A notice of foreclosure sale filed with the Richmond County (NC) Superior Court last week reveals that the track will be sold to the highest bidder on that date, including real estate, structures and “all rights, privileges and appurtenances thereto… described in the deed of trust.” The speedway will be sold “as is, where is."
Rockingham is owned by Bill Silas and Andy Hillenburg, who purchased the speedway in 2007 for $4 million. Despite the return of ARCA, regional racing and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the track, Silas and Hillenburg were unable to navigate rough financial waters. As of August 8, 2015, they owed $4,532,796.23 to Farmers & Merchants Bank – slightly more than the amount of the original mortgage -- prompting F&M to request that the track be put into receivership.
Superior Court Judge W. David Lee ordered that the speedway be sold by March 15, 2015, but that order was suspended when an apparent buyer was found for the property. That buyer, Craig Northacker of Vets-Help.org, announced plans to build a “Reintegration Center” for military veterans on speedway grounds, with educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs for service men and women, bound together by auto racing.
Northacker never purchased the property, however, despite announcing plans to host a racing event for the fledgling X-Cup Series at Rockingham later this month. That event was cancelled recently, after a three-year lease held by Northacker was terminated by Silas.
Silas’ Florida-based holding company, BK Rock Holdings, LLC, purchased the outstanding note from F&M Bank late last year.
Kenneth Robinette, chairman of the Richmond (NC) County Board of Commissioners, told the Richmond County Daily Journal that the foreclosure may be an attempt to “get rid of some partners,” in advance of a potential sale.
Neither Silas not Hillenburg were available to comment.