ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – If there was any question as to whether drag racing has become a woman’s world, it was answered Thursday in the first round of racing in the PINKS All Out Festival at Rockingham Dragway where Sarah Boyce of New Derry, Pa., beat Tricia Clary of Mechanicsville, Va., in the first all-female final in series history.

Boyce, who races her yellow 1989 Ford Mustang on a regular basis at Pittsburgh Raceway Park in New Alexandria, Pa., spotted Clary a car length head start before tracking her down for the runoff win.

Boyce was the 11-12 second bracket winner Thursday while Clary, who usually races her black 1984 Chevy Camaro at Richmond Dragway near Sandston, Va., won the over-12 bracket. Each driver collected a $2,500 top prize but declined to risk it in a one-race “winner-take-all” option.

Racing continued on Friday in the 10-second bracket featuring the arm drop start introduced by series creator Rich Christensen when PINKS debuted to rave reviews in 2005 when Hot Rod Magazine called it “the hottest car show on TV.”

More than $30,000 in cash and awards will have been distributed by the time racing ends Saturday evening.
Rockingham Dragway Hosts 4th of July Festival

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – A decade after it debuted to rave reviews and record-breaking numbers, the innovative reality series Hot Rod Magazine called “the hottest car show on television” returns this week to Rockingham Dragway.

PINKS: All Out is back and Rockingham owner Steve Earwood believes that in its third incarnation, it still resonates with grassroots drag racers.

“Every year, new racers come into the sport who have only heard about PINKS,” Earwood said. “Now they have a chance to live the PINKS experience like Tracy Cockman did here in 2007.”

Cockman was a local racer who drove his Ford Mustang to a $10,000 payday when PINKS first visited The Rock. Earwood said it is the chance to win that kind of money and do it in front of a national audience that continues to attract grassroots racers.

“Rich (Christensen, the visionary who created PINKS and later, PINKS: All Out) came up with a concept that resonated with the weekend racer,” Earwood said. “These are the men and women who usually race in obscurity at tracks like mine just for the love of the sport.

“Most of them don’t have the money, the time or even the desire to race in the NHRA series, the IHRA series or the PDRA series but this is a one-shot deal to show off their cars and their skills on a national stage and, believe me, they’re just as proud of their racing as John Force is of his,” Earwood said, alluding to the 16-time NHRA Funny Car Champion.

One of the simplest yet most intriguing features of PINKS is the arm drop start developed by Christensen to negate all of the electronic aides that have ruined drag racing for so many traditionalists.

The arm drop start is only slightly removed from the flagged start that was used in drag racing’s formative years and it is so random that there is no way for the electronic “enhancers” to anticipate the start.

“It’s a fair system,” Earwood said, “but it’s also good TV because Rich and Brian (Bossone, executive producer of the TV show) are the consummate showmen.”
The essence of the concept is the “negotiation” in which the car perceived to be the stronger of the two in competition is handicapped for such items as nitrous oxide use or weight or engine displacement.

The goal Wednesday through Saturday will be to find groups of vehicles, cars, trucks and motorcycles that are evenly matched to compete for the big money at the end of each day. Action on the track starts on Wednesday at noon and at 9am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Grudge races, quick eight races and daily testing will help set the final field and distribute some of the $30,000 in available cash and prizes. In addition to the racing, the rock group “All of a Kind” will perform on Thursday evening there will be fireworks on July 3rd at the conclusion of the day’s competition.

Adult spectator and crew tickets are $15 daily. Children eleven and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and parking is free in Rockingham’s main lot.

Limited camping is available along with preferred parking inside the track.

Records Could Fall When Pro Modified Series Returns September 10-12

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – With the PDRA Pro Modified series accelerating to its mid-point this week at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park outside Martin, Mich., work already is underway at Rockingham Dragway in anticipation of the September 10-12 return of Dragstock XII, the event that forever changed the performance landscape in professional drag racing.

