2018 LOOMS AS ‘YEAR OF THE BRACKET RACER’ AT THE ROCK
In Chinese culture, this is the Year of the Dog, but while he bears no ill will toward either the Chinese or the canines they honor, Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood has opted instead to celebrate 2018 as “the Year of the Bracket Racer.”
In announcing a 2018 schedule anchored by such standards as the Original Super Chevy Show, MOPARS at the Rock, the AMRA Nitro Harley World Finals, the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Series, the ManCup national motorcycle series and the Rugged Maniacs Series, Earwood revealed that more than $1.5 million in cash has been posted for bracket racing in the Top Eliminator, No Box and Footbrake classes.
In fact, if a single driver was to sweep the biggest races of the year at Rockingham, his or her share alone would exceed $500,000.
In addition to the already established Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Series, the Big John Memorial Weekend Bracket Championship and the events promoted by Tony Saraceni’s 1320 productions (the ATI Performance Products Top ET Challenge, Top Bulb Shootout, Third Amber Showdown and Powerfest), Earwood has opted to add a third race to the Rock’s Tri-5s series.
Nevertheless, the biggest monetary impact will come from two new events produced by SFG Promotions. The SFG Super Bowl of Drag Racing will make its Rockingham debut July 20-22 with a daily winner’s purse of $100,000. It will be followed Oct. 5-7 by SFG’s Racer Appreciation event which will pay one winner $50,000 each day.
“Right now, bracket racing is a really hot across the country,” Earwood said, “and these big money races are the attractions. We’ve always prided ourselves on being cutting edge, so here we are. It should make for an interesting year.”
Also returning for 2018 will be the Mass Acceleration Motorsports street drags series (starting Feb. 10), the Smokeout Bike Rally (June 14-16), ManCup Motorcycle Series (June 1-3), ADRL’s Dragstock Pro Mod race (Sept. 21-22) and, on the 132-foot track, the International Model Drag Racing Association Eastern Nationals (June 8-10) and World Finals (Oct. 4-7).
New to the schedule, in addition to the SFG events, will be a pair of Jr. Dragster races – the Protect the Harvest Jr. Dragster Super Series, April 20-22 (televised nationally on MAVTV), and the Holiday Jr. Jam, Nov. 23-25).
2018 Rockingham Dragway Schedule Breakdown:
Special Events – Blood, Sweat and Gears, March 4; 27th annual MOPARS at the Rock featuring Bob Reed Memorial Hemi Shootout, March 31; Import Faceoff, April 8; Modern Hemi Shootout, May 4-5; Rugged Maniacs obstacle course event, May 19; SEVWA (Southeastern Volkswagen Association) car show and race, Sept. 16; ADRL Dragstock Pro Mods and jets, Sept. 21-22; Super Chevy Show, Sept. 28-29; NHRA Lucas Oil Series event and National Open, Oct. 19-21.
Brackets – Rock Racers Appreciation and track points 1 and 2 (includes Jr. Dragsters), March 16-18; ATI Top ET Challenge, March 22-25; Rock Tri-5s, April 20-22, August 3-5, Nov. 2-5; Big John Memorial and track points 3, 4 and 5 (includes Jr. Dragsters) May 25-27; Elite Top Bulb Shootout, June 22-24; SFG World Series of Drag Racing, July 19-22; Carolina Powerfest feature the Blue Light Special, Aug. 24-26; Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Series and track points 6 and 7 (includes Jr. Dragsters), Sept. 8-9; SFG Racer Appreciation Weekend, Oct. 4-7; Third Amber Throwdown (no box and Footbrake cars), Oct. 26-28.
Mass Acceleration Motorsports Street Drags (unlimited quarter-mile runs for all vehicles) – Feb. 10, 24; March 3, 9, 30; April 7; June 9; July 7, 14, 28; Aug. 11, 18; Sept. 15; Nov. 10, 17.
Motorcycles – ManCup National Series, June 1-3; Smokeout Rally (bikes, bands and merchandise), June 14-16; Grudgefest IX, Sept. 2; AMRA All-Harley Nitro World Finals featuring the Ray Price Top Fuel Challenge, Oct. 11-14.
Jr. Dragsters – Protect the Harvest Super Series (televised on MAVTV), April 14-15; Holiday Jr. Jam, Nov. 23-25.
Scale Model Drag Racing – IMDRA Eastern Nationals, June 8-10; IMDRA World Finals, Oct. 4-7.