lane, John Roberts said it was a done deal, but unofficial as NASCAR has not made an announcement yet....he also mentioned Las Vegas as a candiate for the race date.(2-22-2004)

  • Attendance at the Rock, 40,000? Attendance struggles at "The Rock" are one of the key reasons NASCAR has taken a second Rockingham traditional fall date away this season. Attendance was estimated at 40,000 despite a capacity of 60,113 that ranks among the circuit's smallest. A backstretch expansion of 28,021 seats never has been filled.(Orlando Sentinel)(2-23-2004)

  • ThunderFest at the Rock: The seventh annual ThunderFest hits North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham on Saturday, February 21, 2004, for a NASCAR celebration - Shenandoah style. Shenandoah has established themselves as a successful country "Supergroup" winning a CMA award, TNN and ACM group of the year accolades, and the much coveted Grammy. The concert will start at 7:00pm/et, admission to the concert is FREE and buses will be shuttling concert goers from the ticket office to the concert site. Fans are encouraged to enter the concert at Gate D off Highway US 177 at North Carolina Speedway. For the races, great seats are still available, so order now! To purchase tickets, or for more information on North Carolina Speedway events, please call the speedway ticket office at (866) 451-RACE or visit online at

  • Tix Still Available for Races at the Rock: North Carolina Speedway is a 1.017-mile superspeedway located in the Sandhills of North Carolina and has hosted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events since 1965. The February 22 Subway 400 will be the series' first appearance in the Carolinas of the 2004 season. Great seats are still available, so order now! Qualifying and practice for both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series takes place on Friday, February 20. The Goody's Headache Powder 200 NASCAR Busch Series event takes the green flag on Saturday, February 21 followed by the Subway 400 on Sunday, February 22. Children 12 and under will be admitted FREE to the General Admission section for Qualifying on Friday and Saturday's Goody's Headache Powder 200 when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets may be purchased by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at (866) 451-RACE or by visiting online at

  • Diamond Rio To Perform National Anthem at the Rock: Arista Records national recording artist Diamond Rio is scheduled to sing the national anthem prior to the February 22 Subway 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at North Carolina Speedway. The bands debut project, Diamond Rio, was released in 1991 and their hit single, "Meet In The Middle", made history as the first single by a country band to hit #1 on all 3 national charts. Seven more albums have followed all earning gold or platinum certification. The four-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year has sold over eight million records, received 13 Grammy nominations and boast hits like "One More Day", "I Believe" and "Beautiful Mess", all multi-week #1 singles. Their current album, Completely, is a follow-up to One More Day and offers a wide array of styles, including pop-ballads, jazz, hardcore country and honky-tonk. The single, "I Believe", scored a Grammy nomination this year for Best Country Performance by a Duo of Group. Following a tour stop in Fayetteville the day prior, Diamond Rio has been hitting the road touring, and what better place to stop than at "The Rock".(NCS Site)(2-16-2004)

  • Goody's Headache Powder Sponsors Busch Series Race: North Carolina Speedway and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare are teaming up to host the Goody's Headache Powder 200 NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, February 21 at "The Rock" - the series' first appearance in the Carolinas of the 2004 season. The brand's relationship with NASCAR dates back to 1977 when Goody's became one of the sanctioning body's first non-automotive sponsors. Today it continues its status as the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR." The weekend kicks off Friday, February 20 with practice and qualifying for both the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series. The 197-lap Goody's Headache Powder 200 Busch Series race begins at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 21, and the Subway 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series takes the green flag Sunday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. Great seats are still available, so order now! To purchase tickets, or for more information on North Carolina Speedway events, please call the speedway ticket office at (866) 451-RACE or visit us online at Carolina Speedway PR)(2-11-2004)

  • The Rock For Bruton? UPDATE Denied: The news from Texas is more talk that the France family may be proposing a sale of North Carolina Speedway to Bruton Smith, with the tacit understanding that Smith would move that Cup tour date to Texas Motor Speedway in 2005, possibly for a September or October race weekend. In turn the Francis Ferko anti-trust case against NASCAR over that second Cup date would be quietly dropped. Sources close to the situation said the movement in that direction began last August after Bill France Jr.'s deposition in the case. Shortly after that deposition, Brian France was given the reins of the family business. It's unclear when that deposition might be made public.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-24-2004)
    UPDATE: Bruton Smith said he is not currently interested in a deal with Rockingham Motor Speedway in an effort to bring a second Nextel Cup race. Nor is he interested in building a track in Seattle. However, Smith is interested in the New York/New Jersey area. In fact, he has been for years.(Sheveport Times)(1-29-2004)

  • Amtrak Offers Rockingham Package: North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham says Amtrak is again offering its "Roundtrip Rail" packages for the Feb. 22 Subway 400 Nextel Cup race, with departures from Raleigh and Cary, N.C. The packages are $60 plus the cost of race tickets. Details and reservations are available by calling the track at (866) 451-RACE or at the track's Web site, Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-23-2004)

  • Racing Impact Study Funded: The Golden Leaf Foundation Inc. is making a $100,000 grant to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the N.C. Motorsports Association to study the economic impact of the industry in the state, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The study is supposed to quantify and analyze the economic impact of the industry and recommend strategies to develop motorsports and recruit related businesses to the state. Jeff Michael, director of UNC Charlotte's Urban Institute will serve as project manager. Officials hope to complete the study by May 1. The Golden Leaf Foundation was formed with tobacco-settlement money and promotes long-term economic development in North Carolina.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-16-2003)
    and see more in columns at
    Speed Channel: Study to Chart Business Impact of Charlotte-Area Racing Industry and
    the Charlotte Observer: First of a kind study at UNCC)(12-17-2003)

