New tires will be created for Rockingham Speedway
The CARS Tour recently completed two test sessions at Rockingham Speedway. This marks the first time cars have touched the track since 2013.
Dan Lovenheim recently purchased the track. An extensive refurbishing project went underway with the plan of returning to racing. The facility will also be used for concerts and other large-scale events.
Related: Rockingham Speedway: Cars on track ahead of first race since 2013 (Video)
The CARS Tour had a race scheduled for March. It would have been the grand re-opening for racing at the famed North Carolina track.
In the opening practice round it was the first time cars touched the track in 8 years. The track was already rough before, 8 years of further weathering only made it worse (or better). Tire took a beating, more than series officials expected.
Restrictor plates at Rockingham Speedway?
Timothy Peters, Ryan Wilson and Zachary Marks we involved in the second test session a few days later. To their surprise, chunks of the racing surface were ripping from the ground. One of the junks punctured the nose of Peters’ machine.
After the second session, CARS Tour operator Jack McNelly, Hoosier Tire rep Jeff Freeman and event promoter Charlie Hansen announced that a restrictor plate would be used to keep speeds down and prevent tires from coming apart.
Concerns from the fans and drivers were worried about the quality of the upcoming race. Restrictor plates would likely create a full-throttle scenario.
Now, the race date has been pushed back due to more pending R&D. Officials have determined that a new tire would need to be created to host an event on the old surface. Which they intend to do…
CARS Tour statement
Message from Race Promoters Mike Stodder and Charlie Hansen:
“We’ve had a lot of discussion with all involved over the last several days since concluding our second tire test this past Tuesday December 22nd. It has been determined, in the best interest of competitors and fans, the best way forward is to develop a new tire for the Rockingham surface.”
“If we moved forward in March with what we currently have, we’d potentially have to change tires twice during a 75-lap race, and that is not good for the racers, from an expense standpoint, or for the fans as far as seeing a good show. We are dedicated in providing a great experience for both the competitors and the race fans!”
“With that said, we are postponing the March 6th show and have rescheduled it for Saturday October 30th. By moving this date, it gives us the necessary time to work closely with Hoosier Tire, and the CARS Tour, in developing and testing this new tire compound.”
“This needs to be done. It is important for us to have a tire, not only for this race, but for races at Rockingham in the future.”
“The safety of the competitors, and the enjoyment of the event by fans, will always take priority. I think we’re all disappointed that we’ll have to wait a little longer to see racing at Rockingham, but this short delay will make things better overall for the future of this storied facility.”
“Special thanks to Dan Lovenheim, and the entire Rockingham Properties LLC team, for the dedication and flexibility to make this event happen.More information about the race, practice dates, ticket sales, etc. will be released mid-summer.”
“We want to thank everyone for the overwhelming response in bringing racing back to Rockingham. It has been nothing short of spectacular and we sincerely appreciate all the kind words and support.”