First Posted: 3/26/2012
ROCKINGHAM —Less than three weeks remain before the green flag will fall at the first NASCAR-sanctioned race at the Rockingham Speedway in eight years.
With April 15 rapidly approaching, Robert Ingraham, the track’s director of operations, has been busy with a to-do list which NASCAR as well as track owner Andy Hillenburg want accomplished before the Camping World Truck Series teams unload.
“I think next Friday we will be about 99 percent done,” Ingraham said. “The rain set us back a little bit, but we are where we want to be right now.”
The painting of the new SAFER, “soft wall,” barriers is completed and the lining of the track should take place this week barring any weather setbacks.
In addition to the soft walls, two of the most notable changes inside the track involves the tower and Victory Lane. The tower was painted to cover up the track’s former name “North Carolina Speedway.” After being located behind pit road, Victory Lane was moved to just off the track surface in front of the grandstands. Track officials said the new venue will allow fans to see and be involved in the winner’s celebration.
Ingraham added his goal as well as Hillenburg’s is to return the 47-year-old track to its glory. Ingraham understands it will be tough after “The Rock” has been absent from the NASCAR schedule for 2,974 days.
“We are wanting to do it the right way,” Ingraham said. “Mike Hillman from Hillman Racing stopped in and said he was shocked at how good it looks. We want patrons to say it looks like it did when it opened.”
For more information on the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine, or to purchase tickets contact Rockingham Speedway at 910-205-8800 or visit www.rockinghamspeedway.com.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at [email protected]