Over one-third of the registered entrants for the Jan. 1, 2010 running of the Polar Bear 150 at the Rockingham Speedway were on track Saturday to work on getting their street stocks dialed in for the second annual New Year’s Day event.
Among the 22 drivers on hand for Saturday’s day-long practice session was Jimmy Elledge, crew chief for Scott Speed’s No. 82 Red Bull Racing Toyota team. Elledge has entered his 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo this year after rebuilding it following a crash in last year’s event.
“This race is a blast,” said Elledge, despite last year’s bad luck. “I grew up in Cup racing and always thaought that Rockingham was a very cool racetrack.” It’s a shame we (NASCAR) don’t run here anymore. Just to be able to race on a racetrack with this kind of history is a lot of fun.
“Working on this car is a lot of fun. I’ve got a shop at my house and me and my buddies get out there and work on it. I’m fortunate to be able to get some parts and pieces from Red Bull and some other teams and be able to put some stuff together and not have a whole lot of money in it.”
Unfortunately for Elledge, his shop is going to be a busy place again between now and Jan. 1 as his No. 81 Monte Carlo was collected in a spin in the afternoon session.
Despite the crash, Elledge finished the day atop the speed charts, followed by J.D. Frey, who is a mechanic for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and ARCA Series regular Bryan Silas.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the street stocks coming back for the Polar Bear 150,” said Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg. “This is such a fun event to host and race fans really enjoy it. I know I have been looking forward to this one all year.”
“We are really excited to be coming back to Rockingham,” said Series Director Frank Kimmel. “This is the third time that the street stocks have come to the speedway and we are looking to build on the two previous races. The guys put on a great show for the fans on July 4 (Cherry Bomb 200) and this year’s running of the Polar Bear should be even better. As of right now, we have over 60 cars pre-registered, so it looks to be the largest field ever to take the green flag at Rockingham. It’s a great way to kickoff racing in 2010, not only for the Rockingham Speedway but for the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals as well.”
The next practice session for the Polar 150 gets underway at 1 PM on Dec. 31 with qualifying slated for 10 AM on New Year’s Day. The green flag waves for the second-annual event at noon on Jan. 1.
For more information on the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Series, visit them online at www.streetstocknationals.com.
For more information, or to order tickets for the Polar Bear 150, contact the Rockingham Speedway at 910.205.8800 or online at www.rockinghamspeedway.com. General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the race with tickets for children under 12 $5. Suite packages are also available by contacting the speedway.