ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s legendary racetrack is kicking off its second season back in business with a bang — and a racing legend.
Former NASCAR driver Donnie Allison will be at Rockingham Speedway for the track’s open house event on March 5.
According to stats from RacingReference.info, Allison, who was a competitive driver from 1966-1988 (except for 1987), had 10 Cup Series wins and 115 top 10 finishes in 242 races.
Allison had two wins at Rockingham: the first in 1968; and the second in 1977.
He is also known for getting into a fight with Cale Yarborough at the 1979 Daytona 500.
Allison, who was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009, won the Grand National Rookie of the Year Award in 1967.
According to a poll on notinhalloffame.com, 80% of respondents advocate for Allison to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, along with his brother Bobby and late nephew Davey Allison.
“He’s really excited to come to the track and see the renovations,” said speedway Vice President of Operations Justin Jones.
Drivers in the Allison Legacy Series will also be racing on the infield road course, according to Jones.
The open house will also offer a sneak peek of Motorsport 4the Masses’ Classic American Racing Barnstormer Series, which will open at Rockingham Speedway April 23 and close out Oct. 1.
M4theM owner Rob Bolling said CARBS events will feature vintage stock cars and include practice laps, qualifying and an exhibition race for “a living history experience.”
For those who want to round the legendary oval, M4theM will be offering ride-alongs and leading hot laps for attendees to take their own vehicles on the track. The cost is $35 in advance and $50 the day of the event.
Jones said there will also be live music, food trucks and track merchandise — including a limited supply of vintage items.
Parking and admission for the open house are both free.
After hosting more than a dozen motorsports events in 2021, Rockingham Speedway is filling its calendar for this year.
Both M4theM and MB Drift will be holding six two-day events at the track this year. Seat Time Racing School and the National Auto Sport Association are also returning to Rockingham and Monster Truckz will be putting on shows the weekend following the open house.
Seat Time has five dates at Rockingham and the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience has two dates scheduled.
There are also a few other motorsports events coming from NCE30 and the Tarheel Sports Car Club.
But motorsports aren’t the only events coming to the speedway this year.
Jones said the track had just finalized an agreement for the Zerbini Family Circus to bring its show — featuring clowns, acrobats and other aerial artists — on April 21.
There is also a rodeo scheduled for May 13-14 and the speedway is hosting the Ducks Unlimited banquet in February.
Jones added that there are other “really big things” still under negotiation, with details to be released after plans are finalized.
He added that the track’s new website is slated to launch early next week.