With an eye on the E.T. Finals, Rockingham Dragway starts 2020 strong with the Carolina Coalition Series and Racer Appreciation Race on back-to-back weekends.
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Those hoping to compete for cash and hardware in this fall’s NHRA Southeast Division Summit ET Finals at Rockingham Dragway are invited to take advantage of a couple of early opportunities to check out the host track starting with this weekend’s (Feb. 29-March) opening race in the 2020 VP Racing Fuels Carolina Coalition Series presented by Hoosier Tires.
That event, the first of four in a series that also includes Mooresville Dragway, Piedmont Dragway and Farmington Dragway, will be followed by the track’s annual Racers Appreciation Free Entry Race (March 7-8). Both events will award points toward Rockingham Dragway track championships and ET Finals eligibility.
“It’s impossible any more to find a weekend when there isn’t a conflict of some sort,” said Rockingham owner Steve Earwood, “but we thought it would give everybody the best chance to check out the track if we ran a couple of races early, before everyone else opens for business. Plus, it’ll be a little cooler, more like what we can expect at the ET Finals (Oct. 15-18).”
Hosting the opening event in the Coalition Series is a major change for Rockingham Dragway, which traditionally has been the site of the season finale.
Nevertheless, with a $5,000 daily payout to the Top Eliminator winner and year-end bonus fund implications, Earwood expects a strong field anchored by Ernie Humes of Troutman, who last year became the first driver to win three Carolina Coalition Championships when he again prevailed in the Footbrake class.
Also expected to contend are Joe Julsrud of Stony Point, last year’s series champ in Top Eliminator, and Isaac Bridges of Shelby, who won a second title in Jr. Dragster. Among the other prominent challengers will be last year’s event winners: Will Cauthen of Lancaster, S.C., and Lee Desist of Fayetteville in Top Eliminator; Eric Aman of Clinton and Allen Furr of Richfield in Footbrake and Gavin Whisnant of Dallas and Alyssa Rabon of Florence, S.C., in Jr. Dragster.
Furr is the reigning Rockingham track champion at the wheel of his venerable 1962 Chevy II while Desist and Aman both are former track champs.
Adult admission to the Carolina Coalition Series is $35 for three days, $25 for two days or $15 for one day. Children six and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Furr also is expected to contend for top honors in the Racers Appreciation Free Entry event in which he earned the distinction of being both the Sunday winner and runner-up at year ago. Other 2019 winners expected to return are father-and-son track champions James and Conner Caulder of St. Pauls, Dylan White of Cordesville, S.C., David Lowe of Rowland and Sanford’s Ricky Bullock.