Rockingham Speedway is a racetrack located near Rockingham, North Carolina. It is affectionately known as "The Rock" and hosted two NASCAR Cup Series, the Subway 400 (1966–2004) and the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 (1965–2003), as well as two Busch Series races, the Goody's Headache Powder 200 (1982–2004) and the Target House 200 (1984–2003). Rockingham has hosted Automobile Racing Club of America and CARS Pro Cup Series races since 2008.
Currently, the track is home to the Fast Track High Performance Driving School, which is owned by new track owner Andy Hillenburg, and is used extensively for NASCAR testing. It has been used often for television and movie filming, and the 2004 ESPN telefilm 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story was filmed at the track along with some scenes from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. For the filming of the later movie, the walls were repainted to resemble famous tracks on the NASCAR circuit. It also was the site of the 2007 Bollywood film Ta Ra Rum Pum.
Rockingham has become a test track for many Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams because of testing restrictions by NASCAR on active tracks. After the track was stripped of its dates, teams began using the circuit to test cars and engines, especially to simulate abrasive wear at certain tracks (Darlington and Atlanta most notably). In 2005, Kyle Petty tested his Darlington car at Rockingham days before its race to not waste one of his five assigned tests.
In 2006, new rules banned all testing at active Sprint Cup tracks except at selected NASCAR-approved open tests during the season, thereby making testing at Rockingham crucial. Penske Racing tested at the track in mid-April 2006, and with the abrasiveness of the Atlanta Motor Speedway surface, which has not been repaved since reconstruction in 1997, and Atlanta's participation in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, many teams are considering returning to Rockingham in September or October to test their cars to simulate Atlanta's similar surface.
Film And Commercial Usage:
The speedway has become a venue for active filming for movies, television programs, and television commercials, often with its venues being used for various facilities.It was also used as venue for the truck pull event during Worlds Strongest Man 2011. Notable films include:
When it was part of the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, it also was a filming location for:
- 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
- Ta Ra Rum Pum (a Bollywood film)
- SPEED Road Tour Challenge (final task)
- 2007 UPS commercials featuring Dale Jarrett, the UPS truck, and team.
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine
- CARS Pro Cup Series
- Surface: Asphalt
- Length: 1 mi (1.637km)
- Turns: 22 and 25 degrees
- Straights: 8 degrees
- 0:23.167 (Rusty Wallace, Penske Racing, 2000, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)
- Surface Asphalt with concrete in turns
- Length 0.526 mi (0.847 km)
- 12 degrees
- Straights - 2 degrees