IRL eyes The Rock Sources inside the IndyCar Series are saying that the series is considering staging an event at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.
The track known as the ‘Rock’ was a staple on the NASCAR circuit for almost 40 years. The last Nextel Cup race was staged there in 2004.
North Carolina Motor Speedway was built in 1965 as a flat oval. The track was rebuilt in 1969 into the current banked oval. In 1997, NCMS merged with Penske Motorsports, and was renamed North Carolina Speedway.
Penske subsequently sold his speedway operations to International Speedway Corporation, the parent company of NASCAR.
One of the Cup races at Rockingham was transferred to the new California Speedway in 2004. Shortly after a lawsuit (the "Ferko" Lawsuit) involving NASCAR, ISC, and shareholders in Speedway Motorsports ("SMI") was filed. As a part of the settlement, the second and last Cup date at Rockingham was transferred to Texas Motor Speedway. SMI purchased Rockingham, and agreed that there would be no NASCAR events there while the track was owned by SMI.
The ovals are currently being used by NASCAR teams for testing.
According to the source, the 17 event IndyCar Series, which currently races on seven tracks used for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and three tracks that stage NASCAR Busch Series races, is interested in the location of the Speedway in relation to the NASCAR fan base.
The IndyCar Series currently shares an event weekend with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway and according to the source, officials have been pleased with the event there and might be interested in the same type of weekend at Rockingham. Cup Scene Daily