Sunday, April 20, 2008

ROCKINGHAM: Show Up or Shush Up

North Carolina Speedway, also known as "Rockingham" and "The Rock" is a storied racetrack that held some of the most exciting stock-car races for decades. Holding its first Winston Cup race in October of 1965, it saw its last NASCAR Cup-level race in February of 2004.

Despite it's storied history in the annals of racing, The Rock suffered from lagging attendance. The last race was short by 10,000 fans, a huge loss when the stands are filled at capacity with 60, 000! Logistically, it made sense to move the dates to other tracks that have greater attendance figures for Busch or Truck series races that for the Cup level attendance at Rockingham. Emotionally, the loss of that track to the NASCAR circuit has grated on fans and drivers both. The track remained dormant until it was auctioned in 2007 to racer Andy Hillenburg.

Now, the fans of the Rock have racing appearing again in May of this year. The Carolina 500 ARCA race is scheduled for May 4th, the day after the Richmond Sprint-Nextel Cup race. Hillenburg has been working hard to rebuild parts of the facility that suffered from disrepair. He knows he won't have it all done, but he is hoping to have the most important parts completed in time for racing.

A recent Press Release shows that Hillenburg is pulling in all connections to bring fans to this race. NASCAR two-time Cup champ Tony Stewart will wave the green flag. Other announcements have country singer-heartthrob Josh Gracin performing the Anthem. Racers Bobby Hamilton Jr and Kenny Schrader have entered the race itself.

The race will have a large field and will sport old-school style of double qualifying. The ticket prices are very reasonable, and there is plenty of campground parking available.

For all of the fans who have persistently lamented the loss of the Rockingham from racing, it is time to put your money, time, and energy where your mouth is. The Rock will once again be alive with the sounds of roaring engines. But it will only continue to live if you the fans continue to support it. Remember, it died it's first death due to lack of attendance. Don't send this track back to it's coffin by your apathy.

Show up or Shush up! I mean it!

For more information, go to Rockingham Raceway Park