TV star Rowe visits “The Rock”


Former IHRA Pro Stock champion Roy Hill, left, talks to TV personality Mike Rowe at Rockingham Dragway.

Rowe met with Hill for a segment on his latest show, CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” He reportedly chose Rockingham as the site of the show because of its history and tradition.

ROCKINGHAM — Mike Rowe gets around and the TV host, writer, actor, pitchman, spokesperson and star of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” this week wound up at Rockingham Dragway where he hooked up with drag racing legend Roy Hill for a segment on his latest show, CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.”

Hill, the former IHRA Pro Stock champion and proprietor of Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School, taught Rowe the ins and outs of driving the straight-line quarter mile in one of the school’s Super Comp dragsters.

That instruction, coupled with the collateral interaction between the two larger-than-life personalities, was documented by a crew from Pilgrim Productions in North Hollywood, California for later telecast.

At the end of the day, Rowe’s best time down the Rockingham quarter mile was 8.49 seconds at 144 miles per hour.

“That was a good day; most fun I’ve had in a while,” Hill barked. “Mike’d make a great racer. He picked it up real quick.”

Rowe reportedly chose Rockingham because of its history and tradition. The track was built in 1968 and is one of only a handful of facilities to have hosted major events produced by the National Hot Rod Association, the International Hot Rod Association and the now defunct American Hot Rod Association.

“Mike Rowe is one of the most Identifiable faces on TV,” said track owner Steve Earwood, “so this segment which will air on a popular network show won’t just be good for the track, it’ll be good for the school and for Rockingham and the surrounding area.

“We were contacted by the show and they wanted to know if there was anything we could do with Mike at the track,” Earwood said. “My first thought was Roy’s school and it came together pretty quickly after that.”

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