Raleigh investors buy Rockingham Speedway

By: By Gavin Stone - The Richmond County Daily Journal

ROCKINGHAM — A group of Raleigh investors Wednesday bought the Rockingham Speedway.

Dan Lovenheim, part owner of Capital City Tavern and other properties in Raleigh, confirmed Wednesday morning his intention to purchase the property.

The Rockingham Speedway opened in 1965 and was a major draw to the area for nearly 40 years but has not held an event since a Camping World Truck Series race in April 2013. It has since changed hands multiple times, with Billy Silas of BK Rock Holdings being the most recent owner.

A wave of nostalgia for the Speedway’s heyday has swept the area and the sport of late as signage has been cleared to make way for an expansion of U.S. 1. Earlier this month, Riley Puckett, caretaker for the track, took a back-hoe to the plaster street sign which prompted a mad dash to preserve the history that involved the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Petty.

“I watched my dad and all the greats race at Rockingham. I was very fortunate and blessed to race there and have some success,” Petty said in an email. “I’ve seen so many tracks in my lifetime come and go, but Rockingham will always hold a special place in my heart.”

A few days later, a crew removed a granite marker denoting a parking lot as “Darrell Waltrip Blvd.” in honor of his accomplishments at the track.

In July, the Charlotte Observer reported that several NASCAR stars were tweeting back and forth about some of their “dream tracks” that no longer hold events. Kasey Kahne, who lost to Matt Kenseth by one of the tightest margins in NASCAR history at the last Sprint Cup Series race at the Speedway in 2004, tweeted, “The Rock,” as his dream track.

By Gavin Stone

The Richmond County Daily Journal

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]