Hillenburg optimistic for Rockingham trucks sellout

Andy Hillenburg, Rockingham Speedway president, speaks with the media during the NASCAR tire test at Rockingham Speedway on March 6, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — Rockingham Speedway president Andy Hillenburg is no weatherman, but he sounded like one Saturday afternoon while making his forecast for ticket sales for Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the historic one-mile track.

“Two weeks ago, I would’ve told you that there was no chance we could sell out the Rockingham Speedway for NASCAR’s return,” said Hillenburg. “We were doing well two weeks ago; we’re doing even better today. And sitting here, 24 hours before the race, I’m going to tell you we’ve got a 30 to 40 percent chance of possibly selling out. . . .

“I do expect a crowd of 25,000-plus; we hold 31,000. We are definitely going to rock the house whether it be 25, 26 or 31 (thousand).”

The weather forecast for the Rockingham area may go a long way toward helping Sunday’s walk-up crowd. Temperatures in the low to mid-80s are expected with zero percent chance of rain.

Hillenburg has been credited with reviving the historic track in the years since he bought the facility at auction in October 2007. Now, with NASCAR back in town for the first time since 2004, Hillenburg could hardly contain his pride.

“Here, that’s all everybody’s talking about . . . NASCAR’s return to The Rock,” Hillenburg said. “If I bumped into a pin, I’d probably bust.”


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