  • Buy a Ticket, get a Flag: The North Carolina Speedway is giving away checkered flags to those who buy a $65 ticket in the Hamlet High-rise grandstand for February's Subway 400 race. The flag commemorates NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions who have won at "The Rock." For more information, call the speedway at (866) 451-RACE.(12-2-2003)

  • Subway Back at the Rock in 2004: Subway has extended its sponsorship of Rockingham's lone Cup race with a multi-year agreement that begins next season.(Roanoke Times)(11-9-2003)

  • Miss North Carolina 2003 Dana Reason Visits North Carolina Speedway to Commemorate Final Fall Event: The November 9 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 is the final fall event at North Carolina Speedway, and a very special guest will be in attendance to commemorate the occasion. Dana Reason, Miss North Carolina 2003, will make an appearance in the Carolina Concourse and Premier Club Hospitality area on Sunday morning. She will also be on stage to greet the Winston Cup Series drivers for Driver Introductions prior to the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400. During the race, Reason will visit various suites and sign autographs for fans.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(11-3-2003)

  • Pre-race Stuff at the Rock:North Carolina Speedway has scheduled a military-themed pre-race on Sunday that will feature the 82nd Airborne Chorus, 82nd Airborne Band, and 82nd Airborne Color Guard. Two flyovers are scheduled for the day with four (4) UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the US Army and four (4) F-15's from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. John Jones of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina will perform the Invocation and the National Anthem will be performed by the 82nd Airborne Chorus. On Saturday prior to the Target House 200 NASCAR Busch Series event, Ralph Kersey, a 17-year veteran of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol assigned to Troop H-2 and stationed in Scotland County will perform the National Anthem and Randy Storz of the Beverly Hills Baptist Church in Rockingham will give the Invocation.(North Carolina Speedway PR)(11-3-2003)

  • Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition at the Rock: Pit crews, rather than drivers, are in the spotlight November 8, 2003, at North Carolina Speedway for the 36th annual 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition. The purse for this year's event is $100,000, with $30,000 going to the winning team. Setting a new world record will result in a $10,000 bonus. Reigning champion - winning consecutively in 2001 and 2002 - is Roush Racing's #17 DeWalt pit crew for current Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth. The DeWalt crew bettered their own world record last year by .862 seconds, becoming the first crew to break the 16-second barrier since teams began changing four tires. The current world record, and the time teams will aim to beat in 2003, is 16.823 seconds. Since 1967, the Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition has been the only NASCAR sanctioned pit crew contest on the circuit. Giving world-class pit crews a time to shine, this event rewards the best of the best with the coveted 'World Championship Pit Crew' title. Held annually during the fall race weekend at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, the object of the competition is for each crew in the top 25 in points to empty 14 gallons of 76 Gasoline into the car (two cans holding seven gallons each) and change both left- and right-side tires in as short a time as possible. Time penalties are assessed for various infractions including loose lug nuts, fuel spills and fuel left in the gas can. The team with the fastest time becomes the new world champion.(North Carolina Speedway PR), for last years results, current news and the Pit Crew Chart, see my Pit Crew Page.(10-21-2003)

  • Rockingham News: The fate of North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham continues to be debated. There has long been speculation that Bill France might sell the track to SMI's Bruton Smith and let Smith move its one remaining date to Texas. Smith said he knows nothing new.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-24-2003)

  • Target and General Mills Team Up to Raise Funds for Target House: The first annual Target House 200 NASCAR Busch Series race is scheduled for November 8, 2003, at North Carolina Speedway. Target and General Mills will be working together to raise money for Target House, a home away from home for families and children receiving care at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. "We're grateful to have such a high-profile event to help raise funds and visibility for Target House and the hospital," said Richard Shadyac, National Executive Director of ALSAC/St. Jude, the hospital's fund-raising arm. "I know the kids are looking forward to cheering on their favorite drivers during the race." To help raise funds for Target House, Target will be selling souvenir die-cast racecars on All proceeds from the die-cast cars will benefit Target House. In addition, a portion of sales from select, specially-marked General Mills snack products sold at Target stores will go toward Target House, with a maximum donation of $50,000. The General Mills snack products include Fruit Gushers, Pop Secret Popcorn, Fruit Roll-Ups and Chex Mix. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing team associate sponsors including Fujifilm, Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, Nestle Purina and Clorox have committed an additional $30,000 to Target House. Target has a long history of supporting motorsports and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing team has supported St. Jude and Target House since 1997 through donations from the race team. The team provides $25 for each lap lead, $1,000 for each pole position and $5,000 for every race win. Over the past six seasons, the team has raised more than $275,000 for the hospital and Target House. "Target House is one of our leading community programs and we're happy this race will heighten the visibility of the ground-breaking work taking place at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said John Remington, vice president, events marketing and communications, Target Corporation. Fans can order tickets to the inaugural Target House 200 by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at 1-800-PITSHOP or 910-582-2861 or by visiting online at
    About Target House: Funded by Target Stores and its vendor and celebrity partners, Target House is a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving life-saving treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As an extension of St. Jude's commitment to care for any child regardless of the family's ability to pay, Target House provides fully furnished apartments, free-of-charge. Based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-4-2003)

  • Bruton to buy another track? Might Bruton Smith be in the market for another track? There are rumblings that Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, will purchase an existing racetrack to get the Winston Cup date for one of his current tracks, likely Las Vegas. He did it at North Wilkesboro, and Rockingham [an ISC Track?] might be next.(Sporting News)(8-4-2003)

