ANDY CAGLE: There's a Little Bit of Racing Down the Road
The Rockingham Speedway held its first race a little over a month ago and by all accounts it was a success.
But that doesn't mean that Andy Hillenburg and his staff at the track are content. As a matter of fact, they were back at work the next day getting ready for the track's upcoming events.
"The event (the Carolina 500) was awesome," said track public relations director Charles Hudson. "It is definitely something to build on."
And building on it they are.
The track is hosting the Super Stang Fest with the Rockingham Dragway on June 13 and 14. The event will include a cruise-in Friday afternoon, drag racing on Friday and Saturday nights at the dragway (complete with a burnout competition), a manufacturer's midway, swap meet and food and beverages.
The feature event on Saturday includes parade laps around the track for the first 200 registrations, laps in a Fast Track Stock Car Driving School car and a road course auto cross competition. Show awards will be giving in a number of categories for the best Mustangs and Fords, with cash prizes and trophies for all winners.
"We are expecting between 400 and 500 Mustangs and Fords for the show," said Hudson.
Admission for the Super Stang Fest is $5 for adults, with children under 13 admitted for free.
According to Hudson, the track is also looking to host some Legends car races in the fall in addition to the scheduled Hooters Pro Cup race, the American 200 on Nov. 1 and the Polar Bear 150 on Jan. 1, 2009.
"Tickets for the American 200 are outpacing the first race right now," Hudson said. "We sold out the Pro Cup suites the day after the 500."
Hillenburg and his crew are doing exactly what the area needs him to do with the track. That is, he's using it -- unlike the previous owner, who let it sit dormant, save for some occasional testing. Couple the events that the speedway is hosting with all the activity that Steve Earwood has going on at the Rockingham Dragway (events that shouldn't be missed), and you have some pretty good destinations just down the road in Richmond County.
For more information, contact the track office at (910) 205-8800, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or on the Web at www.rockinghamspeedway.com.
Word out of Dover last week is that Jamie McMurray is out at Roush Fenway Racing after this year and is shopping his services with other teams. To say that McMurray's career up to this point has been a disappointment would be a gross understatement. He started by winning the fall race at Lowes Motor Speedway in just his second career Cup start. He then went on a nearly five-year losing streak that saw him switch from his original Cup team, Chip Ganassi Racing, to Roush Fenway before the 2006 season.
His career was somewhat buoyed by last year's dramatic win at the July Daytona race, but it hasn't been enough to prevent him being the odd man out as Roush moves to get under NASCAR's four-team cap.
I usually hate to see veteran drivers get the ax, regardless of how much product they put in their hair, but I am going to call this a good move by Roush. You put the guy in some top-flight equipment and he just doesn't get the job done. Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth have been able to win races in the same cars and David Ragan has showed a great amount of promise in his second year, a fact that shocks me after the day I witnessed him have at Martinsville in the fall of 2006. Seriously, the dude hit everything except the pace car that day.
Anyway, in his sixth season in Cup and third at Roush, McMurray has not shown anything that would justify keeping him over any of the other drivers in that stable.
I think he may have a good shot at filling a fourth seat at Childress Racing if Bobby Labonte doesn't take the seat and bring with him six past champion provisionals. Or maybe he can land at one of the second-tier teams out there, but, at 32, he's no longer a young man by today's NASCAR standards, considering that Joey Lagano is set to turn NASCAR on its ear at the ripe-old age of 18.
Then again, he may get caught up in the same expectations that seem to have dogged McMurray for his entire career.
Andy Cagle can be reached at email@example.com
More like this story