Earwood Named Richmond County Citizen of Year
Steve Earwood, owner and operator of Rockingham Dragway, was recently named Richmond County's Citizen of the Year Thursday by the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce.
Earwood has owned the track on U.S. 1 since 1992 and also serves on N.C. Motorsports Advisory Council.
Former state Sen. Richard Conder, who noiminated Earwood, said he was particularly impressed with the number of visitors the track brings into the county each year.
"I am a numbers person, and that means a lot to me," Conder said. "All of the people that were nominated were equally deserving, but Earwood stands out because he works six days a week."
Although he is a resident of Southern Pines, the Richmond County Chamber felt Earwood was worthy of its most prestigious award due to his contributions to the county.
"This is a wonderful honor," Earwood said. "I am so flattered and humbled especially in the company of all the other nominees."
Earwood employs up to 140 people on major race weekends and admitted that "we could have something at the track every day if the weather permitted."
For 20 years Earwood served as a "hired gun" for some of the biggest names in motorsports. He was the media relations director for the National Hot Rod Association, marketing vice president for Billy Meyer's Texas Motorplex, vice president and general manager of Atlanta Dragway and public relations consultant to Raymond Beadle's Blue Max Racing Team when it won the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in 1989.
Earwood's purchase of Rockingham Dragway enabled him to fulfill a childhood dream. He took a track that for 20 years had contested only two races a year and transformed it into a venue with 90 events each season.
Marchell Adams-David, past immediate chairman of the Richmond County Chamber, said Earwood has been a constant player in Richmond County economic development for many years.
"I am delighted to share in the opportunity to reward someone who has done so much to advance the sport, increase exposure to Richmond County and for being creative enough to consistently think outside the box with his annual event schedule," she said.
Diane Honeycutt, past president of Richmond County Community College, said, "Besides being a very successful businessman, Earwood is a person of integrity who supports Richmond County in every way possible. He is constantly hosting and/or sponsoring events to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of our county. Mr. Earwood has worked hard for the county and deserves the honor of being our Citizen of the Year."
More like this story