Rockingham Dragway won the Prudential Realty Award for Best Regional Marketing Campaign during the North Carolina Motorsports Association’s inaugural Motorsports Industry Awards banquet Tuesday at the new Concord Convention Center near Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

 Track owner Steve Earwood accepted the award from Jerry Gappens, vice-president of LMS.  Best Regional Marketing Campaign was one of nine categories on which members of the NCMA cast votes to honor top achievers in education, diversity, marketing, economic development, safety, event facilities and manufacturing.

 In addition to being recognized for its marketing efforts, The Rock also was a finalist in the Event Facilities category in which Concord Motorsports Park was the winner.

 “This is a great honor,” Earwood said, “not just for me but for all of those people who work with us, race with us and spend their time with us.  Racing, whether it’s oval racing, drag racing or road racing, is about people.  The best people in the world are racers and race fans and we thank them all for their support.”

 More than 500 motorsports dignitaries attended the banquet during which Richard Petty and Rick Hendrick, chairman and vice-chairman of the NCMA Board of Trustees, eulogized the late Benny Parsons, a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

 During the banquet, Parsons, the 1973 NASCAR driving champion, was to have become only the second recipient of the NCMA Motorsports Achievement Tribute Award initially presented to Bill France Jr. 

 However, just weeks before the event, the man even better known for his television commentary for NBC and TNT lost a lengthy battle with cancer.  His family accepted the award Tuesday on his behalf.

 Keynote speaker was North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue.  Winston Kelly, Director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, served as Master of Ceremonies.