Top Eliminator, Footbrake Now a Chevy vs. the World Affair Open to All Makes

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Morning rain and an unfavorable forecast compelled Rockingham Dragway officials to cancel Saturday’s program and condense the annual Dieffenbach Superstore Super Chevy Show into a single, action-packed Sunday punctuated by drag racing, show cars and a swap meet.

In addition to the 4.70 Outlaws, Sunday’s full schedule will include the DOT class and bracket racing in the Top Eliminator, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster classes with the event expanded to include all makes and models in a special "Chevy vs. The World" showdown.

Top Eliminator will pay a $4,200 winner’s purse with $1,400 the runner-up and $500 each to the semifinalists, $250 quarterfinals. Footbrake payout will be $2,500 to win, $800 runner-up and $275 to the semifinalists, $140 to the quarterfinals. Jr. Dragster purse will include $450 to win and $175 to the runner-up.

Entry fee for the one-day shootout is $90 in Top Eliminator and Footbrake; $60 in Jr. Dragster. Each class will pay purse money to the final 16 in competition.

Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, the Jet Dragsters were unable to stay for Sunday’s show.

The car show will continue as scheduled with car show awards at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Gates open at 8 a.m. with time trials at 9 and eliminations to follow.
Vintage Chevys Versus Late Models in All-GM Event at The Rock

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Vintage Chevys go head-to-head with late model Camaros and Cobalts this week (October 10-11) when the 4.70 Outlaws return to Rockingham Dragway as part of the annual Dieffenbach Superstore Super Chevy Show presented by the Richmond County Tourism Authority.

The Outlaws, who race Pro Mod cars against a 4.70 second target, will share center stage with a massive GM car and truck show, GM-only bracket races and exhibition runs by the world’s quickest and fastest steel-bodied Chevrolet.

For Chevrolet enthusiasts, it’s the closest thing to nirvana.

The car show boasts everything from Cobalts to Corvairs; Corvettes to Cavaliers; Impalas to El Caminos; Bel Airs to Berettas; Novas to Nomads; Chevelles to Chevettes; Citations to Chevy IIs; and S-10s and Silverados to Suburbans plus a host of other entries from Chevy sisters Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac.

Throw in a midway featuring the latest from the Dieffenbach Superstore and all the parts and pieces necessary to individualize them, add a pair of jet-powered dragsters capable of 300 miles per hour and you have a program that gives the event its “super” designation.

Significantly, the top six cars in 4.70 Outlaw points are Chevys.

Current point leader Donnie Gibbs Sr. of Mooresville drives a 1992 Camaro while closest pursuers David Lambert of Kannapolis, Dale McSwain of Norwood and Nick Cline of Mooresville respectively race in a 1966 Chevy II, a 2013 Camaro and a 1937 Chevy coupe.

Among those hoping to gain ground at The Rock are Donnie Gibbs Jr., son of the point leader, in a vintage 1963 Corvette, and Salisbury’s Jeremy Youker, driving a 2010 Chevy Cobalt.

If that’s not enough to provide any Chevy fan with his or her “fix,” then there’s the 1969 Camaro Z28 of Doug Cline that’ll be making 170 mile and hour exhibition runs. The steel-bodied, 3,000 pound “daily driver” gets 10 miles per gallon on the street before Cline converts it to racing mode where twin turbos deliver 3,100 horsepower from a 598 cubic inch all-aluminum engine.

Daily admission to the bowtie festival is $20 for adults although an all-inclusive $35 ticket is available providing admission and pit access for all three days. Children six and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and, as always, parking is free in Rockingham Dragway’s main lot.

Saturday’s program features Outlaw 4.70 qualifying at 11 a.m. and 12 noon and the first round of eliminations at 2:30 p.m. Saturday car show judging begins at 10:30 a.m. with awards presented at 4 p.m. Racing to championships in Top Eliminator, Footbrake, Jr. Dragster and the DOT Tire class begins at 1 p.m.

