Next April, in 2013, it will be deja vu … all over again.
The engines will roar, the NASCAR banners will fly, the green flag will drop and our town will rock again.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is returning to Rockingham Speedway next spring, for a second year.
All thanks to a good guy named Andy, who fought for his dream, and the city that stood with him and helped that dream come alive in bold colors and loud noises in April 2012.
Andy made history that day. Rockingham made history that day. We made history that day.
NASCAR had never returned to a track it had abandoned. Until this year. Right here in Rockingham. History was made on a sun-soaked Sunday, April 15, when The Rock was reborn.
Before that glorious day, the last NASCAR-sanctioned race had been held back in 2004, and for several years the fate of The Rock was questionable.
Investment and the installation of safety walls around the famed track helped lure NASCAR back to Rockingham.
It was one year ago this month that Rockingham Speedway announced it would once again be home to NASCAR-sanctioned racing, with the addition of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200.
“In 2007, we set a goal to return Rockingham Speedway to its roots,” said Andy Hillenburg, president of Rockingham Speedway. “The introduction of the truck series to Rockingham Speedway is representative of years of hard work and the support of the county, city and state government officials, who understood the positive economic impact a NASCAR-sanctioned race could offer to the Piedmont region.”
That was Andy 12 months ago.
Here’s Andy speaking on Wednesday evening: “We got our report card from NASCAR, and it looks like we got an A+,” said Hillenburg of NASCAR’s April return to Rockingham.
“Fans, drivers, teams; everyone embraced our 2012 event,” said Hillenburg. “I’m happy to announce that with their help, we’ll do it again in 2013 — bigger and better than ever before.”
With that, Hillenburg made it official, confirming that the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to The Rock on April 12-14, 2013.
Tickets are already on sale.
“It’s been a long road back since we bought this race track in 2007,” Hillenburg said. “There were a few times along the way where I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. But when I looked up in the grandstands during driver introductions in April, it made me extremely proud. That was a very important day in the history of Rockingham Speedway, but it was just one step on the road. We’re moving forward, and I look forward to packing the grandstands again next April.
“The Rock is back, and we’re looking forward to another great race on April 14, 2013,” he said.
City, county and state leaders, along with business owners, campers, and race fans from far and wide, all played a role in helping to bring NASCAR back to its roots. We can congratulate ourselves for a job well done.
Welcome back, NASCAR, we’re just getting warmed up.