  • The 'Rock's' Mayor to meet with ISC [may have met]: Rockingham mayor, Gene McLaurin, and other officials from the town and region will meet today [Wed, July 23rd or was it Tues?] with a key official from International Speedway Corporation to talk about what can be done to secure the area's NASCAR future. NASCAR announced in June that it had approved ISC's request to shift one of North Carolina Speedway's two Winston Cup dates to California Speedway next season. McLaurin said today's meeting with ISC vice president Grant Lynch will be a brainstorming session to come up with ways to assure the Rockingham track won't lose its remaining date. "We want to do everything we can to protect our future," McLaurin said. "We want to take any step we can to improve what we offer and what we do to help support NASCAR here." Former N.C. Gov. Jim Holshouser and Erskine Bowles, a candidate for governor in the most recent N.C. election who also is a former chief of staff for President Clinton, are scheduled to be at today's meeting. "We understand that the sport is growing," McLaurin said. "But we think there is still a place for us."(Charlotte Observer)(7-23-2003)

  • It's OFFICIAL - California gets 2nd race, on Labor day, Darlington moves to 2nd Rockingham slot, which loses a race: Beginning in 2004, California Speedway will get a second NASCAR Winston Cup date -- Sunday night during Labor Day weekend. This first official move of the Winston Cup Series' "realignment 2004" was announced Friday. The inaugural Pop Secret 500 is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et on Sunday, Sept. 5th, and will be telecast live on NBC. California Speedway is touting it as the first Sunday night prime time Winston Cup event. NASCAR president Mike Helton deflected all questions about additional future changes to the schedule. In 2004, North Carolina Speedway, a 60,113-seat oval in Rockingham, NC will lose its second date on the schedule, in the fall. This season Rockingham's spring race was held Feb. 23, a date that has been weather-plagued through the years. The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, a 60,000-seat oval, will replace Rockingham's fall date. The Southern 500 has been held on Labor Day weekend for 53 years at Darlington, the 1.336-mile South Carolina oval. Darlington maintains its spring event, held annually in March since 1957.(

  • 2004 Schedule to be announced this coming weekend? UPDATE NO: NASCAR is expected to unveil the 2004 Winston Cup schedule this weekend, and the only major change is that California will get a second race, replacing the fall date at Rockingham. Insiders say Darlington will lose a race in 2005 to an International Speedway Corporation track. Phoenix would be the best choice, but the race probably will go to Kansas or Chicago, the circuit's newest cookie-cutter tracks. Not only is weather seldom a factor at Phoneix, the track has considerably more character than Kansas or Chicago and produces better racing.(Sporting News), it was announced last Friday on Totally NASCAR that on June 13th, the California to Labor Day and Darlington getting the 2nd Rockingham date in Nov would be announced at Michigan.(6-9-2003)
    UPDATE: International Speedway Corp.[ISC] has scheduled a news conference for 1:00pm/et on Friday, June 13th at Michigan International Speedway where officials are expected to announce ISC will move one of the Winston Cup race dates at its track in Rockingham, NC, to California Speedway in 2004. In addition, the second race at California Speedway, will be held during Labor Day weekend, traditionally the home of the Southern 500 at Darlington, SC, another ISC track. Since joining the series in 1997, California has usually hosted its Winston Cup race in April. That race will remain, sources said. Darlington's Southern 500 will take a date later in the season, but will continue to host two Winston Cup races in 2004, sources said. Reports surfaced last weekend at Pocono that NASCAR could announce the entire 2004 schedule this weekend, but NASCAR officials on Tuesday said the schedule was not completed.(

  • California to Labor Day in 2004: there will be an official announcement at Michigan International Speedway on June 13th that California Speedway would get a 2nd Cup race to run on Labor Day weekend in 2004, with Darlington Raceway and the Southern 500 being moved to the Rockingham spot in late 2004. Rockingham [North Carolina Speedway] will be cut down to one race in 2004, which currently is run in the last weekend in February.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(5-30-2003)

  • Ticket Deal at the Rock: North Carolina Speedway is offering ticket deals and prizes May 16 and 17 for fans who purchase tickets for the Nov. 9 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 by calling the speedway ticket office or visiting two special locations. Tickets will be sold at the NASCAR Cafe in Myrtle Beach, S.C., May 15 and 16 during Bike Week and at the NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway in Concord on May 17. Prizes include pre-race pit passes, autographed items, speedway souvenirs and a chance to ride in the pace car around the 1.017-mile track. For a list of contest rules, call (910) 582-2861 or (800) 748-7467 or go online to

  • Darlington Safe? Rockingham Not? One NASCAR sergeant says the Darlington spring race will be on the schedule in 2004, and the exciting finish there last Sunday only will help. Although Rockingham can kiss its February race good-bye, Darlington apparently will get a reprieve -- at least for next year. There are whispers that the race at Homestead, last on the schedule this year, might move into Rockingham's February date and that California's race, currently in April, might move to the season finale in 2004.(Sporting News)(3-17-2003)

  • The Rock race to Texas? The talk of Realignment 2004 and Beyond is weekly fodder for the gristmill as the tour visits the venues that make up the 2003 schedule. Darlington Raceway was a target to lose a date well before France dropped his date moving bomb in mid-January. While the history likely goes back at least 10 or more years, the talk seems to ebb and flow, but with Realignment 2004 on the table the talk was raised to a whole new level. Sources told during the Rockingham, NC race weekend that North Carolina Speedway was likely to loose a date, with Texas Motor Speedway the destination for the race as the France family works towards getting the Francis Ferko anti-trust/collusion trial settled; and that Darlington was rock solid with two dates for 2004. That talk seems to be a little more solid, or at least the Darlington aspect of that talk, as this weekend NASCAR men are spinning the virtues of two dates here in 2004. Taking the talk closer reality are claims by Darlington track officials to, this morning, that they are "very close" to extending their deal with the Dodge Dealers for sponsorship of this race beyond 2003, or when the current sponsorship contract is set to conclude. Darlington has a deal with Pepsi Co's Mountain Dew product to sponsor the Southern 500, Darlington's fall date, through 2004.(Ford Racing)(3-16-2003)

