Howard Augustine "Humpy" Wheeler is the former President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of the premier auto racing venues owned by Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Better known as H. A. or "Humpy" Wheeler, he has long been known as one of the foremost promoters of NASCAR auto racing. During an appearance on the National Public Radio quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! in July 2006, Wheeler explained the origin of his nickname. He said that when his father had played football at the University of Illinois, he was caught once smoking Camel cigarettes, earning the name "Humpy" for the camel's hump, his father's friends began calling him "Humpy Jr." Growing up through high school, college football, racing, the name "Humpy" has stuck with him. Wheeler was born in North Carolina, he began his promotional career at age nine. He was a defensive lineman for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the late 1950s, his teammates included future NASCAR communications director Jim Hunter, Jim Duncan.
Early in Humpy's career, he was the race tire rep.for Firestone Tire and represented them at the Indy 500 for several years and helped them achieve an incredible winning record that stands today. After becoming the president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Wheeler earned the reputation for organizing publicity stunts. A few weeks after driver Cale Yarborough gave the less-than-complimentary nickname'Jaws' to rival driver Darrell Waltrip, Wheeler bought a giant dead shark, placed a dead chicken in the shark's mouth, had it driven around the track on a flatbed truck before a race at Charlotte. In 1984, the pre-race show for the World 600 was a reenactment of Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada the previous year. In 2007, Wheeler announced that the Bank of America 500 would feature an "all-you-can-eat grandstand," where fans would pay a set ticket price, would get to eat as much as they wanted of the grandstand's food before and after the race; the publicity for this event included Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Joey Chestnut at the press conference.
Wheeler has a personal record of picking the correct winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race 10 of the last 19 years. In 2000, much to the dismay of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Wheeler picked Cup rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win and Earnhardt Jr. went on to become the first rookie to win the event. In 2005, he picked Mark Martin won the race. In 2006, he picked Carl Edwards to win, he picked Johnson to win the 2007 event. He again chose Edwards to win the 2008 event; the Coca Cola 600 held on May 25, 2008 was to be Wheeler's last race as President of the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Steve Byrnes of FOX Sports and Speed TV honored Wheeler before the race and Wheeler in turn gave a speech thanking race fans from all over the United States in addition to people from foreign countries for coming to the race: "I owe a tremendous gratitude to you for buying tickets to our facility. If we meet again may you be in the palm of God." Although he had announced that he would step down as President and General Manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway soon after the race, Wheeler had hopes of staying on as a part-time consultant in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Speedway in 2009.
However due to a falling out with Bruton Smith for reasons yet unknown, Wheeler's lengthy association with Lowe's Motor Speedway was unceremoniously ended. Smith thereafter wasted no time in appointing his son, Marcus Smith, as the new President and General Manager of the Speedway. During an interview on Speed TV's "Wind Tunnel" on June 1, 2008, Wheeler stated that in addition to working as a part-time consultant, one of his primary projects during retirement will be working on a book devoted to his recollections of the numerous personalities he has known over his many years as a racing promoter at Lowe's Motor Speedway and prior to that during his years in Indianapolis and at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. In an off-track but still automotive related pursuit, Wheeler provided the voice for "Tex," a 1975 Cadillac Coupe de Ville cartoon character, in the 2006 Pixar hit film Cars. On August 18, 2008, Wheeler announced the formation of The Wheeler Company, a consulting management firm focusing on general business, professional sports, motorsports.
Wheeler serves with his son Howard III serving as president. Wheeler was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2006 and to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 12, 2009. In April 2011, Wheeler appeared on an episode of The History Channel's American Pickers in which he donated items to be placed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In October 2011, Wheeler was announced as one of the principals behind the Grand Prix of America, a Formula One race to be run in New Jersey starting with the 2014 Formula One season. In the fall of 2013, Wheeler once again made auto racing news as he announced the foundation of Speedway Benefits, a marketing and advertising partnership seeking to combine short-tracks across the United States into a single body for the purposes of contract negotiations with suppliers and business partners. Seeing such an alliance as a way to strengthen the bargaining positions of racetrack owners and to stymy the increasing power of NASCAR in North American auto racing, the organization seeks to "grow grassroots racing."
