ROCKINGHAM – The CARS Tour announced Thursday evening that Rockingham Speedway will be the site of its 2021 season opening on March 6, 2021.
“People are all clamoring to bring racing back to this part of the country and especially to Rockingham, and I hope we get this thing right and COVID doesn’t get in our way,” McNelly said. “I just hope the racing fans and the community really support this event. I think this is very important for the region you are in.
Rockingham Speedway is owned by a group called Rockingham Properties LLC, run by majority owner Dan Lovenheim in Raleigh. According to McNelly, this group rented the track for the CARS Tour event from a company called Red Dot LLC, and this group contacted the CARS Tour to come to the track to present the show.
“From what I understand, they’re going to have two other classes (of cars in competition) as well, but I’m not sure what,” McNelly said. “But, our cars will be headlining and we’re going to have a 100-lap event and you have to pay $ 10,000 to win. So, I think we are going to attract a good quality field for our event.
Representatives of the Speedway could not be reached on Thursday. Lovenheim did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
McNelly said Speedway ownership wants to bring racing back to the track in a limited way. The site has not hosted a racing event since the Camping World Truck Series race in April 2013. The CARS Tour racing event will serve as a “race test” for track owners to judge logistical feasibility. and financial for their ability to continue. to bring more racing events to the track in the future, according to McNelly.
“The track surface is in good condition,” said McNelly. “There are things that need to be touched up, of course. But, they have the desire to bring the race back on a limited basis. “
Currently in North Carolina, state COVID-19 restrictions allow 7% capacity for large venues with a capacity of more than 10,000 seats. The capacity of Rockingham Speedway is approximately 34,500, which means that under current restrictions, a maximum of 2,415 people would be allowed to attend.
However, there is no way to predict where the state will be with respect to the pandemic and the relevant restrictions four months from now.
“If the promoters [Red Dot LLC] can’t have fans, naturally (the event) won’t happen because they need the income from the Gates to make it happen, ”McNelly said. “All of us, myself included, just hope and pray that it doesn’t get worse and the powers that be go completely mad and lock up again, bankrupting us all.”
McNelly said he started the tour in 2011 as the “Pro Cup Series”. In 2015, they upgraded to double classes with the super late model and late model stock cars that they now run.
“Our series is a traveling series,” McNelly said. “We are not staying on one track. We travel everywhere. We travel through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Many people call them NASCAR Late Model Stocks because it is the same vehicle that runs on Saturday nights on NASCAR tracks.
The CARS Tour is based in Mooresville and is sponsored by Solid Rock Carriers.
The most recent event held at Rockingham Speedway was the ‘victory lap’ for the Richmond High School graduates on June 12th.
“I mean, the facility is there,” McNelly said. “I think [the owners], they spent a lot of money on it. I’m sure they want to start doing something, shake things up, and get a little return on their investment.
Contact Neel Madhavan at 910-817-2671 ext. 2751 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at @NeelMadhavan.