  • Army probe finds winds safe for jump [at Rockingham]: An Army investigation concluded that wind speeds were within safe limits when a parachute team missed the landing area during a Winston Cup race in February. The demonstration was part of pre-race activities for the Subway 400 on Feb. 23 in Rockingham. Four soldiers from the Black Daggers, the Army special operations parachute team, were injured when winds carried them away from the planned landing area. Col. Leonard H. Kiser, a senior Army National Guard adviser for the command, injured his back. Sgt. 1st Class Stuart J. Goodall, a civil affairs team leader with 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, broke his ankle. Maj. Anthony C. Dill, executive officer for 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, broke his wrist, and Air Force Capt. Jesse L. Peterson of the 10th Combat Weather Squadron suffered cuts on his face. Maj. Gary Kolb, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said the conditions changed drastically after the jumpers left the aircraft. The winds were still within the military's safety limits, he said. The eight-man parachute team jumped from a helicopter at 3,000 feet. All of the soldiers are expected to completely recover from their injuries, Kolb said. Due to deployments and the injuries to the four jumpers, the Black Dagger parachute team was forced to cancel its remaining demonstration jumps. ''We have a lack of team members," Kolb said. The team will resume jumping when team members return from deployments. None of the four jumpers that were injured have deployed.(Fayetteville Observer)(3-14-2003)

  • Rockingham news - ISC could sell to Smith? " The latest speculation about the fate of North Carolina Motor Speedway at Rockingham is that next season the track will have only one Winston Cup date, in April, and if that race doesn't sell out, then the International Speedway Corporation might sell the track to Bruton Smith.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-3-2003)

  • California to get Rock's spring date? Rock to April, Calif to 2nd Rock date? One Cup schedule change in 2004 under very serious consideration is to move this second race of the season next year to Fontana, CA. Rockingham's Chris Browning, sensing that next year's tour will likely include only one date here, is pushing for an April date in exchange, hoping for better weather. If Browning gets that OK'd, then California's late April date could be moved to Rockingham's late October date.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-24-2003)

  • Clay Henry: One of Subway's most famous spokespersons, Clay Henry, served as grand marshal for Sunday's race, the Subway 400. Henry has been featured in several commercials since losing 130 pounds on a diet that included Subway sandwiches.(Morning News)(2-24-2003)

  • No Winner from the pole..again at the Rock: The pole winner hasn't won the Cup race at Rockingham in the last 17 races, dating to Jeff Gordon in the spring of 1995.(Daily Press), Sunday's pole sitter, #77-Dave Blaney finished 10th.(2-24-2003)

  • Public VIP Packages at the Rock: Public VIP Suite packages at North Carloina Speedway for the races on February 21 - 23, include access to the suite, pre-race pit pass, VIP Parking, light breakfast, light lunch, appetizers, all beverages, closed circuit television in the suite, speakers for Motor Racing Network race coverage, air-conditioning/heat, and individual men's and women's restrooms. VIP Suite passes can be purchased for Saturday's Rockingham 200 BGN race for $200 per person, Sunday's Subway 400 Winston Cup Series race for $300 per person or the entire NASCAR weekend, which includes Friday's qualifying for both series, for $550 per person. The North Carolina Speedway ticket office phone lines are now open seven days a week through the February 23 Subway 400 Winston Cup weekend. Extended hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am - 7:00pm/et. Great seats and VIP Packages are still available for the Subway 400 and the Rockingham 200. Tickets may be purchased by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at (910) 582-2861 or (800) 748-7467. For tickets and information you may also visit online.(North Carolina Speedway Site)(2-8-2003)

  • Sad News: Carrie B. DeWitt, the former chairman of the board of North Carolina Speedway, died Sunday in Pinehurst at the age of 91. Survivors include one of her daughters, Jo DeWitt Wilson, who was the president of the track from Sept. 1994 through 2002. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College in Hamlet.(Fayetteville Observer)(1-20-2003)

  • Have Breakfast with Bobby Labonte: North Carolina Speedway is giving race fans a special opportunity to join 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte for breakfast prior to the Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event on February 23, 2003. For only $85, fans can purchase a special "Breakfast with Bobby" race package, which includes a 20-minute Question & Answer session with Bobby Labonte, a commemorative Bobby Labonte ticket, a $65 ticket in Hamlet high-rise grandstand, full breakfast in Turn 2 Hospitality Village and a chance to win a variety of autographed items (no individual autographs). This offer is valid December 2 - 20 only. Limit 10 tickets per order. This offer is not valid with previously purchased tickets. Rules and restrictions may apply.(North Carloina Speedway Site)(11-29-2002)

  • Amtrak and the Rock: On February 23rd, 2003, race fans can ride the non-stop Rockingham Race Special from Raleigh and Cary to the SUBWAY 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the North Carolina Speedway. Race fans may choose from three great fare packages:
    An "All-Inclusive" package is available for $180 and includes round-trip coach fare, a $65 Hamlet High-rise grandstand race ticket, pre-race pit tour (time and weather permitting), admittance to Amtrak hospitality area, closed circuit television, a box lunch, and one beverage.
    The "Race and Rail" package consists of round-trip coach fare and a $65 Hamlet High-rise grandstand race ticket and can be purchased for $125.
    Those race fans who have already purchased tickets to the race may buy the "Round-trip Rail" package for only $60.
    For details and reservations on the Rockingham Race Special call (910) 582-2861. There are a limited number of seats available, so call the speedway ticket office today to book your race package. Train departs North Carolina Speedway with all AMTRAK guests one hour after the checkered flag waves and the race is complete.(North Carloina Speedway Site)(11-29-2002)