By combining more than 1000 short track venues across North Am
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a 1.058-mile oval speedway located in Loudon, New Hampshire, which has hosted NASCAR racing annually since the early 1990s, as well as the longest-running motorcycle race in North America, the Loudon Classic. Nicknamed "The Magic Mile", the speedway is converted into a 1.6-mile road course, which includes much of the oval. The track was the site of Bryar Motorsports Park before being purchased and redeveloped by Bob Bahre; the track is one of eight major NASCAR tracks owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports. The track opened as New Hampshire International Speedway in June 1990, after nine months of construction following the Bahre family's purchase of the Bryar Motorsports Park; the existing road circuit was redeveloped into a multi-purpose track, with NASCAR added to the popular Loudon Classic motorcycle, WKA go-kart and SCCA races on the complex. It was the largest speedway in New England, expansion has made it the largest sports and entertainment venue of any type in the region.
Its construction was unusual for a race track, in that it was designed and constructed without consulting engineers, using just one surveyor to help. NASCAR made its debut with a Busch Series race won by Tommy Ellis. For three years, the Busch Series hosted a pair of races at the track each year; the Busch races were successful. Loudon gained a spot on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 1993. Rusty Wallace won the inaugural Slick 50 300 in July of that year; that race was Davey Allison's final race: the next day, Allison was fatally injured in a helicopter crash. In 1996, Ernie Irvan captured the win in the July race, making it one of the more emotional victories in NASCAR history; the win came less than two years after Irvan suffered a near-fatal crash at Michigan International Speedway, where he was given less than a 10% chance of survival. After the 1996 season Bahre and Bruton Smith bought North Wilkesboro Speedway and moved one of its Cup dates to New Hampshire; the second race is held in the middle of September.
From 2004 to 2010, it was the site of the first event of the Chase for the Championship. In 2011, the date was shifted to the second race in the Chase, serves as one of three races in the Challenger Round; the speedway was the first for NASCAR to start the field in two groups under the warm-up laps to help set pit speed. The track hosted open-wheel racing for seven years, hosting CART from 1992–1995 the Indy Racing League from 1996–1998. One of the open wheel winners was Tony Stewart, who won three NASCAR Cup Series races at the track as well. In 2000, the track was the site of a pair of fatal collisions which took the lives of two promising young drivers. In May, while practicing for a Busch Series race, Adam Petty perished when his throttle stuck exiting the second turn, resulting in a full speed crash head-on in the middle of the third and fourth turns; when the NASCAR Cup Series made their first appearance of the season, a similar fate befell 1998 Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin, Jr. For safety reasons, track owners decided to run restrictor plates on the cars during their return trip to the speedway in September 2000.
This resulted in an uneventful Dura Lube 300 won by Jeff Burton, which had no lead changes, was the result of the experiment. It was the first wire-to-wire race since the 1970s; the 2001 New Hampshire 300 was scheduled for September 16, the Sunday after the September 11 terrorist attacks. NASCAR announced that the race would be held as scheduled, but the event was postponed until November 23 of that year, the Friday after Thanksgiving. There was much concern about the weather. Robby Gordon won that race. In 2002, in an effort to increase competitive racing, the track's corners were turned into a progressive banking system, as the apron was paved and became part of the track, the track's banking was varied from 4 degrees in the lower two lanes to 12% grade; the addition of SAFER barriers to the corner walls was made in 2003. During the September 2003 SYLVANIA 300, an incident occurred at this track involving Dale Jarrett where his wrecked race car brought out a caution flag. At the time, NASCAR's policy was for its drivers to race back to the start-finish line to begin the caution period.
