Jeff Worth, seated, and Paul McArdle are ready to get your motor running as Rockfish Motor Sports prepares to open a go-kart course on Rockfish Road.
    On Jan. 17, Rockfish Motor Sports will open a 1/8th-mile track on Rockfish Road, just behind the Rockfish Flea Mall.
You will be able to bring your go-kart to the track to kick up dust and trade a little paint, or, if you don’t own a go-kart, you’ll be able to rent one.
    It’s all about having fun while keeping safe and out of trouble said Paul McArdle, a spokesman for Rockfish Motor Sports.
    “It’s going to be a family-oriented operation,” said McArdle. “It will give kids a place to ride go-karts rather than down railroad tracks or power lines or streets or neighbors’ yards.”
    The track is the brainchild of Bill Brown, owner of Brownies Towing on the Cumberland/Hoke County line. Brown used to race competitively himself, burning up the oval in the Legends series — a sort of miniature version of NASCAR.
Also, Brown’s two sons — a 4-year-old and a 14-year-old — are into riding go-karts.
    “It’s a hobby more than a business for Mr. Brown,” said Jeff Worth, a mechanic for Rockfish Motor Sports. “It’s something he got hooked on. He wants to make money but it’s also to have fun.”
    While McArdle says the track will give kids a safe alternative to tearing up local streets or cow pastures, he realizes that “big kids” will be attracted to the thrill of the ride as well.
    “We feel there is going to be a great demand, not only from children but by military personnel,” said McArdle. “The Special Forces and 82nd Airborne are very gung ho and like thrills.”
    And even though there will be plenty of thrills and chills at the track, safety will be the first concern. While some of the go-karts sold by Rockfish Motor Sports will attain speeds of up to 40 mph, there will be a 25 mph speed limit on the course. The limit will be enforced on the rental karts through the use of a governor.
    In order to further ensure safety, all drivers must sign a waiver before taking the track and anyone under 12 must have the signed permission of a parent or guardian.
    Also, all drivers will be required to wear a helmet and goggles while on the track.
    “If people exceed the speed limit we’ll ask them to leave,” said McArdle.
    The price for racing around the track is $30 a half hour — $25 if you have your own kart. The rental price includes the use of goggles and a helmet. Of course, McArdle says Rockfish Motor Sports would love to sell you those safety accessories … as well as a go-kart or two.
    {mosimage}Worth says the company has hopes of having organized, competitive races at the track — races fueled, perhaps, by a local professional rivalry or two.
    “Maybe we can get some Hoke County deputies and some highway patrolmen out there and have a little friendly competition,” said Worth.
    There are also tentative plans to invite groups and organizations that may not have access to go-kart racing.
    “We’d like to bring in groups like handicapped children and have them ride the karts for free,” said McArdle, “… set up certain days for certain groups.”
    And to make sure the racers are well fed, Rockfish Motor Sports will have food vendors on hand to satisfy the masses. In fact, pretty much all food vendors are invited to come on out and set up — just call the folks at Rockfish Motor Sports and tell them you’re interested.
    Food vendors will probably do a pretty brisk business, as numerous go-kart aficionados have already inquired about the track.
    “We’re getting all kinds of interest since we put signs up and started advertising,’ said Worth. “One day when we over there working on the track we had 30 people come in asking about it.
    “We really think this will take off because there’s nothing like it around here,” said Worth.
    The tentative hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon; and Sunday, 2-5 p.m.
    For more information, call Rockfish Motor Sports at 237-5898, or stop by the company’s location at 10298 Fayetteville Road.

Contact Tim Wilkins at





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