The CARS Tour Late Model Stock event at Rockingham Speedway has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 30.
The race was originally scheduled to take place on March 6 but following a pair of tire compatibility tests over the past two weeks, the decision was made to postpone the event until a new Hoosier compound could be developed and had the necessary time to cure.
The decision was made after a series of meetings between all involved parties and outlined in a statement written by event promoters Charlie Hansen and Mike Stodder.
It has been determined, in the best interest of competitors and fans, the best way forward is to develop a new tire for the Rockingham surface.
If we moved forward in March with what we currently have, we’d potentially have to change tires twice during a 75-lap race, and that is not good for the racers, from an expense standpoint, or for the fans as far as seeing a good show. We are dedicated in providing a great experience for both the competitors and the race fans.
With that said, we are postponing the March 6th show and have rescheduled it for Saturday October 30th. By moving this date, it gives us the necessary time to work closely with Hoosier Tire, and the CARS Tour, in developing and testing this new tire compound.
This needs to be done. It is important for us to have a tire, not only for this race, but for races at Rockingham in the future. The safety of the competitors, and the enjoyment of the event by fans, will always take priority.
I think we’re all disappointed that we’ll have to wait a little longer to see racing at Rockingham, but this short delay will make things better overall for the future of this storied facility.
Special thanks to Dan Lovenheim, and the entire Rockingham Properties LLC team, for the dedication and flexibility to make this event happen. More information about the race, practice dates, ticket sales, etc. will be released mid-summer.
We want to thank everyone for the overwhelming response in bringing racing back to Rockingham. It has been nothing short of spectacular and we sincerely appreciate all the kind words and support.
The tests were conducted by drivers Layne Riggs, Timothy Peters and defending CARS Tour champion Jared Fryar over the past two weeks at the 1.017-mile North Carolina venue.
The first test produced ‘inconclusive’ results. While the track was expectedly abrasive, these were also the first laps turned on the track since the 2013 NASCAR Truck Series race. The decision was made to come back a week later after a pair of local drivers, Ryan Wilson and Zachary Marks, turned laps on F-50s to lay rubber down over the weekend.
The track was still extremely abrasive and chewed through tires, and the decision was made to place restrictor plates on the cars, in the hopes of slowing speeds and decreasing tire wear. A section of the track also came up on the exit of Turn 2 and punctured the grille of the Nelson Motorsports entry driven by Peters.
However, a restrictor plate would increase speeds in the corner and could potentially pull up the racing surface and damage tires even more.
Worse, the decision to add restrictor plates was met with near-universal derision from the teams that tested over the previous two weeks.
Riggs and Fryar applauded the decision to postpone the race and develop a new tire.
“I think CARS Tour and Hoosier Tire, as well as the Speedway, all made the correct decision to postpone the race to a later date,” Riggs said. “Having a harder tire that will withstand the speeds Late Model Stocks would have around Rockingham will create a better show for the fans, more safety for competitors and an overall better race that the track deserves.”
Fryar echoed that sentiment.
“I feel like a harder tire will help a lot,” Fryar said. “That way, we’re not wide open in the corners like we were on the softer tires. The track is so abrasive and it’s going to be hard on any tire or car at this point. That’s another obstacle we’re going to have to deal with. Hopefully this new compound will help all around.”