This policy allowed drivers who were one or more laps down to pass the leader and get back one lap, but during the 2003 season there were several incidents which involved drivers racing back to the caution nearly causing collisions. Jarrett's car had stalled on the front stretch— in fact, directly in the path of oncoming cars— and he was in danger of being hit by cars that were trying to get laps back. Although Jarrett avoided contact, the incident was enough for NASCAR to act and beginning with the next race, NASCAR outlawed racing back to the caution flag and instead froze the field after a caution, a "free pass" rule was put in place in which the first car behind the leader not on the lead lap would get their lap back during each caution period in all of NASCAR's national and regional series. In mid-May 2006, Loudon was one of many New England communities which experienced damaging floods after a week of near-record rainfall. Several roads and bridges were washed out near the speedway; the infield was flooded.
The facility experienced flooding in October 2005. In June 2009, the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Cup Series race was ended early by a storm which caused flooding at various locations around the track, including the infield tunnel: however in that case the po
Texas Motor Speedway
Texas Motor Speedway is a speedway located in the northernmost portion of the U. S. city of Fort Worth, Texas – the portion located in Denton County, Texas. The reconfigured track measures 1.44 miles with banked 20° in turns 1 and 2 and banked 24° in turns 3 and 4. Texas Motor Speedway is a quad-oval design; the track layout is similar to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track is owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. the same company that owns Atlanta and Charlotte Motor Speedways, as well as the short-track Bristol Motor Speedway. The speedway has been managed since its inception by racing promoter Eddie Gossage. Based on qualifying speeds in 2004, 2005, 2006, the Texas Motor Speedway was once considered the fastest non-restrictor plate track on the NASCAR circuit, with qualifying speeds in excess of 192 mph and corner entry speeds over 200 mph. However, as the tracks' respective racing surfaces continue to wear, qualifying speeds at Atlanta have become faster than at Texas. Brian Vickers holds the qualifying record at TMS.
In 2006, he posted a 196.235 mph speed. Elliott Sadler beat the record before Brian. Being the last person out on the track, Brian nipped Elliott Sadler's qualifying time; the NASCAR records still fall short of the all-time TMS qualifying record though. Driving a Lola Ford Champ Car, Kenny Brack took pole for the aborted Firestone Firehawk 600, with an average speed of 233.447 mph in 2001. Two racetracks on the Winston Cup schedule were closed to make room for Texas Motor Speedway's two race dates, with the North Wilkesboro Speedway being bought by TMS owner Bruton Smith and New Hampshire International Speedway owner Bob Bahre; the track was closed with one of the track's two dates going to both new owners. The North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina was sold to Smith as a result of the Ferko lawsuit with the track's one remaining date being handed over to Texas. Texas Motor Speedway is home to two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races: the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 and the AAA Texas 500, as well as two NASCAR Xfinity Series races, the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 and the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge and the IndyCar Series race, the Firestone 600.
The track hosts two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races, the Vankor 350 and Rattlesnake 400. For a short time during construction in September 1996, the track's name was changed to Texas International Raceway. SMI's customary track naming convention had planned to have the "Motor Speedway" as part of the name. However, in August 1996, a small quarter-mile dirt raceway in Alvin, Texas had filed suit to use the name. On December 2, 1996, a settlement between the two tracks saw the "Texas Motor Speedway" name reinstated to the 1.5-mile oval, the small number of Texas International Raceway merchandise became collectible. Between 2001 and 2002, the track, after the reconfiguration in 1998, was repaved because of a hole in turn three. On August 17, 2010, a press conference was held and it was announced that TMS's spring race will become a Saturday night event in 2011; the Samsung Mobile 500 was held on Saturday April 9, 2011. The same year, the apron of the speedway was repaved. Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt, Jr both earned.
Earnhardt's victory was a then-record for fewest races to notch a victory in the "modern era" on the Cup circuit, winning in just his 12th start, breaking the record held by his father, Dale Earnhardt. (The record has since been broken three times, by Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne. On October 13, 2000, Tony Roper was racing in the Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway when he attempted to pass Steve Grissom. However, another truck veered up the racetrack in the tri-oval, forcing Roper to evade, turning him into Grissom's front bumper; the contact caused Roper's #26 Ford to take a sudden hard-right turn, which caused the truck to slam head-on into the concrete wall of the tri-oval. Roper died the next day as the result of the injuries he sustained from the crash. In fall of 2012, Gossage added a carnival outside turn two to promote the track's "Wild Asphalt Circus" theme. On September 23, 2013, the track announced that by the 2014 spring Cup race, the world's largest video screen will be added.