  • Rockingham Tix Go On Sale Dec 2nd: Tickets for the February 21 - 23, 2003 Rockingham 200/ Subway 400 NASCAR weekend at North Carolina Speedway go on sale Monday, December 2. Qualifying for both NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series events take place on Friday. February 21. Tickets for NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup Series Qualifying, Rockingham 200 NASCAR Busch Series and the Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series events go on sale Monday, December 2. To order tickets, call the North Carolina Speedway Ticket Office at (910) 582-2861.(NCS Site)(11-26-2002)

  • Nice Crowd: Johnny Benson joined Donnie Allison (1968), Mark Martin (1989) and Ward Burton (1995) as drivers whose first Winston Cup wins have come at North Carolina Speedway.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-4-2002)

  • Rock dates in trouble? there is once again speculation that North Carolina Speedway [Rockingham - The Rock] may not be on the Winston Cup tour much longer. Ever since International Speedway Corp.[ISC] bought it a few years ago, there have been rumors that at least one of the track's two Cup race dates might be moved to a larger market, such as Los Angeles. The tour stops twice in Rockingham here and twice at Darlington, and all four races are typically attended by modest crowds compared to the tour's new super tracks. Cutting a date or two from either Rockingham or Darlington would actually boost attendance for the remaining races. But the Texas lawsuit against NASCAR, filed last February by a disgruntled stockholder in Speedway Motorsports, the parent company of Texas Motor Speedway, could be a sticking point to any decisions about Rockingham and Darlington.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-1-2002)

  • Tix Avail for the Rock: Tickets for the November races at North Carolina Speedway are now on sale. Action includes qualifying for NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch cars on Friday, Nov. 1, the Sam's Club 200 and Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Competition on Saturday, Nov. 2, and the Pop Secret 400 on Sunday, Nov. 3.(Fayettevile Observer)(6-7-2002)

  • 2nd Race Rumors, the Rock out? Texas and Calif In?: The word in the garage last weekend at California Speedway was that, once again, officials of the International Speedway Corporation are looking hard at how to add a second Winston Cup date to that Los Angeles area track, which sold out for Sunday's race (although Saturday's Busch race a crowd of only some 25,000). And there are indications that the lawsuit against ISC and NASCAR for not offering Texas Motor Speedway a second Winston Cup date may be putting enough pressure on NASCAR to get it off dead-center on the issue and to make some concessions. One option being considered, according to track sources, is for ISC to take its two Winston Cup dates from North Carolina Motor Speedway at Rockingham and move one to its California track and offer the other to Speedway Motorsports boss Bruton Smith, for either another Texas date or a second Las Vegas date.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-3-2002)

  • National Anthem at the Rock: National recording artist Trace Adkins will perform the national anthem prior to the February 24 Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at North Carolina Speedway.(NCS Site)(2-17-2002)

  • Subway at the Rock? UPDATE 2: hearing that Subway will be the new title sponsor of the Feb 24th Cup race at Rockingham, NC (North Carolina Speedway), being known as the Subway 400 (1-24-2002)
    UPDATE: haven't seen any announcments but during the Fox coverage of the NFC Championship game [sniff] there were many ads for the next NASCAR race on Fox, at Rockingham/North Carolina Speedway on Feb 24th and it was called the Subway 400(1-28-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Subway Restaurants is pleased to announce, their entitlement of the February 24, 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event, the SUBWAY 400, at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC. For Subway, the decision to sponsor the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event comes after the franchise's successful endeavors in 2001 with limited sponsorship of Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series races.(NCS Site)(2-2-2002)

  • Train to the Rock:On February 24, 2002, race fans can ride the Amtrak non-stop Rockingham Race Special from Raleigh to the North Carolina 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the North Carolina Speedway. For more info, see the NCS Site.(1-28-2002)

  • North Carolina Security Measures: Security concerns in the continuing unrest following the September 11 attacks have led many race tracks to rethink their admission policies, and North Carolina Motor Speedway is one of them. The track has imposed new limits on what fans may bring into the track. Those policies will go into effect immediately and will be enforced at the February 24 North Carolina 400. Fans can bring in one soft-sided cooler no larger than 6in x 6in x 12in, or in its stead as scanner bag or diaper bag. The fans may also bring in one clear plastic bag no larger than 18in x 18in x 4in to carry things received or purchased at the track. This clear bag may not contain ice. Also allowed will be binoculars, scanners or cameras worn on the person and not carried in a bag but around the neck or on the belt. Hard-sides coolers, thermoses or insulated cups will not be permitted. Previous track policy prohibited strollers, umbrellas or large backpacks from being brought into the grounds. The track also said that all items will be subject to search.(SpeedVision)(1-17-2002)

  • Darlington Spring Race Moves? Darlington will replace Rockingham as the second race of the year. Rockingham has hosted the second race of the season since 1992. Before that, the second race alternated between Rockingham and Richmond; and Daytona, when Riverside remained on the schedule. The change in schedule for next season will allow Fox to begin coverage of the first half of the season at Darlington. NBC and Fox rotate coverage of the season-opening Daytona 500. NBC will broadcast the race in 2002. Sources said Rockingham's first race of the 2002 season will move to April, likely one of the weeks following the April 7 race at Talladega. The track's second race will continue to remain near the end of the season's schedule(That's Racin')(7-6-2001)

