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)
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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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.