Per a report published by the Richmond County Daily Journal on Tuesday, Steve Earwood, the longtime proprietor of North Carolina’s iconic Rockingham Dragway, has reached an agreement to transfer ownership to two area businessmen and racers familiar to local competitors.
Al Gennarelli and Dan VanHorn have paid a six-figure, non-refundable deposit toward the $1,850,000 purchase price of the 1/4-mile venue. In information obtained by the Daily Journal, the bulk of that sum will be paid in October 2022, when the two men assume full ownership of the facility. In the interim, the pair will observe the track’s operations — as part of the agreement, Earwood will serve as a consultant for two years beyond the exchange of ownership.
VanHorn is the promoter of the Modern Street HEMI Shootout series, which is held annually at Rockingham as part of the MOPARS at the Rock expo. Gennarelli is likewise a Mopar fanatic, competing at VanHorn’s events in his record-setting, 7-second Dodge Challenger.
Earwood, who has been in the drag racing industry for 50 years and has owned Rockingham since 1992, confirms the track staff will remain in place during the transition, with few changes expected other than the addition of more non-traditional events. Rockingham has, in recent years, hosted several music concerts in its expansive seating area.
“We have had a lot of offers to sell the business over the years, but one of my concerns has always been what impact the sale would have on our racers, our manufacturers, our sponsors and our fans,” Earwood told the Daily Journal. “I never felt confident that they would be taken care of until I started talking to Dan more than a year ago. Now, though, with Dan and Al taking over I believe the track’s future is secure and that it will continue to serve as Richmond County’s principal entertainment venue and visitor destination.”