The Panasonic screen, nicknamed "Big Hoss", will be 94.6 feet tall. In 2014, Texas Motor Speedway did not sell tickets on the backstretch for either of its NASCAR Cup Series races, reducing the seating capacity of the track to 112,552; the world's largest high-definition video screen at a motor speedway, Big Hoss, was introduced in the Duck Commander 500. The Firestone Firehawk 600, a CART race, was to be held on April 29, 2001. During practice and qualifying, however, 21 of 25 drivers complained of dizziness and disorientation during two days of practice. Drivers experienced sustained G forces over 5 Gs, more than the typical human tolerance. With their powerful 900+ hp turbocharged engines and superspeedway downforce packages, the Champ Cars were averaging speeds well in excess of 230 mph; this was much faster than IRL machinery of the time, faster still than the speeds seen by NASCAR Cup Series cars. With the possibility of drivers blacking out on the track, CART cancelled the race two hours before th
Seating capacity is the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats hundreds of thousands of people; the largest sporting venue in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has a permanent seating capacity for more than 235,000 people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000. Safety is a primary concern in determining the seating capacity of a venue: "Seating capacity, seating layouts and densities are dictated by legal requirements for the safe evacuation of the occupants in the event of fire"; the International Building Code specifies, "In places of assembly, the seats shall be securely fastened to the floor" but provides exceptions if the total number of seats is fewer than 100, if there is a substantial amount of space available between seats or if the seats are at tables.
It delineates the number of available exits for interior balconies and galleries based on the seating capacity, sets forth the number of required wheelchair spaces in a table derived from the seating capacity of the space. The International Fire Code, portions of which have been adopted by many jurisdictions, is directed more towards the use of a facility than the construction, it specifies, "For areas having fixed seating without dividing arms, the occupant load shall not be less than the number of seats based on one person for each 18 inches of seating length". It requires that every public venue submit a detailed site plan to the local fire code official, including "details of the means of egress, seating capacity, arrangement of the seating...."Once safety considerations have been satisfied, determinations of seating capacity turn on the total size of the venue, its purpose. For sports venues, the "decision on maximum seating capacity is determined by several factors. Chief among these are the primary sports program and the size of the market area".
In motion picture venues, the "limit of seating capacity is determined by the maximal viewing distance for a given size of screen", with image quality for closer viewers declining as the screen is expanded to accommodate more distant viewers. Seating capacity of venues plays a role in what media they are able to provide and how they are able to provide it. In contracting to permit performers to use a theatre or other performing space, the "seating capacity of the performance facility must be disclosed". Seating capacity may influence the kind of contract to be the royalties to be given; the seating capacity must be disclosed to the copyright owner in seeking a license for the copyrighted work to be performed in that venue. Venues that may be leased for private functions such as ballrooms and auditoriums advertise their seating capacity. Seating capacity is an important consideration in the construction and use of sports venues such as stadiums and arenas; when entities such as the National Football League's Super Bowl Committee decide on a venue for a particular event, seating capacity, which reflects the possible number of tickets that can be sold for the event, is an important consideration.
The seating capacity for restaurants is reported as'covers'. Seating capacity differs from total capacity, which describes the total number of people who can fit in a venue or in a vehicle either sitting or standing. Where seating capacity is a legal requirement, however, as it is in movie theatres and on aircraft, the law reflects the fact that the number of people allowed in should not exceed the number who can be seated. Use of the term "public capacity" indicates that a venue is allowed to hold more people than it can seat. Again, the maximum total number of people can refer to either the physical space available or limitations set by law. All-seater stadium List of stadiums by capacity List of football stadiums by capacity List of American football stadiums by capacity List of rugby league stadiums by capacity List of rugby union stadiums by capacity List of tennis stadiums by capacity Seating assignment
Chief executive officer
The chief executive officer or just chief executive, is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and some government organizations; the CEO of a corporation or company reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc. In the early 21st century, top executives had technical degrees in science, engineering or law; the responsibility of an organization's CEO are set by the organization's board of directors or other authority, depending on the organization's legal structure.
