ROCKINGHAM — MotorTrend is returning to Richmond County for the second time this year as HOT ROD Magazine continues to celebrate 75 years in publication.
Rockingham Dragway has been selected as one of four tracks in the Southeast to host a day of Hot Rod Drag Week to determine the “Fastest Street Car in America.”
According to a press release issued last week, racers will have to drive their cars more than 1,000 miles from track to track along a specified route in an effort to log the fastest elapsed time during the five-day event.
The release states that drivers will have to provide photographic evidence that they stuck to the designated route.
Organizers say some of the country’s top drag racers participate in the event and often help each other out.
According to a MotorTrend article, the event sold out “in mere minutes” back in March.
“HOT ROD Drag Week is an unforgettable event that everyone at HOT ROD always looks forward to, but this year will be special, being our 75th anniversary,” HOT ROD’s Editor-in-Chief John McGann said in the release. “Join us for a Drag Week experience that will go down in history, one you definitely don’t want to miss!”
Drag Week starts with a tech inspection and test-and-tune Sept. 17 at Darlington Dragway, with racing the following day. The tour then moves to Rockingham Dragway on Sept. 18, with racing from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
“It doesn’t get any better than Hot Rod Drag Week and being part of this year’s search for America’s fastest street legal car is an honor,” said Dan Vanhorn, who co-owns the Rock with Al Gennarelli.
“It’s a grueling event and matches the test of endurance we fight each day here at Rockingham Dragway being a legacy track,” Vanhorn added. “We are proud that the community hosts yet another high-profile event to complement our always stacked schedule of drag racing.”
From Rockingham, participants will roll to Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, then down to Carolina Dragway in Aiken, South Carolina, before returning to Darlington Dragway for the finals.
Spectator tickets will be available at each track at $20, and children 12 under get free admission with a paid adult.
“After the 2023 Hot Rod Power Tour came through Richmond County for the day 3 stop at Rockingham Speedway, we heard several say they weren’t aware of how big of a deal it was or how significant of an impact these signature events of MotorTrend truly make in our community,” said Richmond County Tourism Director Meghan Lambeth. “So, make sure you have Tuesday, September 19, marked on your calendar to stop by Rockingham Dragway!”
“Having both Rockingham Dragway and Rockingham Speedway as stops on the upcoming 19th Annual Hot Rod Drag Week (Sept. 19) and the very successful 29th Annual Hot Rod Power Tour (June 14), highlights the national notoriety of these facilities and their significance in the motorsports industry,” Lambeth added. “Working with MotorTrend Group Event and Experiential Producer Betsy Bennett and her team to plan and promote both events has been an amazing experience and, hopefully, the first two of many more.”
Before Drag Week, the Rock is hosting Carolina PowerFest Sept. 2-4 and Summer Slam Sept. 8-10.