Stories of the year: Rockingham Speedway on track to be sold again


By William R. Toler - wtoler@civitasmedia.com



William R. Toler | Daily Journal A car zooms around the track at Rockingham Speedway during a March tire-testing session for the Super Cup Stock Car Series. The speedway has been up for sale since mid-November.


STORIES OF THE YEAR: NO. 5

The Daily Journal is reviewing Richmond County’s top 10 stories of 2016. Stories of the year are being published in reverse order beginning Tuesday and will conclude on Saturday.

ROCKINGHAM — After switching hands several times over the past 20 years, one of racing’s most well-known tracks is waiting for a new owner.

Rockingham Speedway was listed for sale in mid-September by Iron Horse Properties, LLC after the company negotiated to act as real estate agent for track owner BK Rock Holdings, LLC.

With a purchase price of $3,795,000, Iron Horse’s Mark Baysek said the agreement is “strictly” for the real property and improvements on the roughly 250 acres. However, he added that “if someone made an enticing enough offer,” he feels the owners would “entertain” the idea of including the personal property, including the track’s pickup trucks.

The speedway property, which includes the 1.017-mile oval track as well as a half-mile track, is valued at $6.85 million, according to Richmond County tax records.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Many residents of Richmond County would like to see the speedway return to its glory days of racing.

The mile-long track was a stock car staple for nearly 40 years after it opened as North Carolina Motor Speedway in 1965

However, that would take quite an investment, as the track has sat mostly idle since the last NASCAR truck race in 2013.

Craig Northacker, of Vets-Help.org, had announced plans to purchase the track in late 2014 and create a center for veterans.

Having a lease on the property, signed by former owner Andy Hillenburg, several people working with Northacker had scheduled multiple events at the speedway for this year, including an entire race series. One of the last actions at the track was tire testing for the Super Cup Stock Car Series, which had scheduled to hold its banquet at Rockingham.

BK Rock Holdings bought the promissory note from Farmers and Merchants Bank — which had initiated foreclosure proceedings against Hillenburg and Bill Silas — in November 2015. Silas is manager of BK Rock.

A Raleigh attorney representing BK Rock Holdings, placed a $3 million credit bid during a public auction at the Richmond County Judicial Center in May.

WHAT’S NEXT

Iron Horse officials say there has been some interest in the track, including “a group from another country,” but not contract has been put on the table.

Racing fans have suggested on social media that the speedway be bought by current or former drivers, like Jeff Gordon, who cut his stock car teeth at Rockingham while attending the Buck Baker Racing School.

Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.

William R. Toler | Daily Journal A car zooms around the track at Rockingham Speedway during a March tire-testing session for the Super Cup Stock Car Series. The speedway has been up for sale since mid-November.
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_speedway_testbothcarsr.jpgWilliam R. Toler | Daily Journal A car zooms around the track at Rockingham Speedway during a March tire-testing session for the Super Cup Stock Car Series. The speedway has been up for sale since mid-November.

By William R. Toler

wtoler@civitasmedia.com

STORIES OF THE YEAR: NO. 5

The Daily Journal is reviewing Richmond County’s top 10 stories of 2016. Stories of the year are being published in reverse order beginning Tuesday and will conclude on Saturday.

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