On Sunday, first round eliminations in the DriveDuracell.com Pro ET Challenge (which pays a $3,000 winner’s purse) begins at 10 a.m. with eliminations in Footbrake Jr. Dragster and the DOT Tire class to follow along with the resumption of 4.70 Outlaw racing.

Also included in Saturdays’ show will be the jet powered dragsters of Jill Fazekas and Robert Albertson, drivers of the “Queen of Diamonds II” and “Blazing Angel” jets, respectively.

Photos: Gary Rowe / RaceWorks.com
4.70 Outlaws, Jets, Car Shows, Bracket Races at Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – The 4.70 Outlaws, two jet dragsters, an outrageous steel-bodied 1969 Camaro, daily bracket races and the largest gathering of GM show cars in the Carolinas are among the features of the annual Dieffenbach Superstore Super Chevy Show, Oct. 9-11, at Rockingham Dragway.

Presented by the Richmond County Tourism Authority, the event features Chevrolets of every shape, size and description along with a multitude of cousins wearing Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, GMC, Saturn and Cadillac identification.

A 12 noon-7 p.m. test session on Friday, Oct. 9, will be followed by two days of drag racing and car show judging augmented by a swap meet and a vendor midway featuring the latest Chevy car models as well as the latest parts and pieces with which to personalize them.

On the track, one of the featured vehicles will be Doug Cline’s 1969 Camaro Z28, a 3,000 pound daily driver powered by an all-aluminum 598 cubic inch, twin turbo engine producing 3,100 horsepower.

Cline has outfitted the relatively inconspicuous orange Chevy with two separate fuel tanks (one for pump gasoline and one for racing gas) that make the switch from street mode to race mode possible in just 10 minutes.

On the Street, Cline’s Camaro gets 10 miles to the gallon. On the track, it has covered the quarter mile in 6.74 seconds at 174 miles per hour.

Daily admission is $20 for adults although an all-inclusive $35 ticket is available that provides admission and pit access for all three days. Children six and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and, as always, parking is free in Rockingham Dragway’s main lot.

Saturday’s program includes Outlaw 4.70 qualifying at 11 a.m. and 12 noon and the first round of eliminations at 2:30 p.m. Saturday car show judging begins at 10:30 a.m. with awards presented at 4 p.m. Racing to championships in Top Eliminator, Footbrake, Jr. Dragster and the DOT Tire class begins at 1 p.m.

Closing the show on Saturday will be a match race between Jill Fazekas and Robert Albertson, the respective drivers of the “Queen of Diamonds II” and “Blazing Angel” jet-powered dragsters capable of achieving finish line speeds in excess of 300 mph.

On Sunday, first round eliminations in Top Eliminator, Footbrake, Jr. Dragster and DOT begin at 10 a.m. followed by a resumption of racing for the 4.70 Outlaws championship. Sunday’s car show awards will be presented at 3 p.m.
Coverage of Dieffenbach All-Chevy Event on Velocity TV

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Menards, the third largest home improvement retail chain in the U.S., has acquired naming rights to the weekly Manufacturers Chevy Series that will air on Velocity TV starting Saturday, Oct. 3. Shows will run consecutively on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m., Eastern time, through Dec. 26.

The Menards Chevy Series, boasting TV coverage of some of the hottest Chevys both on-the-track and off, will move to Rockingham Dragway Oct. 9-11 for the Dieffenbach Superstore all-Chevy event featuring some of the most outstandingly restored and customized Chevrolets in the country.

The car show portion of the three-day event will feature everything from Chevelles, Corvettes and Camaros to Cobalts, Corvairs and Cavaliers – and everything in between. Because of the track’s proximity to Fort Bragg, a large number of show cars and race cars are hobby vehicles maintained by active military members.

The shows are filmed on-site at a dozen of the nation’s top drag racing facilities. In addition to Rockingham, the Menards Chevy Series show will provide coverage from Palm Beach, Fla., Memphis, Tenn., Tucson, Ariz., Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colo., Richmond, Va., Martin, Mich., Reading, Pa., Bristol, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., and Bakersfield, Calif.

