Richardson: Memories at The Rock

I think it was spring of 1964 I found out that a race track was being built up on U.S # 1 Highway  where NC Highway 177 met, at Newton’s Point.

On a Sunday afternoon I took a ride to see what was going on, it was this time that I met Mr. Harold Brasington who was doing the work. I started talking to him and we became friends I would go out two or three times a month and talk with him, some time.

a_ticketIn July 1965 he told me if I wanted tickets to the race to go into the stands and pick out the seats I wanted, I did and picked out Section “P” Row “12” Seats “1 and 2” went back and told him what I wanted. He told me to be out at the track the next week and he would have the tickets. The next week as I was getting ready to leave the track Mr. Brasington said come over to his truck when I got there he gave me the tickets and said these are free you might never get them free again. ( I still have the first tickets).

Well on Sunday October 31, 1965 (Halloween) I got to the track about 11 a.m., I made my way into the stands and to my seats. I had my brother-in-law, who was about 12 years old, with me. This being his first race.

a_rockAt 12:30 p.m., the First American 500 started. Richard Petty was on the pole, Jr. Johnson on the outside, Richard had trouble at the start and Jr. Johnson led the first 45 laps. Then Curtis Turner led a lap, followed by Marvin Panch for two laps, then Jr. Johnson for 33 more laps. The lead changed between Bobby Isaac, Jim Paschel, Cale Yarborough, but the last 27 laps belonged to Curtis Turner for the win.

Turner was driving a 1965 No. 41 Ford for The Woods Brothers. He finished 11 seconds in front of second-place Cale Yarborough. Marvin Panch was third and G.C. Spencer was fourth — a sweep for Ford of the top four spots.

The Rock had some great racing over the years. And it is a shame the it had to give a way to big money, and have the date moved to other places that is not no better then The Rock was.

By Howard Richardson My Life Retold

By Howard Richardson
My Life Retold

I just hope that the group that is trying to buy it will have be able to get it and do something for the beterans.

I have some good memories of the great racing at The Rock and hope it can be used in some form for others to enjoy.

Richmond County native Howard Richardson is author of “My Life Retold,” available on

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion, Outdoors, Rockingham, Sports

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