Welcome to The ROCK | 2022 NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals from Rockingham, NC
Photos by StacyStangz
Tucked away in a quiet corner of rural North Carolina sits two historic motorsports complexes that are both finding new life in 2022. Situated on either side of US Highway 1 is Rockingham Speedway, which is a 1 mile oval opened in 1965 and home to some of the greatest stock car racing in history, and opposite it is Rockingham Dragway. While the Speedway saw its last NASCAR Cup race in 2004, renewed interest and a multi-million dollar injection of stimulus money has it on track to see major racing events return in the near future. However, the drag strip across the road has been continuously operating since 1970 and has a schedule full of new racing events on deck in 2022.
Over the next several weeks The Rock will play host to Street Car Takeover, Modern Street Hemi Shootout, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA National Open, and even Donk Racing Donkapalooza. However, we’re on site this weekend for the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals. That race is traditionally held at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA. Unfortunately; that track is but one of a number of motorsports venues that have fallen victim to closure due to local development, in this case an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant. Still, the NMRA/NMCA crew saw this as an opportunity to bring their form of grass roots drag racing back to The Carolinas for the first time in several years.
The SVTP crew rolled into the track on Thursday evening to find an already impressive crowd of racers on site and making test hits. By the time I got stirring around outside this morning there was already a line of racers about an 1/8 mile long waiting at the gates to get in. If the early indicators are correct, I expect a sizable crowd for the domestic racing action this weekend. The vendor midway has many of our favorites; including Team Beefcake Racing, HP Tuners, Livernois Motorsports, Johnny Lightning Performance, Mahle, Sun Coast, Mickey Thompson Tires, Trickflow, Holley, VP Fuels, and more. Food options look pretty good, especially the BBQ (side note: they even have a cigar vendor and beef jerky salesman on premises), and if the temps stay in the 80’s I may have to partake in an ice cream or two over the weekend.
I expect the racing action to be exciting. The track prep team is putting in overtime to make sure the racing surface is properly sticky, and evening temps drop off quickly as the sun sets. I doubt we’ll see Bowling Green-like times, but the cars should be very competitive. In any event, the weather looks to be beautiful for the next few days and there’s no better place to be this weekend than at the track. I love the smell of VHT in the morning. I’ll be updating this thread throughout the weekend with more pics and a handful of videos, so be sure to keep an eye on this thread or make the trip out to The Rock. Either way you won’t be disappointed.