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Thursday, 05 November 2020 20:29

Racing returns to Rockingham Speedway in 2021

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Racing returns to Rockingham Speedway in 2021 RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM ― For the first time in nearly eight years, stock cars will be roaring around Thunder Alley.

Officials with CARS Solid Rock Carriers Tour announced Thursday evening that they would hold the season opener at Rockingham Speedway on March 6, 2021.

“There’s going to be a day in January and a day in February that they’re going to set aside for these teams to go down and practice,” said Jack McNelly, owner of CARS Tour.

A spokesman for Rockingham Speedway confirmed the date.

The Rockingham track was a fan and driver favorite for nearly 40 years.

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

In 2016, the main track was used for tire testing and the smaller track for driving evaluations. At that time, had a lease agreement with then-owner Andy Hillenberg, which was apparently terminated after Bill Silas'  BK Rock Holdings LLC bought the lien from Farmers and Merchants Bank. Prior to that, the bank had started legal foreclosure proceedings against Hillenberg and Silas.

The property went to public auction in May of that year, with an attorney for the holding company placing a $3 million credit bid.

Rockingham Properties LLC bought the former NASCAR track in August of 2018 for $2.8 million.

Several events have been scheduled for the speedway since the purchase, but have fallen through.

The speedway was part of Rockingham Festival Park, along with Rockingham Dragway for the inaugural Epicenter Festival in May of 2019. However, Danny Wimmer Promotions decided to move the event to Charlotte for 2020 and it was subsequently canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December of 2018, Rockingham Speedway garnered half the votes on a Twitter poll released by NASCAR on NBC asking which historic track fans would rather see NASCAR return.

In June, graduates of Richmond Senior High School paraded around the track.

The RO will have more on this developing story.

(Note: This story has been corrected from its original version.)


Last modified on Thursday, 05 November 2020 20:43
William R. Toler

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