NASCAR's return to 'The Rock'
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - After an eight-year absence, NASCAR is back at Rockingham Speedway this weekend. The Camping World Truck Series will compete at "The Rock" for the first time.
Rockingham will be an unknown for most of the drivers competing in this event, but some, such as Ty Dillon from Richard Childress Racing, are quite familiar with the challenges they will face on the 1.017-mile track.
Dillon, a rookie in trucks this year, is coming off a second-place finish at Martinsville two weeks ago. In 2010, Dillon clinched the ARCA Series championship with a victory in the season-finale at Rockingham. His previous experience there will certainly be an advantage for him in Sunday's 200-lap race.
"I feel like it's a huge advantage," he said. "I'm the last race winner there as far as a NASCAR style race car. So I feel like I've got a really big advantage. My guys have a good set-up, I believe, going forward there. It's going to be tough to dial a truck compared to an ARCA car there, but I feel like I've got a good understanding of the racetrack.
"It will be somewhat of an equal playing ground for the only time this year, I believe, that everybody's going there for the first time in a long time. We've been there earlier than anybody else has, so I feel like we might have a little bit of an advantage."
The 20-year-old Dillon is currently fourth in the truck standings, just four points behind leader John King.
Seven of the 41 drivers entered in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 have previous NASCAR experience at Rockingham. Todd Bodine has a pair of Nationwide wins there, with his most recent one coming in 2001.
"You have to have a truck that's just well balanced," Bodine said. "There's a lot of self control that goes into it. The last thing you want to do is over drive it."
Other Rockingham veterans who are entered include: Kasey Kahne, David Reutimann, Ron Hornaday Jr., Johnny Sauter, Jason Leffler and Johnny Chapman.
Kahne and Reutimann are those drivers who are attempting the Texas/Rockingham combo this weekend. Kahne is doing triple duty this weekend, as he is competing in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Texas.
When the last NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Rockingham in February 2004, Kahne made a last-lap charge on Matt Kenseth for the lead, but Kenseth beat Kahne to the finish line by just 0.01 seconds.
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck. Date: Sunday, April 15. Race: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200. Site: Rockingham Speedway. Track: 1.017-mile oval. Start time: 1:00 p.m. (ET). Laps: 200. Miles: 200. Television: SPEED. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.
04/13 11:48:41 ET