Riverside Ready for More History with 2nd Annual Rock 'N Roll 50!
Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (September 30, 2010) -- Fact is, that 1/4-mile oval of black, gumbo clay just a stone's throw or two away from the mighty Mississippi River on the Arkansas side of Memphis has seen its share of Sprint Car racing history and then some over the last 60 or so years.
And that unique little place known as Riverside International Speedway will see plenty more in the years to come, beginning in grand style with this weekend's Second Annual Rock 'N Roll 50, a TBJ Promotions event featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series.
Biggest question is, exactly what form will that history take?
Could Tim Crawley, who comes off a pair of series wins at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway (August 28) and then Missouri's Lucas Oil Speedway, take a second customized Gibson Guitar trophy after sweeping through both nights of the inaugural Rock 'N Roll 50 last year?
Or, will either Jason Johnson, Brady Bacon or Shane Stewart step up and take firm command of the series $60,000 championship points chase, something that seems unlikely as all signs indicate that chase will come down to the series final checkered flag of 2010 that will fly in the series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend of November 27-28.
Perhaps Jack Dover will get the win that a faulty dzus button in his dash denied him of less than a week ago in Missouri.
Or, maybe Zach Chappell, who begins his march towards 400 career National feature starts and perhaps 500 some day after becoming just the fifth driver in series history to reach the 300 mark last Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway, will add a third win on the 2010 campaign.
Four-time series champion Gary Wright could become the first in series history to start 400 career ASCS National features if he makes the feature cut both nights. Saturday's feature will be the 594th in ASCS National history by the way, for those keeping score.
Perhaps either Kyle Hirst, Dustin Morgan or Channin Tankersley will become the second Brodix Rookie of the Year contender to win a Lucas Oil ASCS main event in 2010. Rookie shoe Matt Covington picked off a Lone Star Speedway win in April. Hirst, currently leading the Rookie run, comes off a short night at Lucas Oil Speedway that ended with a broken frame in a crash that happened as the green flag flew on his heat race. With Hall of Famer Kenny Woodruff spinning wrenches, Morgan has come on strong with finishes of eleventh or better in five of his last six features while Riverside will resemble many of the bullrings that 19-year-old Tankersley cut his teeth on while graduating from the ASCS Gulf South ranks.
Maybe event promoter Tony Bruce, Jr., will decide to put it on the large field of competitors and keep Saturday's $6,000 winner's share and Gibson Guitar for himself.
Danny Wood won a TBJ-promoted Eagle Nationals prelim and may decide to add a TBJ-finale to the score card.
Maybe Ohio's Darren Long will add his first win to four recent top tens, or possibly Ricky Logan could take his first ASCS National win since August of 1999 just a couple hours from his native Little Rock home.
Or maybe Missouri master Josh Fisher will make the most of short-term duty aboard the Van Dyke-owned Lucas Oil No. 5h.
Missouri's Jerrod Hull knocked off the Lucas Oil ASCS invading forces at Pontoon Beach's Tri-City Speedway just over a month ago and Brian Brown posted an ASCS Knoxville Nationals preliminary win, so it's no stretch to suggest a Riverside Speedway regular could post the win. After all, nobody has topped more ASCS National events at "The Ditch" than Eddie Gallagher with six triumphs, while both of West Memphis native A.G. Rains' wins have come at Riverside. Some other notable Riverside regulars you ask? How about Jeff Swindell, Dalton Davis, Ernie Ainsworth and Marshall Skinner among others.
Don't forget Little Rock's I-30 Speedway contingent either. After all, past I-30 champ Justin Sturch led much of the way in last year's Rock 'N Roll 50 finale before Crawley had his way.
Regardless, this weekend's Rock 'N Roll 50, which kicks off two, final intense months of 2010 competition on the nation's most competitive touring Sprint Car series, is on that short list of can't miss events.
Race fans can save $10 on weekend admission by purchasing a weekend pass in advance for just $30 at www.tbjpromotions.com/events/?i=1112. Or, it can be done the old fashioned way at the gate on both race days.