It was the success of the original Dragstock that led to the launch of a full series of events for Pro Mods at an eighth-mile distance that irked some racing purists but proved to be perfect for the powerful-but-erratic short wheelbase cars that have caught the attention of the racing public like nothing since the Funny Cars of the 1960s.

“It’s a great show,” said Rockingham owner Steve Earwood. “It may be a straight track but these cars never go straight. They run right on the ragged edge every run and I think that’s what appeals to our fans. It’s amazing how much racing can really occur in three and a half seconds – but it does.”

As the eighth of 10 events in the series, Dragstock once again will play a major role in determining Pro Modified season champions in the Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost classes as well as in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

“The Pro Mod cars remind me an awful lot of the Funny Cars of the 1970s in the fact that they’re outlaws who kind of built a reputation on their own before they were reluctantly embraced by the NHRA,” Earwood said. “That’s the same thing that happened with the Funny Cars. The fans loved them before the establishment did.”

Another attraction of the class is its diversity. No other racing series has more diversity in drivers, in vehicles or in technology.

By way of illustration, in just the two years it has been in existence, the PDRA already has had a woman winner in Lizzy Musi of Mooresville, N.C., an African-American winner in Travis Harvey of Elon, N.C., and a winner of Arabic descent in Mustafa Buhumaid of Dubai, the current point leader in Pro Extreme.

As for the cars, they include everything from a 1955 Chevy Nomad wagon to a 2010 Nissan 350 ZX; a 1953 Studebaker to a 2000 Viper; a 1941 Willys to a 1970 Plymouth Duster; a 1957 Chevy Bel Air to a 2015 Cadillac CTS; a 1967 Mustang to a 1969 Chevelle although the vehicles of preference remain 1969 Camaros and 1963 Corvettes.

And power? The choices are equally outrageous. There are supercharged engines, nitrous oxide-injected engines and turbocharged engines. There are engines that displace as much a 903 cubic inches constructed by some of the biggest names in drag racing including Reher-Morrison, Sonny Leonard and Pat Musi.

Somehow, though, the series has remained uniquely competitive. Through this year’s first five races, only one Pro Mod driver in the three primary categories has won more than one race. That’s Jason Scruggs of Saltillo, Miss., who won back-to-back Pro Extreme races at Shreveport, La., and Madison, Ill. (St. Louis).

“We take great pride in our track prep and I think it shows in the fact that Frankie Taylor ran 3.485 at The Rock a year ago,” Earwood said. “No one’s ever run quicker.”

He could have added, “yet,” because if conditions are right in September, all the PDRA records could be in jeopardy including those set previously at Rockingham.

Track owner Steve Earwood and Dieffenbach GM Super Store General Manager Jeff Dieffenbach have confirmed that the Rockingham General Motors dealership has renewed its sponsorship of the Classic Rock Super Chevy Show presented by Richmond County Tourism, which returns to Rockingham Dragway Oct. 9-11.

The sport’s largest all-Chevy event, the Dieffenbach GM Superstore Super Chevy Show will feature bowtie action both on and off the track with a car show, swap meet and Chevrolet product displays along with a full slate of drag races.

The Dieffenbach GM Superstore, located at 1209 E. Broad Avenue in Rockingham, is a one-stop source for everything branded with the Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Buick logos as well as for service on all makes and models. Dieffenbach technicians are trained and equipped to handle everything from oil changes to tire rotations to brakes, batteries and multi-point vehicle inspections.

“The Dieffenbach GM Superstore is where you can get one of those Camaro 2LT coupes with the 6.2 liter V8,” Earwood said. “That’s one fast hot rod and you can bring it out to The Rock and shake it down whenever you want and maybe even bring it to the big race in the fall. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Jeff Dieffenbach and his crew at the dealership”.
"THE ROCK"  Always Action Packed and Extremely Fast For All Race Cars & Bikes!!