ROCKINGHAM — Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood has opted to celebrate 2018 as “the Year of the Bracket Racer.”
In announcing a 2018 schedule anchored by such standards as the Original Super Chevy Show, MOPARS at the Rock, the AMRA Nitro Harley World Finals, the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Series, the ManCup national motorcycle series and the Rugged Maniacs Series, Earwood revealed that more than $1.5 million in cash has been posted for bracket racing in the Top Eliminator, No Box and Footbrake classes.
In fact, if a single driver was to sweep the biggest races of the year at Rockingham, his or her share alone would exceed $500,000.
In addition to the already established Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Series, the Big John Memorial Weekend Bracket Championship and the events promoted by Tony Saraceni’s 1320 productions (the ATI Performance Products Top ET Challenge, Top Bulb Shootout, Third Amber Showdown and Powerfest), Earwood has opted to add a third race to the Rock’s Tri-5s series.
Nevertheless, the biggest monetary impact will come from two new events produced by SFG Promotions.
The SFG Super Bowl of Drag Racing will make its Rockingham debut July 20-22 with a daily winner’s purse of $100,000. It will be followed by SFG’s Racer Appreciation event (Oct. 5-7) which will pay one winner $50,000 each day.
“Right now, bracket racing is a really hot across the country and these big-money races are the attractions,” Earwood said. “We’ve always prided ourselves on being cutting edge, so here we are. It should make for an interesting year.”
Also returning for 2018 will be the Mass Acceleration Motorsports street drags series (starting Feb. 10), the Smokeout Bike Rally (June 14-16), ManCup Motorcycle Series (June 1-3), ADRL’s Dragstock Pro Mod race (Sept. 21-22) and — on the 132-foot track — the International Model Drag Racing Association Eastern Nationals (June 8-10) and World Finals (Oct. 4-7).
New to the schedule, in addition to the SFG events, will be a pair of Jr. Dragster races in the Protect the Harvest Jr. Dragster Super Series (April 20-22) — which will be televised nationally on MAVTV — and the Holiday Jr. Jam (Nov. 23-25).
A full breakdown of the 2018 Rockingham Dragway schedule:
March 4 — Blood, Sweat and Gears
March 31 — 27th annual MOPARS at the Rock featuring Bob Reed Memorial Hemi Shootout
April 8 — Import Faceoff
May 4-5 — Modern Hemi Shootout
May 19 — Rugged Maniacs obstacle-course event
September 16 — Southeastern Volkswagen Association car show and race
September 21-22 — ADRL Dragstock Pro Mods and Jets
September 28-29 — Super Chevy Show
October 19-21 — NHRA Lucas Oil Series event and National Open
Feb. 10, 24; March 3, 9, 30; April 7; June 9; July 7, 14, 28; Aug. 11, 18; Sept. 15; Nov. 10, 17. — Mass Acceleration Motorsports Street Drags
March 16-18 — Rock Racers Appreciation track points 1 and 2
March 22-25 — ATI Top ET Challenge
May 25-27 — Big John Memorial and track points 3, 4 and 5
April 20-22; August 3-5; Nov. 2-5 — Rock Tri-5s
June 22-24 — Elite Top Bulb Shootout
July 19-22 — SFG World Series of Drag Racing
August 24-26 — Carolina Powerfest feature the Blue Light Special
September 8-9 — Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Series and track points 6 and 7
October 4-7 — SFG Racer Appreciation Weekend
October 26-28 — Third Amber Throwdown
June 1-3 — ManCup National Series
June 14-16 — Smokeout Rally
September 2 — Grudgefest IX
October 11-14 — AMRA All-Harley Nitro World Finals featuring the Ray Price Top Fuel Challenge
April 14-15 — Protect the Harvest Super Series (televised on MAVTV)
November 23-25 — Holiday Jr. Jam
SCALE MODEL DRAG RACING
June 8-10 — IMDRA Eastern Nationals
October 4-7 — IMDRA World Finals