Wednesday, 13 February 2019 15:18

Rockingham Speedway teases festivals, racing on Twitter

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Twitter has been abuzz in recent months with hints about trying to bring some type of racing back to Rockingham Speedway. Twitter has been abuzz in recent months with hints about trying to bring some type of racing back to Rockingham Speedway. Russell Parker - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Just exactly what the new owners have planned for Rockingham Speedway is still up for speculation, but cryptic posts on Twitter appear to show racing — and more.

Frank Bloom, vice president of events, sales and marketing, who runs the Twitter handle for the speedway, tweeted Tuesday night about having meetings on the West Coast, trying to line up events:

“Snuck out to LA to work on some festivals... dont worry gearheads, met with racing companies a few weeks back and working on that side too... we've gotta balance the fun with payin the bills so we have to work on both! #staytuned”

Later on he tweeted that he was in a bar in West Hollywood talking with a bartender who said that racing was better in California than on the East Coast.

“...I simply replied ‘Ma'am, while i appreciate your opinion, clearly youve never been to The Rock’ knocked down my shot of Jamo & gave a sly smile.”

But Bloom isn’t the only one making hints on social media.

Matt Weaver, associate motorsports editor for AutoWeek, tweeted a photo Tuesday night saying: 

“I may or may not be trying to sneak into @NASCAR HQ to input @FGSpeedway, @RockinghamSpdwy, @GatewayMSP, Memphis and Montreal to the 2020 Cup Series schedule.

#CatchMeIfYouCan

#JustKidding

#Probably"

To which the speedway tweeted back: “#wontargue”

NASCAR did not respond to an email sent in December regarding the possibility of a race returning to The Rock.

The 2019 schedule was released in April of 2018, so the possibility still exists.

The last event held at the speedway was a 2013 Camping World Truck Series race.

There was some private testing done by Level 1 Motorsports and the Super Cup Stock Car Series in 2016 when VetsHelp.org had a lease on the property from former owner Andy Hillenburg.

The owners have put a lot of work into the speedway since purchasing it last August for $2.8 million.

On Jan. 10, Bloom tweeted out a photo of Benny Parsons Tower with the lights on inside the pressbox. The RO also posted a photo on Facebook of the box lit up, which was well received.

Twitter has been abuzz with possibilities for the speedway for several months.

The Rock garnered half the votes on a Twitter poll released in December by NASCAR on NBC asking at which historic track fans would rather NASCAR return. The other two choices were North Wilkesboro or Nashville Fairgrounds.

Out of 5,913 total votes, The Rock garnered 50 percent of the vote, while Wilkesboro and Nashville received 26 and 20 percent respectively.

“The Rock has always been a fan favorite,” Bloom told the RO at the time. “We appreciate that continued support and look forward to seeing everyone in 2019 when we start producing events of all shapes and sizes — and yes, even some involving fast motors.”

Earlier that month, Bloom tweeted about the possibility of adding a dirt track to the half-mile course out back, which gained a lot of support.

One of the first activities at the speedway will be hosting campsites for May’s Epicenter Festival, which will be held across the highway at Rockingham Dragway — despite the speedway being pictured in marketing materials.

Epicenter is expected to have a $40 million impact on the regional economy and draw around 100,000 hard rock and heavy metal fans to see Tool, the Foo Fighters, Judas Priest, Rob Zombie, Korn and many other bands to the three-day festival.

Some questions could be answered Thursday on WRAL’s “Tar Heel Traveler,” which will feature a story on Rockingham Speedway at 5:55 p.m. The online story is scheduled to appear online about an hour later.