Bring Back the Rock: Sandhills Open Thread

The history of racing in the south is pretty interesting. The most popular and purely American of theses stories is of Moonshine Runners who souped up their cars to be able to out-run the law. Before I was even a twinkle in my parent's eyes, they were both racing on the beaches in Daytona.

Rockingham Speedway, "The Rock" is a paper clip shaped track on US 1 in Richmond County between Hoffman and the town of Rockingham. This large structure, a monument to all things racing, stands all alone surrounded by fields that twice a year were filled with cars, trucks, campers and motor homes. One small mom and pop gas station is close by, all other businesses require at least a 15-minute drive. This county, like many of its neighboring counties, had earlier been dealt quite a blow as the textile jobs were shipped to Mexico courtesy of NAFTA and CAFTA

Pamela B. Easterling, a resident of the area and student of UNC Pembroke wrote a very interesting thesis titled, NASCAR Has Forsaken It Roots To Move West. ( pdf ) Her theory is that NASCAR doesn't care about the area of its birth; instead they now pander to a richer crowd.

Contrary to the myth of NASCAR attracting
"Rednecks", or Graham Spann's article in the Fall 2002 Journal of Popular Culture, pg 352, claiming NASCAR fans are all white, working class males, Spann contends: "an increasingly large number of dominant group members from high classes enjoy the sport." Subsequently, this may be a primary factor in Rockingham losing both races. An individual of this caliber does not find it entertaining to gather around a campfire indulging in a bowl of catfish stew and a can of Bud Lite.

Today, racing is a multi-million dollar industry with big money sponsors and prizes. Is it any wonder that the owners of speedways in the west want a piece of that pie? The people of Richmond County continue
the fight
and rumors still float in hope of the return of these big dollar races.


I tried to like NASCAR once

but it made my head hurt. Guess that means I'm no NASCAR dad.

As if the area hasn't suffered enough....

There is now a Tax/Sale Issue at the Rock, from Jayski's Silly Season website,

North Carolina Speedway Inc. recently recorded its deed of sale with the county for a fee of $9,000. Richmond County officials contend that’s $191,800 shy of what is owed. The county’s Register of Deeds, Patsy McDonald, based her claim against the facility on an announced purchase amount of $100.4 million. However, an attorney representing the speedway cited the purchase price as $4.5 million. The transaction was part of a lawsuit settlement dated April 8 between SMI shareholder Francis Ferko and NASCAR/ISC. In part, the settlement, reads, “SMI shall purchase from ISC, or an agent designated by ISC, all the assets of North Carolina Speedway, Inc. (‘Rockingham’) for a price of One Hundred Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars …” An ISC spokesman, Wes Harris, said Thursday, “The purchase price to ISC was $100.4 million. That is the actual cost of the sale.” At a rate of $2 per $1,000 of that purchase price, the recording of the deed should have cost $200,800, according to Richmond County sources. Instead, the $9,000 fee from the deed of sale was based on a purchase price of $4.5 million.

We use to live in Pinebluff which is at the lower end of the county, but still a good 20 maybe 30 miles from The Rock. We could sit out in the backyard during race weekend and hear the race from's LOUD!
I love to watch the races, in person not on TV. Use to go to Daytona and Rockingham whenever I could. Now that I've gotten older (and hopefully wiser) I'd rather have the quiet.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

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Best of luck

Some of us are trying to do the same here with the North Wilkesboro Speedway. I've personally been on the project for well over a year. It's an uphill battle, let me tell you.

If I can help on The Rock project, send me a message and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for the offer crowbar

I haven't joined the 'Bring Back the Rock' organization, but I'll forward any info I find if you'd like. Not to mislead anyone, but since I live in the Sandhills and a couple of weeks ago we talked about certain areas of the state putting up posts about their area, that was what I was trying to do. Reporting on local events and such. So when I read about Rockingham I thought it would be a good fit.

I'd love to hear more about your efforts in Wilksboro and what successes you've had. What you're doing to bring the races back and what hurdles you've had to go over. Now that would be interesting!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

The Southern Dem

I think the first post that I ever read by The Southern Dem was about her trip to the races. After that, I was hooked on her blogs. I have never been to a race. I know it's hard to believe being a native and all. I've been told that even your nose holes are black when the race is over. Yuk!!


LOL...guess that depends on the type of track they race on

Never had a problem with being covered in dirt because of the races. Mainly we've stayed in the in-field and if it's dirt and windy, well then you even get to eat dirt. Mostly it's just noisy, I mean really, really loud type noisy. When they rev those motors up, you can feel it in your feet. When the pack comes around that track close to you, you feel the noise.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions