NASCAR may have left Rockingham Speedway more than a decade ago, but across the street, Steve Earwood and Rockingham Dragway have been doing just fine for more than two decades.
To further illustrate that, Earwood, who purchased the drag strip in 1992, continues to rack up accolades and awards for being one of the most innovative track owners and promoters there is.
At the recent Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, Earwood received the prestigious Professional Drag Racing Association’s 2015 Promoter of the Year Award.
In March 2016, Earwood will receive yet another prestigious honor when he is awarded the Founders Award as part of his induction into the “Big Daddy” Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Fla.
Earwood has turned “The Rock” into a multi-use facility that starts with drag racing as its primary base, but has also branched out to a number of innovative uses for the track, including two-legged racing (as in humans running and walking on the track), concerts and fireworks spectaculars.
Earwood is a drag racing industry veteran. Prior to purchasing the race track, he was national media relations director for the NHRA when the organization experienced some of its largest growth from the mid-1970s into the 1980s.
Earwood has twice earned the International Hot Rod Association’s Promoter of the Year (2001 and 2008). He’s also a founding member and reigning chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association, and serves on North Carolina’s Governor’s Motorsports Advisory Council.
He also was a high-ranking executive at the Texas Motorplex, Atlanta Dragway and was a public relations consultant to team owner Raymond Beadle and driver Rusty Wallace’s 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup championship effort.