They can be far-reaching or quite limited and are enshrined in a formal delegation of authority. Responsibilities include being a decision maker on strategy and other key policy issues, leader and executor; the communicator role can involve speaking to the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as to the organization's management and employees. As a leader of the company, the CEO or MD advises the board of directors, motivates employees, drives change within the organization; as a manager, the CEO/MD presides over the organization's day-to-day operations. The term refers to the person who makes all the key decisions regarding the company, which includes all sectors and fields of the business, including operations, business development, human resources, etc; the CEO of a company is not the owner of the company. In some countries, there is a dual board system with two separate boards, one executive board for the day-to-day business and one supervisory board for control purposes. In these countries, the CEO presides over the executive board and the chairman presides over the supervisory board, these two roles will always be held by different people.
This ensures a distinction between management by the executive board and governance by the supervisory board. This allows for clear lines of authority; the aim is to prevent a conflict of interest and too much power being concentrated in the hands of one person. In the United States, the board of directors is equivalent to the supervisory board, while the executive board may be known as the executive committee. In the United States, in business, the executive officers are the top officers of a corporation, the chief executive officer being the best-known type; the definition varies. In the case of a sole proprietorship, an executive officer is the sole proprietor. In the case of a partnership, an executive officer is a managing partner, senior partner, or administrative partner. In the case of a limited liability company, executive officer is any manager, or officer. A CEO has several subordinate executives, each of whom has specific functional responsibilities referred to as senior executives, executive officers or corporate officers.
Subordinate executives are given different titles in different organizations, but one common category of subordinate executive, if the CEO is the president, is the vice-president. An organization may have more than one vice-president, each tasked with a different area of responsibility; some organizations have subordinate executive officers who have the word chief in their job title, such as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief technology officer. The public relations-focused position of chief reputation officer is sometimes included as one such subordinate executive officer, but, as suggested by Anthony Johndrow, CEO of Reputation Economy Advisors, it can be seen as "simply another way to add emphasis to the role of a modern-day CEO – where they are both the external face of, the driving force behind, an organisation culture". In the US, the term chief executive officer is used in business, whereas the term executive director is used in the not-for-profit sector; these terms are mutually exclusive and refer to distinct legal duties and responsibilities.
Implicit in the use of these titles, is that the public not be misled and the general standard regarding their use be applied. In the UK, chief executive and chief executive officer are used in both business and the charitable sector; as of 2013, the use of the term director for senior charity staff is deprecated to avoid confusion with the legal duties and responsibilities associated with being a charity director or trustee, which are non-executive roles. In the United Kingdom, the term director is used instead of chief officer". Business publicists since the days of Edward Bernays and his client John D. Rockefeller and more the corporate publicists for Henry Ford, promoted the concept of the "celebrity CEO". Business journalists have adopted this approach, which assumes that the corporate achievements in the arena of manufacturing, wer
Concord, North Carolina
Concord is a city in Cabarrus County, in the U. S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 79,066, with an estimated population in 2018 of 94,546, it is the largest city in Cabarrus County. In terms of population, the city of Concord is the second-largest city in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area and is the tenth largest city in North Carolina. In 2015, Concord was ranked as the city with the 16th fastest growing economy in the United States; the city was a winner of the All-America City Award in 2004. Located near the center of Cabarrus County in the Piedmont region, it is 20 miles northeast of Charlotte center city. Concord is the home to some of North Carolina's top tourist destinations, including NASCAR's Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Mills. Concord, located in today's growing northeast quadrant of the Charlotte metropolitan area, was first settled about 1750 by German and Scots-Irish immigrants; the name Concord means with harmony. This name was chosen after a lengthy dispute between the German Lutherans and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians over where the county seat should be located.
