Home Local Sports Rockingham Speedway CARS Tour race pushed back to October

Rockingham Speedway CARS Tour race pushed back to October

Jacksonville native Travis Miller roars down Thunder Alley during a Dec. 15 tire test at Rockingham Speedway. A race planned for March has been pushed back until October.
William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The first race since 2013 planned for Rockingham Speedway has been pushed back nearly eight months.

Race promoters Charlie Hansen and Mike Stodder announced Dec. 24 that the CARS Tour race slated for March 6 would be rescheduled for Oct. 30.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with all involved over the last several days since concluding our second tire test this past Tuesday December 22nd,” Hansen and Stodder said in a joint statement. “It has been determined, in the best interest of competitors and fans, the best way forward is to develop a new tire for the Rockingham surface.”

Drivers for the CARS Tour previously tested Hoosier tires on Dec. 15 for the upcoming race.

“If we moved forward in March with what we currently have, we’d potentially have to change tires twice during a 75-lap race, and that is not good for the racers, from an expense standpoint, or for the fans as far as seeing a good show,” Hansen and Stodder added. “We are dedicated in providing a great experience for both the competitors and the race fans!”

The promoters went on to say that the extra time would allow the track, drivers and Hoosier Tires to develop a new tire compound.

Short Track Scene reported that a small piece of pavement on the exit of Turn 2 broke off and punctured the grille of a car during the Dec. 22 test, which led to a decision to use restrictor plates.

Hansen told the RO on Dec. 28 that it’s “not uncommon for some of these tracks that have a little age on them, from the sheer horsepower of the motors and the grip of the tires” to pull a small piece of asphalt up.

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He said the speedway would patch any cracks or places that may become a problem on an as-needed basis, adding there are no plans in the immediate future to resurface the track.

During the Dec. 15 test, driver Jared Fryar said the track felt “good.”

“To rush this event without ideal circumstances would have been the wrong thing to do,” CARS Tour officials said in a Facebook post. “Additionally, this gives our teams and drivers more time to prepare, budget, forge partnerships, and make their plans for the return of big-league racing to Rockingham.”

The Speedway has been mostly idle since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in April 2013.

Hansen also said Monday that Hoosier is developing a tire exclusively for Rockingham Speedway, with more testing at the track in the late summer before the October race.

“I think we’re all disappointed that we’ll have to wait a little longer to see racing at Rockingham,” Hansen and Stodder said, ”but this short delay will make things better overall for the future of this storied facility.” 

NOTE: This post has been edited to correct a name. 6:10 p.m. 12-28-20

 

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.