ROCKINGHAM — Do dragsters really rule bracket racing?
Well, that topic will be subject to debate once again this week when Rockingham Dragway plays host to the annual Rock Tri-Fives, a bracket racing free-for-all in which last year Chevrolet street cars won twice as many times as dragsters.
Expected to return in the hope of duplicating last year’s success are Dan Birt (Barnwell, S.C.), winner of one of last year’s $5,000 winners’ shares in his 1981 Chevy Camaro, and Chris Dean (Sanford) — another $5,000 winner at the wheel of his early model 1969 Camaro.
It’s a Footbrake-versus-Top Eliminator shootout in which drivers race against like vehicles for the first four rounds after which it’s every man or woman for his or herself.
Also returning as a defending champion will be Michael Paschal (Pleasant Garden) who averted a dragster shutout when he claimed last year’s Sunday prize in a final round unlikely to be duplicated this time out.
Paschal actually beat himself last year, although not in a bad way. Taking advantage of the event’s double-entry option, he advanced to the final from both sides of the elimination ladder, not only taking home the $5,000 winner’s share but also the $1,500 earmarked for the runner-up.
The three-day event also will crown Jr. Dragster champions on Saturday and Sunday with $500 to the winners and $200 to the runners-up. The track will be open from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Thursday for early parking.
Gates will open Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. with time trials, a free Run for the Money and eliminations to follow.
Spectator admission is $40 for all three days, $35 for Saturday and Sunday or $15 for Sunday only. Children under 12 are free with a ticketed adult and parking is always free in Rockingham Dragway’s main lot.