Concord is considered a old town by US standards, as it was incorporated in 1806. Today, markers identifying the original town limits can be seen in the downtown area; as county seat, Concord became a center of trade and retail for the cotton-producing region on court days. The downtown would be crowded with townfolk, in addition to lawyers and their clients. During the antebellum era, wealth was built by planters through the cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop. Located in the Piedmont, Concord became a site of industrialization with cotton mills in the late 19th century. Among the owners of the new mills in the area were men of the rising black middle-class in Wilmington, North Carolina, such as W. C. Coleman, John C. Dancy, others, who organized Coleman Manufacturing Company in 1897, they built and operated what is believed to have been the first cotton mill owned by blacks in the nation. They hoped to promote economic security for people of color. However, the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, with white attacks on black areas of the city, caused many deaths, as well as destroying homes and businesses built by blacks since the Civil War.
In 1900, Dancy was among more than 2000 blacks. He moved to Washington, DC, appointed as the federal Recorder of Deeds, serving until 1910; the mill operated under black ownership through 1904. The brick mill building was taken over by Fieldcrest Cannon, it added on to, nearly doubling its square footage. Based on wealth from cotton as a commodity crop and through textile manufacturing, Concord's white planters and business owners built some significant homes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Within the North Union Historic District is Memorial Garden. Located on 3 acres, the garden winds through the 200-year-old cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church. In addition to the Cabarrus County Courthouse, the Barber-Scotia College, Boger-Hartsell Farm, McCurdy Log House, Mill Hill, North Union Street Historic District, Odell-Locke-Randolph Cotton Mill, Reed Gold Mine, South Union Street Courthouse and Commercial Historic District, South Union Street Historic District, Spears House, Stonewall Jackson Training School Historic District, Union Street North-Cabarrus Avenue Commercial Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From the time of incorporation in the late 1700s through the 1970s, Concord's jurisdiction was centered around the downtown area. Since most annexations have taken place west of the center-city area toward Charlotte. Portions of the city limit boundary adjoin the Cabarrus/Mecklenburg County line. Concord is located in western Cabarrus County at 35°24′16″N 80°36′2″W; the city is located in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, characterized by rolling hills and forest. Land left untended will return to native forest land within a few years; the climate can be described as cool winter seasons with humid summer seasons. The average high temperature in the winter is 43 °F, the average daily low temperature is 29 °F. In the summer the average temperature is 79 °F, the average daily high temperature is 88 °F, it is not unusual for summer daytime temperatures to reach in the mid to upper 90s and exceed 100 °F. It is typical for winter temperatures to fall into the teens at night, but temperatures warm to above freezing during the day.
Summer months are characterized as having cool to warm nights with warm to hot temperatures during the day. The area receives a generous amount of rainfall at 43.8 inches per year, with February and April being the two driest months. Rainfall in the winter is lighter but more frequent, whereas rainfall in the summer is heavier but less frequent. Thunderstorms, both light and strong, are common in the summer months; the sun shines 70 percent of 55 percent in winter. The prevailing wind is from the southwest, with the average highest windspeed of 9 miles per hour in spring; the city has a total area of 60.3 square miles, of which 0.06 %, is water. The elevation at the center of downtown is 706 feet above sea level. Concord is located northeast of the largest city in North Carolina. Concord is the second-largest city in the Charl
Rockingham Speedway North Carolina Motor Speedway and North Carolina Speedway is a racetrack located near Rockingham, North Carolina. It is known as the Rock and hosted Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, ARCA, CARS Pro Cup Series races; the track opened as a flat, one-mile oval on October 31, 1965. In 1969, the track was extensively reconfigured to a high-banked, D-shaped oval just over one mile in length. In 1997, North Carolina Motor Speedway merged with Penske Motorsports, was renamed "North Carolina Speedway". Shortly thereafter, the infield was reconfigured, competition on the infield road course by the SCCA, was discontinued; until 2013, it was home to the Fast Track High Performance Driving School, The track was used for television and movie filming. The Rock is undergoing renovations and updates by the current ownership in order to house large-scale racing events and festivals. Rockingham Speedway known as North Carolina Motor Speedway, was the project of Harold Brasington and Bill Land.