Menards long has been a retail destination for motorsports fans due to its promotions with teams in NASCAR, ARCA, IndyCar and NHRA. Its sponsorship of the Menards Chevy Series reflects a further expansion of its motorsports program.

Several brands available in Menards stores, such as True Science pet health, also support the series and participate in the TV show as a way of highlighting its products. The Minties Top Dog Award by True Science was presented at each car show in recognition of particularly outstanding entry.
Donnie Allison also Receives Plague on Auto Racing Walk of Fame

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – One of the most legendary teams in Carolina motorsports history was honored this week by the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame and, for the very first time, it was a team that never took the checkered flag at Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Rockingham or even Bowman-Gray.

Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin earned their in-ground plaque on the auto racing Walk of Fame not for turning hard left, but for negotiating drag racing’s straight line better than anyone else in the era in which the straight-line sport developed its unique personality.

The legendary Sox and Martin team, based in Burlington, N.C., was anchored by driver Sox, owner Martin, engine builders Jake King and Randy Norton and do-it-all Dave Christie, who worked with sponsors including Plymouth.

Although the Sox and Martin name already was well known within the sport because of the team’s Super Stock dominance in the 1960s (in an era in which there were only four races in the NHRA series, Sox won five times from 1967 through 1969), it wasn’t until the NHRA introduced its new factory hot rod class that it took on legendary status.

Sox won nine of the first 15 NHRA Pro Stock races and the team won 10 (with Herb McCandless taking a Sox and Martin Plymouth to victory at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 1970). Sox succeeded McCandless a year later and the team’s legacy was secure.

Unfortunately, Sox died in 2013 and wasn’t on hand when the team became the first from drag racing honored by the NCARHOF.

“This is a great honor not only for Sox and Martin but for all of drag racing,” Martin said in ceremonies in front of the Charles Mack Citizens Center. “To be in the company of people like Dale Earnhardt (Sr.), Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and the Allisons is really a credit to the great people we had.”

Honored with Sox and Martin was Donnie Allison, brother of previous Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Allison of NASCAR’s famous “Alabama Gang.”

Others attending the event, in addition to Martin and the Allison brothers, were Ned Jarrett, Waddell Wilson, drag racers Jim Oddy, Doug Herbert and Roy Hill and Steve Earwood, owner and operator of Rockingham Dragway and chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association.

“We are very happy to honor the first drag racing team on the Walk of Fame here in Mooresville,” said Don Miller, Chairman of the Board of the NCARHOF, “and I am also very excited that, thanks to Travers Webb, we (had) two of the Sox and Martin cars at the dedication plus Richard Petty’s 43 Junior Plymouth Barracuda drag car.

“And it gets even better for drag racing fans,” Miller said, “as Travers Webb is loaning the Sox and Martin car to the North Carolina Hall of Fame to be on display here at our museum.”

Scruggs, Salemi, Wilburn Also Get Wins at PDRA’s Dragstock XII Event

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Carolina’s own “Tricky Rickie” Smith completed a sweep of the Pro Nitrous events on his home track Saturday, beating Chris Rini of Carmel, N.Y., in the final round to win Dragstock XII at Rockingham Dragway and extend his lead in the PDRA Series.

Smith, the veteran from King, N.C., shared the winners’ circle with Jason Scruggs of Saltillo, Miss., who extended his domination of the Pro Extreme class, rookie Melanie Salemi of Buffalo, N.Y., who in just her second start upset spring winner Anthony DiSomma in the Pro Boost final; and Chuck Wilburn of Tupelo, Miss., who beat giant-killer Burke Forster of Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada in Pro Extreme Motorcycle.  Read More...

All-Harley Motorcycle Classic Set for 24th Rockingham Renewal

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – What does Mark Twain, author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, share with Rockingham Dragway’s biggest motorcycle race? Both were reported to be deceased at a time when they were very much alive.

After his obituary prematurely was posted in his hometown newspaper, Twain, one of America’s greatest authors and humorists, is alleged to have quipped...  Read More...
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