During the Classic 3 Champion race weekend at Rockingham Speedway, I was able to spend a few minutes speaking with Danny “Chocolate” Myers, legendary gas man for Dale Earnhardt. Myers was there to wave the green flag and give the command to start engines for the inaugural running of the three championship races.
I asked him to share some of his favorite memories of “The Rock.”
Myers talked about winning championships under the old points system and why he thinks today’s Chase format is better.
“A lot of people want to talk about the Chase and how it used to be. I absolutely love it the way it used to be but what we got going today, I think, is better than it ever was.” He continued, saying, “I’ll give you a great example.”
“We came down to this racetrack. I think we had Rockingham, then Atlanta, and maybe somewhere else, I can’t remember exactly. But when they dropped the green flag here, the Winston people put the banner up and we were the champions.”
“So the next two races were just races, the championship had already been decided.”
Rockingham Speedway is home to a lifetime of cherished memories for Myers.
“This is a place where I’ve been coming all of my life,” he recalled fondly. “ It’s not that far from home. Before I worked for Richard Childress Racing, I came to Rockingham to watch qualifying and watch racing. It’s just a special place and it always has been.”
“It means a lot to be able to come down here, participate and be a part of it today.”
“To come here and win a championship at this place plus we won four pit crew championships in a row right here; that’s pretty daggum special. We’re the only ones that have been able to do that. This is a special place.”
Myers also praised owner Andy Hillenburg for his efforts in bringing NASCAR racing back to Rockingham Speedway.
“This place is a wonderful and a beautiful track. It hasn’t always been like this. When we used to race down here before the garage was built, we’ve been snowed out and rained out; it was absolutely unbelievable. What Andy has been able to do with it now, to keep it up, is a job itself.”
NASCAR Racing will return to Rockingham Speedway April 14, 2013, with the Camping World Truck Series event. Please visit the website http://rockinghamspeedway.com/ for more information.