  • Tix at the Rock: Tickets are now on sale for races at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham on Nov. 3-4. Tickets may be purchased by calling (910) 582-2861 or online at

  • Tix at the Rock: Ticket sales have remained steady for this weekend race at Rockingham following the death of driver Dale Earnhardt. A tribute to Earnhardt is being planned for the race weekend. Earnhardt fans, who have left flowers and mementos at the driver's shop and signed guest books at funeral homes around the country, also have left flowers and pictures outside the track. While ticket sales are stable, several motel operators in Rockingham said they have had cancelations from Earnhardt fans too upset to attend a race since the driver was killed in a crash last weekend at the Daytona 500(AP/ESPN)(2-21-2001)

  • Six Pack UPDATE: Darlington and Rockingham are offering their Pepsi Six-Pack ticket package again this year. The package includes six reserved grandstand seats at for the Feb. 25th Dura-Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway(The Rock), plus six reserved grandstand seats for the March 18th Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway. Cost for the package is $240(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-5-2001)
    UPDATE: The Pepsi Six-Pack is available only for a limited time, from February 5 through February 12, 2001(2-7-2001)

  • Rock News: North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham has revised its schedule for the second weekend of the Winston Cup season, eliminating a Friday afternoon practice for Winston Cup teams. Winston Cup cars will now go onto the track for the first time on Saturday, before a single round of qualifying at 10:30am/et. Only Grand National cars will be on the track on Friday(That's Racin')(2-2-2001)

  • Rockingham 2001 date changes: North Carolina Speedway(NCS) officials announced, a revision in its previously announced schedule for the 2001 NASCAR season. In cooperation with Phoenix International Raceway(PIR), NCS has rescheduled its October BGN and Cup races to November 2 - 4. The change was necessary after the 2001 CART schedule was announced last month with California Speedway scheduled to host a CART event the same weekend PIR traditionally hosts its annual Cup race(NCS Site). No word on the Phoenix date but it should be Oct 28th, 2001(8-25-2000)

  • Darlington/Rockingham Tix Plan: during the Michigan race it was mentioned on MRN radio that a "12 pack" ticket promotion is available for the Southern 500 at Darlington and the October race at Rockingham. The package would be for six tickets to Darlington and six tickets to Rockingham for $240.00. The ticket offer is only good from August 20-26, 2000. Tickets can be purchased by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office only. See the North Carolina Speedway site for the number, but no information is posted there about the program(8-22-2000)

  • North Carolina Speedway fight UPDATE: Three years after launching an unsuccessful bid to buy N.C. Motor Speedway, Charlotte's Bruton Smith on Tuesday won more than $3.6 million in a Mecklenburg jury verdict. Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, had sued N.C. Motor Speedway and Penske Motorsports, contending that he should have received millions more from the 1997 sale of the Rockingham racetrack. But after the two-week civil court trial resulting from a long-running dispute, the defendants looked like winners too. Smith was hoping to win as much as $20 million. And he'd asked jurors to set the value of the racetrack as high as $55 a share. See full story at That's Racin': Speedway Motorsports disappointed with $3.6 million ruling by Gary L. Wright. Also see the report on Yahoo Biz: Court Sets Price for North Carolina Speedway Dissenters(4-26-2000)
    UPDATE: International Speedway Corp. has been ordered by a North Carolina jury to pay $5 million to O. Bruton Smith and other former minority shareholders in the North Carolina Motor Speedway. The award, which ISC said it will not appeal, resolves a lawsuit brought against Penske Motorsports shortly after it won a bidding war against Smith and others for the Rockingham, N.C. track in 1997. ISC inherited the lawsuit when it took over the Penske tracks last year. ISC said it will take a $5 million charge against earnings, equal to 9 cents per share, at the end of second quarter, to cover the cost of the award. See full story at Speed Magazine: International Speedway Corp. ordered to pay rival track owner $5 million by Thomas S. Brown(4-27-2000)

  • The Rock fight: Bruton Smith may not be finished with his legal battle to buy North Carolina Speedway(Rockingham)(PitNow)(3-20-2000)

  • Lead Laps: #18-Bobby Labontes win at Rockingham had the least number of cars on the lead lap ever at a spring event there. Only four cars finished on the lead lap and only one DNF, #77-Robert Pressley. The previous record was seven in 1996(TNN Race Coverage). See results at NOL(2-27-2000)

  • Some Rock Stats: 15 of all the 69 Rockingham races have been won by the pole starter(21.7%), Last Dura-Lube won by the pole winner: 1995, by Jeff Gordon. Lowest start of a Dura-Lube winner: 30th, 1988 by Neil Bonnett (all-time Rockingham record) and 55 of the 69 Rockingham races have been won from the Top 10(80%)(much more at TNN Motorsports Site)(2-26-2000)

  • Pit Road at the Rock: The reconfiguration to one pit road at Rockingham received rave reviews from almost every driver, as well it should. But also getting good marks was the speedway's change in policy on infield admission, which was disallowed to the general public beginning with last weekend's race. Nothing against the fans, but working in an environment devoid of raving autograph seekers was a welcome respite for the media and I would bet the drivers, too(That's Racin')(10-26-1999)

  • The Rockinghams: A group of guests from Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northhamptonshire, England, currently under construction, visited North Carolina Speedway this weekend. Both tracks share the nickname, ``The Rock,'' and enjoy historic links, as well. Settlers from the small English village of Rockingham are thought to have been some of the first in North Carolina and the new British track is close to Rockingham Castle, which has given the area its name since it was built in the 11th Century. The group, led by Rockingham Motor Speedway managing director Peter Davies, planned the visit to further a relationship between the two tracks. The visit gave the British motor correspondents and officials a ``close-up'' view of the sport in the U.S. The British track is planned as a 1.5-mile oval, located eight miles north of London(That's Racin')(10-25-1999)

