Monday, 25 January 2021 17:55

Go-kart racing coming to Rockingham Speedway's 'Little Rock'

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Richard Ozzy Graham - Graham Kracker Aerial Photography Richard Ozzy Graham - Graham Kracker Aerial Photography

ROCKINGHAM — The half-mile oval behind Rockingham Speedway will get some use this year with a different type of racing.

Clint Mills announced on Facebook Monday afternoon that he would be bringing asphalt go-kart racing to the “Little Rock” on Feb. 6.

Mills, of Monroe, said he has been racing since he was 5 years old.

“I raced around Rockingham when the last owner had it and they had late-model races there,” said Mills, now 33, adding that he enjoys go-kart racing and goes from track to track hosting races.

“Asphalt racing has been dead for a while — for years, actually —  so I was just wanting to bring it back,” Mills said. “Dirt racing is alive and well for sure, but everybody misses some asphalt racing in go-karts.”

He said he reached out to the track’s new owners about hosting the event and got the go-ahead.

Mills said sponsor TSRacing, a Bushnell, Florida-based company that sells go-kart racing supplies, “stepped up to make it happen.”

The Little Rock was built by former owner Andy Hillenburg as a replica of Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, but with steeper banks.

Mills said he thinks the last time the Little Rock was used for a race was in 2012.

Level 1 Motorsports, based in Marshville, used the track in January of 2016 for driver evaluations when Vets-Help had a lease for the track, as this writer reported for the Richmond County Daily Journal at the time.

In 2018, a now-former speedway spokesman polled fans about the possibility of putting a dirt track at the Little Rock.

Mills said he was excited to be part of bringing action back to the long-idle speedway.

In addition to the upcoming go-kart race, MB Drift is scheduled to hold 10 races at the track this year and The CARS Tour race, originally scheduled for March 6, is now slated for Oct. 30.

“It’s a good facility,” Mills said. “There’s money to be made there if the new owner can make it happen.”

The go-karts are just “a little part of it,” Mills added.

Gates open at 8:30 a.m. and practices are scheduled to begin at 10:30, according to a flyer.

Tickets are $20 for adults and racers, $10 for children 5-12 and free for those under 5 years old. There will also be reserved parking for $20, in addition to free parking.

For more information, contact Mills at 704-989-1542.

“Hopefully we can get a lot of people to come watch and race,” Mills said. “Hopefully we’re going to have a lot of races there if he lets me come back and do it.”