Brasington, a land developer built NASCAR's first superspeedway, Darlington Raceway, in 1950. Land owned the property, settled in the sandhills of North Carolina, together, they set out to find funding, they went to local lawyer Elsie Webb. The duo sold shares to the locals for $1 per share, at one time had about 1,000 shareholders; the speedway was built as a one-mile oval with flat turns. North Carolina Motor Speedway opened on October 1965, holding its first race on the same day; the American 500 was a 500-lap, 500-mile NASCAR Grand National Series race won by Curtis Turner at an average speed of 101.942 miles per hour. Turner dominated the race, attended by 35,000 people, leading 239 laps and winning by 11 seconds; the winner's purse was $13,090. The American 500 was the 54th of 55 races in the 1965 season, which included NASCAR legends Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson. Only 19 of the 43 cars were running at the end of the race; the speedway held two Grand National races the next year, the Peach Blossom 500, the American 500.
The Peach Blossom 500 would change names multiple times using the name Carolina 500, before ending as the Subway 400. The American 500 would change names multiple times as well, ending as the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400; the first race was held in early March or late February, the second race was held in late October. In 1967 and 1968 the Carolina 500 was run in June; the speedway held two Grand National Series races every year until 2004. As part of the acquisition of the Penske Speedways in 1999, the Speedway was sold to International Speedway Corporation and in 2004, one of its two Sprint Cup races was transferred to ISC's California Speedway; the change was made after sagging attendance at Rockingham Speedway. It left the track with only one date, in late February, a unpopular date for spectators due to the unpredictable weather; that date was moved up from the traditional early spring date in 1992 when Richmond International Raceway wanted a date than the traditional post-Daytona date because of two postponements in the late 1980s caused by snow.
Rumors persisted that the track's lone remaining date was in jeopardy, as several new tracks in larger, warm-weather markets coveted the date, the first race following the Daytona 500, in 2002 and 2004, Fox's first race of the season. Despite wide speculation that the race was in its final year, it failed to sell out, falling nearly 10,000 short of the 60,000 capacity; the track indeed hosted its final race, the Subway 400, on February 22, 2004. In that last race, Matt Kenseth held off rookie Kasey Kahne on the last lap to win by only 0.010 seconds. This finish was one of the closest in NASCAR history, is viewed by many fans as one of the best finishes that season, it is known for a wild crash early in the race in which Carl Long flipped wildly down the backstretch. In the wake of the Ferko lawsuit, the poor attendance, the track's state of affairs was altered. In the settlement, ISC sold Rockingham Speedway to Speedway Motorsports, the track's lone remaining race was "transferred" to Texas Motor Speedway.
Some NASCAR fans saw things differently, because it was Darlington Raceway's prestigious Southern 500 removed from the schedule for the second race in Texas, the date for the Rock was sent to Phoenix International Raceway. SMI agreed to host no NASCAR events at the track. Upon its exit from the NASCAR circuit, the Rock joined such facilities as Ontario Motor Speedway, Riverside International Raceway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, Texas World Speedway, Music City Motorplex as tracks removed from the circuit; the Rockingham track was praised for good racing, including 37 official lead changes in one race in 1981, for having great sightlines for spectators. However, the facility made limited infrastructure reinvestments over the years while being owned by the DeWitt family, seemed to lag behind other facilities which continually modernized and updated their business plans after it was sold to pay off estate taxes owed by the DeWitt and Wilson families which had owned the track. Speedway Motorsports put the track up for auction on October 2, 2007.
ARCA RE/MAX Series Series car owner and former driver Andy Hillenburg, who owns Fast Track High Performance Driving S