  • Lawsuit: NASCAR and the International Speedway Corp. want a Florida court to protect them from having to disclose confidential business information and trade secrets in response to a North Carolina civil lawsuit. In court documents filed Monday in Circuit Court, the corporations seek protection from having to produce documents requested through subpoena by attorneys representing the parties - including O. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. - in a pending North Carolina lawsuit. See the rest of the story at Speed Magazine: ISC, NASCAR look to Florida courts for protection by Molly Justice(10-7-1999)

  • BGN Sponsor: Kmart Corp. will sponsor the Busch Grand National Series race at Rockingham/North Carolina Speedway on Oct. 23. The Kmart 200 will be the first Busch event sponsor by the discount retailer(That's Racin')(8-7-1999)

  • Fan Appreciation: North Carolina Speedway(The Rock) will hold a Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, July 17 from 9am to 5pm at the track in Rockingham, N.C. The event is free of charge and will allow fans an opportunity to see show cars, take a guided tour of the speedway, buy souvenirs and tour a NASCAR Winston Cup Series transporter. ESPN commentator and 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Benny Parsons will be on hand to sign autographs. Fans can also purchase "Hot Laps" around the track as a passenger in a race car, courtesy of SpeedTech Driving School(NOL Notes)(6-24-1999)

  • Rock Tickets: Tickets for the Oct. 24 Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham will go on TODAY. Tickets may be purchased at the track's ticket office or by calling (910)582-2861(That's Racin')(5-17-1999)

  • Rockingham Pit Road UPDATE 1: I hear that Rockingham (North Carolina Speedway) will go to one pit road in time for the fall 1999 race. That leaves Bristol and Darlington as the only tracks with both front and back stretch pits. Bristol has been rumored to be switching, have heard nothing about Darlington(2-26-1999) -- UPDATE 1: North Carolina Speedway will go to one pit road and construction of the new configuration has already started and will be completed in time for the racing there on 10-22/24-99. Since Martinsville recently switched to one pit road, only two tracks, Darlington and Bristol, will have two pit roads(Speedway Scene Mag)(5-9-1999)

  • Camping in North Carolina: Under a plan approved by the state House Tuesday, Charlotte(Lowes) Motor Speedway and North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham soon won't have to worry about not being in compliance with a rarely-enforced public health law. The plan would exempt the two North Carolina speedways that stage NASCAR Winston Cup races from the law which regulates mass gatherings of campers. See the complete story at: Legislation would allow camping at N.C. tracks (SpeedNer/AP)(3-10-1999)

  • That Leaves two: I hear that Rockingham (North Carolina Speedway) will go to one pit road in time for the fall 1999 race. That leaves Bristol and Darlington as the only tracks with both front and back stretch pits. Bristol has been rumored to be switching, have heard nothing about Darlington(2-26-1999)

  • Good TV: TNN recorded a 6.2 rating for Sunday's race at Rockingham. It is the highest cable rating a NASCAR Winston Cup race has had(News and Record)(2-24-1999)

  • The Rock NOT sold out: Most Winston Cup tracks can't build enough seats to fill the demand these days. But North Carolina Speedway took it on the chin Sunday. Thanks to an uncertain weather forecast and temperatures in the low 40s, there were plenty of empty seats for the second race of the season. With 60,122 grandstand seats and 35 suites, seating perhaps another 5,000, the overall attendance was estimated about 45,000. "We don't usually get a big advance for the spring race," said track spokeswoman Kristi Richardson(Infobeat NASCAR newsletter)(2-22-1999)

  • The Backstretch Pits: Neil Bonnett was the last driver to win at Rockingham from the back stretch pits in the 1988 season.(2-21-1999)

  • Pop at the Rock UPDATE: I hear Pop Secret Pop Corn will be the race sponsor at the Fall Rockingham (North Carolina Speedway - The Rock). The Pop Secret 400? (2-19-1999) -- Yep, officially announced Saturday - Pop Secret, a brand of microwave popcorn made by General Mills, has signed on as title sponsor of North Carolina Speedway's October events. The Oct. 24 Winston Cup race will now be known as the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 -- or the Pop Secret 400 among friends(That's Racin' David Poole), Pop Secret is also part of the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper sponsorship package that General Mills has on the #26 Johnny Benson Ford(2-21-1999)

  • Rockingham and the law: A Senate committee has revised a bill it approved only last week to make sure that North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham qualifies for the same exemption in a state health law planned for Charlotte Motor Speedway. See the rest of the AP story at N.C. Senate committee revises health bill to exempt Rockingham campers(2-17-1999)

  • Pit Road: North Carolina Speedway has two pit roads 31 on the front stetch and 12 on the back stretch

  • Rules at the Rock: NASCAR senior vice president and chief operating officer Mike Helton said a rule change involving air dam clearances and spoiler sizes for all three car makes will go into affect at the Feb. 21 race at Rockingham. The change was implemented at the season finale in Atlanta last season as a test. NASCAR issued three changes at Atlanta: The height of rear spoilers were increased 1 1/2 inches on all car makes; all cars had to have a minimum rear spoiler angle of 65 degrees; and the front end air dam ground clearance for all cars was mandated to be 3 1/2 inches(That's Racin')(2-12-1999)

  • New Name at the Rock: The spring Winston Cup race at North Carolina Speedway will be know as the DuraLube BigK 400(WC Today Radio)(1-12-1999)

