New MUSCO lights erected to better illuminate the shutdown area are among $140,000 in improvements that will greet IHRA sportsman racers competing this weekend at Rockingham Dragway in a 2007 IHRA Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Series event.

 The Carolinas’ fastest racetrack will play host to more than 400 IHRA racers competing in seven Pro-Am categories including Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

 The track will open at 11 a.m. Friday for a test-and-tune session restricted to Summit Series drivers.  Qualifying, time trials and IHRA national record runs are scheduled Saturday with final eliminations starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.

 The Summit Pro-Am event, the first in the IHRA’s Raiders Division, kicks off a March schedule that also will include the season’s first TORCO Race Fuels Carolina Coalition event (March 8-9), the first race in the Mickey Thompson Performance Tires MiRock Superbike Series (the Velocity Spring Bike Open, March 24-25) ) and the first Holcomb Motorsports All-Ford Showw (March 31).

 “Early indications are that it’s going to be a great season,” said track owner Steve Earwood.  “We had more than 250 bracket cars and a good turnout of Pro Modified and Pro Stock cars for our ROCK Battery Spring Blast and we’re really excited about the Pro-Am.  It’s a race that’s grown in numbers every year.

 “It’s going to be an incredible show for the fans, especially those who love the mid-60s muscle cars,” Earwood continued.  “You probably won’t see more ‘69 Camaros and ‘65 Mustangs and hemi-Dodges anywhere else in the Carolinas this season.”

 Defending Pro-Am champions are Steve Corker of Clayton in Top Sportsman; Josh Brown of Boone in Top Dragster; Jim Harrington of Old Bridge, N.J., in Super Stock; Lee Truell of Lexington in Stock; Chris Fitton of Roncon, Ga., in Quick Rod; many-time series champion Steve Furr of Harrisburg in Super Rod; and Chris Dean of Sanford in Hot Rod.

 For those who wish to follow the progress of the 2007 Pro-Am Series, results for the first time will be available, on-line, in real time at the DragRaceCentral site on