Since opening in 1965, Rockingham Speedway has seen its share of champions crowned.
That tradition continues in 2012 as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the UARA-STARS Late Model Series are set to host their season-ending races at the famed one-mile speedway on November 3.
“These are awesome additions to the 2012 schedule at Rockingham,” said speedway President Andy Hillenburg. “It’s great to be back in the NASCAR fold and to continue the great relationship we’ve built with the UARA.”
The K&N Pro Series East, which has been in competition since 1987, is NASCAR’s premier driver development series. In recent years, Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano have used the series as a steppingstone to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Austin Dillon, the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, was the K&N Pro Series East championship runner up in 2008.
“I’ve never actually been to Rockingham Speedway, but I’ve heard so many great things about it,” said Sergio Pena, winner of three K&N East races in 2011. “I’ve heard it’s a driver’s track. Most of the teams haven’t been to Rockingham with these cars. It’s always exciting to see who can learn the quickest with a lot of drivers making their first appearance at a track.”
The Whelen Southern Modified Tour, founded in 2005, competes on short tracks in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, including famed Bowman Gray Stadium and Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I was really excited when I heard that Rockingham Speedway will host a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race,” 2011 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III said. “This will be an historic event for our tour. I am sure everyone associated with the Whelen Southern Modifieds will mark this race on the schedule.
“Ending our season at a one-mile track will be interesting and I can’t think of a more exciting place for the drivers and fans to have our champion crowned.”
The November 3 event will be the first stand-alone race in K&N Pro Series East history on the high banks of Rockingham Speedway. The then-Busch East Series raced in conjunction with the NASCAR Nationwide Series at The Rock from 1987-1992.
The Whelen Southern Modified Tour appearance at Rockingham will marks the first time the tour has contested a race on a one-mile speedway.
For the UARA, 2012 marks the third consecutive year the series ends its season at Rockingham. In 2010, Coleman Pressley claimed the UARA title at the speedway and Brenna Poole hoisted the championship trophy at Rockingham in 2011.
“We couldn’t be happier about going back to Rockingham twice in 2012,” said Scott Turlington, who has run every UARA race at Rockingham Speedway. “Heading there with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Southern Modified tour is going to ratchet that excitement up even more. Rockingham is a tough race track, but I feel like we have gotten better there each time we have run.”
The November 3 race will be the UARA’s second Rockingham stop in 2012. They will be in action on April 14 in conjunction with the April 15 running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance 200.