  • North Carolina Speedway - The Rock: AP story - Sale of N.C. speedway was fair, court rules(1-6-1999)

  • New BGN Sponsor for the Rock: ALLTEL will take over the signature of the spring BGN race at Rockingham in 1999. The ALLTEL 200 will take the place of the GM Goodwrench 200. The race is scheduled for February 20, 1999.(TNN)(11-1-1998)

  • North Carolina Speedway, owned by Penske Motorsports, is increasing its seating capacity by 12,000 with the construction of a 28,021-seat galvanized steel and aluminum high-rise grandstand.(That's Racin'/AP)(7-16-1998)

  • North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham will hold a "Christmas in July" sale Saturday(July 18th), selling racing apparel and collectibles at discounts. For information, call (910) 582-2861.(That's Racin')(7-15-1998)

  • The battle for Rockingham is en route to the N.C. Supreme Court, and Bruton Smith predicts a ruling later this year overturning Roger Penske's court victory in their duel for control of North Carolina Motor Speedway and its two Winston Cup dates. Penske bought controlling interest in the track from the DeWitt family for about $14 to $18 a share; Smith bid $32 a share, and his legal argument is that the family had to sell to the highest bidder. A state court rejected that argument.(JournalNow)(3-27-1998)

  • Greg Penske, Roger's son and the head of the racing division, when asked about the possibly of moving one of Rockingham's two Winston Cup dates elsewhere, like California Speedway, said there are no present plans to move the dates and that they have spent money at the track(JournalNow)(to improve the stands and the facility) (2-24-1998)

  • Walt Czarnecki, one of Penske's top men, said that Penske has no plans to redesign this Rockingham track or expand the racing surface. But Penske's staff has laid out a plan to expand the stands and improve the layout. As for repaving the track, they will look at that after the 1998 season(JournalNow)(2-24-1998)

  • I hear that Rockingham announced a completely new back stretch was to be constructed and some readers noticed the new stands coming out of turn two were angled and not flush against the wall, much like the Atlanta stands before the conversion there. Other rumors say they were going to bulldoze turns 3 & 4 and make the track a 1.5 mile, NASCAR Online has a story about the Rock and the change in length is not mentioned(2-22-1998), see above story in today's news, the track configuration will remain as it is(2-24-1998)

  • North Carolina Motor Speedway has changed it name to North Carolina Speedway. Some simply call it "The Rock" or Rockingham after the city it located. The name reflects the merger of the track with Roger Penske(That's Racin)(2-4-1998)

  • Penske Motorsports, Inc.(PMI) announced today that it completed its merger with North Carolina Motor Speedway, Inc. (NCMS). NCMS is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of PMI.(Chaz Hinkle)(12-2-1997)

  • More info on the Bruton Smith lawsuit against Roger Penske over North Carolina Motor Speedway: Smith's suit against Penske is dismissed(11-11-1997)

  • Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the sale of the North Carolina Motor Speedway Smith, who personally owns about 25% of shares of the racetrack, is seeking an injunction to block Penske Motorsports Inc.'s planned buy of the mile-long facility. The action filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court asks for preliminary and permanent injunctions against a vote by the track's roughly 100 shareholders on a merger agreement with Penske(SpeedWorld)(8-7-1997)

  • See Penske's response at NASCAR Online : Penske responds to Smith lawsuit(8-7-1997)

  • Penske Motorsports and North Carolina Motor Speedway Enter Into Merger Agreement, see the stories at Yahoo-pact and Yahoo-merger(Yahoo)(8-5-1997)

  • Speedway Motorsports(Bruton Smith), which already owns Texas Motor Speedway and tracks in Charlotte, Atlanta and Bristol, as well as operating the track in Sonoma, Calif., has submitted a merger offer to North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. which counters the Penske offer. SPWY offer is $23 a share(or a share of Speedway Stock) while Penske is $14 a share, this could get ugly(4-2-1997)

  • The 4-2-97 issue of USA Today reports that Bruton Smith has not given up in his attempt to gain control of the 65% of Rockingham (NCMS) that Mrs. Dewitt owns, which Roger Penske announced on 4-2-97 that she agreed to sell to Penske Motorsports(PMI). Bruton said that despite the public agreement between PMI and Mrs. Dewitt, he plans on making her a better offer.(4-2-1997)

  • This is from Yahoo, go to Quotes, type in SPWY and check out the news and look what I found (thanks to Wads for the heads up on this story):
    Penske Motorsports, Inc. (PMI) (Nasdaq-NNM: SPWY), today announced that it has entered into a definitive option and voting agreement with Mrs. Carrie B. DeWitt, who owns approximately 65% of the outstanding stock of North Carolina Motor Speedway, Inc. in Rockingham, North Carolina ("NCMS"). Under the terms of the Agreement, PMI has proposed the merger of NCMS and PMI for consideration by the Board of Directors of NCMS. In the merger, each stockholder of NCMS would receive, at his or her option, either $14.00 in cash per share of NCMS stock or that number of shares of PMI stock equal to $18.61 multiplied by the shares of NCMS stock held, divided by $30.00. The Agreement is, and the merger are, subject to customary conditions. Mrs. DeWitt has agreed to vote her shares in favor of the merger and to exchange her shares in NCMS for shares in PMI if the merger takes place. NCMS, a one-mile oval track located in Rockingham, North Carolina, was constructed in 1965 by a group of local investors, including Mrs. Carrie B. DeWitt and her husband, the late L.G. DeWitt. The track has 42,951 reserved and 3,000 unreserved grandstand seats, and 33 luxury boxes.(4-1-1997)

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