Home Local Sports Gennarelli, Van Horn usher in new era the Rock

Gennarelli, Van Horn usher in new era the Rock

The sun sets on 30-plus years of ownership under Steve Earwood. Photos by Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM —With a solid core of established events already in place including the NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals, Mopars at The Rock and the Super Chevy Show, Al Gennarelli and Dan Van Horn are anxious to assume ownership and put their own distinctive stamp on historic Rockingham Dragway.

On Sunday, Gennarelli, Van Horn and departing owner Steve Earwood jointly announced an abbreviated 2023 schedule for the track that includes the aforementioned events along with a trio of Dig or Die no prep races, an NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event and a pair of Rudy’s Diesel Truck Jams.

The new owners, who take over on Monday, Oct. 31, currently are negotiating with other sanctioning bodies and individuals to secure additional events.

Gennarelli, CEO the past 24 years of Gennarelli Concrete LLC now based in Gates, North Carolina, and Van Horn, who distinguished himself as both a military and civilian air traffic controller before creating the Modern Street Hemi Shootout series he has managed the last 14 years from his home in Stafford, Virginia, are just the third owners of the 54-year-old track since it opened in 1979.

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“With Dan and Al taking over, I believe the track’s future is secure and I believe it will continue to serve as Richmond County’s principal entertainment venue and visitor destination,” Earwood said. “It was especially important to me to sell to ‘car guys’ and I don’t think I could’ve have found a better pair.”

Earwood, who was national media relations director for the California-based NHRA before his purchase of Rockingham in 1992, will remain marginally involved in track operations the next two years as a consultant to the owners.

2023 Rockingham Dragway Schedule
March 24-15 – Dig or Die Spring
March 26 – Import Faceoff
April 8 – 32nd Mopars at The Rock
April 13-16 – NMCA All Star Nationals
April 21-22 – Rudy’s Spring Diesel Truck Jam
May 7 – Apple Chill Festival
May 19-21 – Modern Street Hemi Shootout
May 27-29 – “Big John” Leviner Memorial Bracket Races
June 3 – Rugged Maniacs (obstacle course event)
July 21-22 – Dig or Die Summer
Sept. 16-17 – Super Chevy Show
Sept. 20 – Hot Rod Drag Week
Oct. 6-7 – Rudy’s Fall Diesel Truck Jam
Oct. 19-22 – NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
Dec. 1-2 – Dig or Die Winter

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