Saturday, 04 December 2021 20:33

Seat Time gives drivers, riders track experience at Rockingham Speedway

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Riley Paschal, 19, of Charlotte, laps around Rockingham Speedway Dec. 4 through Seat Time Racing School. See more photos on the RO's Facebook page. Riley Paschal, 19, of Charlotte, laps around Rockingham Speedway Dec. 4 through Seat Time Racing School. See more photos on the RO's Facebook page. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Seat Time Racing School is known for training drivers like 93-time NASCAR winner Jeff Gordon.

But some folks just want to have fun.


Such was the case Saturday for brothers Avery and Riley Paschal of Charlotte.

Both have been driving about two years and have taken courses with Seat Time for about a year and a half.

“It’s a great experience,” Avery Paschal, 21, said before finishing up his laps in the No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo. “It’s always a joy to come out and see what they offer ...there’s always something new going on.”

This was Avery Paschal’s first time driving at Rockingham Speedway — and his first time ever at the historic 1.017-mile oval.

“The track’s a bit bumpy,” he said. “But it’s a fun track. It’s open. There’s not that many people today either, so it’s nice.”

Riley Paschal, 19, made a few laps in the No. 99 Harley Davidson Dodge truck.

This was his second time at Rockingham. He’s also driven at other tracks — Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway — and will soon get a chance to make his way around Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“The whole front stretch is on a bank, that’s pretty fun,” he said, comparing Rockingham to the other tracks.

They both agreed that the apron is the most difficult part of the track.

“You touch that apron — we saw it today — you can have a serious issue real fast,” Riley Paschal said.

One driver went into the wall between turns one and two and was taken to a hospital to be checked out.

“A smooth track like Charlotte, you’re going around the turn … there’s no bumps,” Avery Paschal added. “Here, you’re going around the track, it’s an older track so there’s bumps which will upset the race car and put you past the apron — which is where the flat part meets the banking — and that’ll upset the race car and spin out like this guy did.”

Despite the amount of time they have behind the wheel, neither of the Paschal brothers have any intentions of making it a career.

“This is just pleasure for me,” the older Paschal said. “My stepdad, he’s real passionate about this, so I just travel with him and make the best of it.”

“It’s just pure entertainment,” the younger brother said. “Just come out and just drive a fast car.”

But not everyone is ready to get behind the wheel.

Nicole Caviness-Ashe of Cary and Johnny Ashe, a Navy chaplain stationed at Camp Lejeune, came out for a ride-along.

Nicole Caviness-Ashe climbs in the car for a ride-along.

It was the first time in a race car for both of them, each taking turns riding with Kevin Fontana.

Fontana, a “sometimes ARCA driver,” has been an instructor for Seat Time for four years.

Seat Time returned to Rockingham in July of this year for the first time in more than a decade and had another session Oct. 31.

The Charlotte-based school was founded in 1980 by Buck Baker — NASCAR’s first back-to-back champion.

According to driving instructor Walt Young, Seat Time used to hold 20-30 events per year at Rockingham.

There were three this year, and the school has three scheduled for 2022.

The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience also has several events lined up for next year.

 

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