Rockingham shines in its return

Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #30 Qualcomm Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway on April 15, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #30 Qualcomm Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway on April 15, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)

It was a Sunday and NASCAR was racing at the place better known as the Rock. That’s something that hasn’t happened since 2004. Rockingham Speedway took center stage Sunday as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raced there for the first time.

NASCAR abandoned Rockingham after the final Cup race in 2004. The executives decided that NASCAR needed to leave its roots and head to bigger tracks, glitzy venues with wet bars, neon lounges and fan amenities never even thought of in the sand hills of North Carolina.

Grass and weeds grew up through the cracks in the rough pavement that was once known for stripping tires and leaving crew chiefs frustrated.  Former driver Andy Hillenberg purchased the old facility in 2007 and set about rebuilding the track that started life as the North Carolina Motor Speedway.  NASCAR teams began testing there. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
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.