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RACING AND RAP: Rigs, trucks to compete on oval; Struggle Jennings headlining post-race concert at Rockingham Speedway

Several trucks in the FASS Big Rig Series race around Rockingham Speedway Oct. 10, 2021 during the East Coast Truck Festival.
Several trucks in the FASS Big Rig Series race around Rockingham Speedway Oct. 10, 2021 during the East Coast Truck Festival. All photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Big rigs return to Rockingham Speedway on Saturday as part of a double-header race followed by a concert.

The FASS Big Rig Series and the CRS Super Truck Series will each have drivers battling it out around the oval track for the second time within a year.

The races will be followed with a concert by singer/songwriter Brandon Hartt and headlined by country rapper Struggle Jennings.

“As the last race of the season comes this weekend, we wanted to end it with a bang,” said Justin Jones, vice president of operations for the speedway. “Two great truck series and two artists that are making their way up in their respective genres. Country rap and country music have never been more popular and we are thrilled to have these two artists.”

FASS and speedway officials announced the Rockingham date in February and the truck race was added in March.

“This is the second year for the truck weekend and we hope to make this an annual event that grows bigger every year,” CRS owner Billy Strehle said. The FASS series was featured in the Trucks Gone Wild East Coast Truck Jeep and Offroad Festival, along with a truck and car race, in October 2021.

During that event, one of the rigs blew a tire and went into the wall in Turn 4 before rolling onto pit road.

Click here to read about those races.

Organizers of the big rig series said Wednesday that Rockingham is “a great track” and that the event is “a bucket list race.”

Four trucks race around Rockingham Speedway’s main oval track in Oct. 2021.

Strehle said there will be at least 10-15 Super Trucks on the track, but added that the race is an open invitational open to all racing trucks.

“You can show up Friday or Saturday morning with your race truck and race for the $2,000 to win,” Strehle said.

Strehle told the RO earlier this year that he’s hoping for at least 30-40 trucks and said they will field up to 99.

The FASS series is expected to have 10 rigs.

The two series will alternate track time, each with two 15-lap sets.

Gates will open at 9 a.m. with the trucks and rigs alternating practice and qualifying runs from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., followed by an hour-long meet and greet with the drivers.

Things kick off at 2 p.m. with the national anthem and a prayer before the first round of truck laps.

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After the race, there will be an intermission while engineers conduct a sound check for the concert, with Hartt taking the stage at 5 p.m.

Brandon Hartt performs at Rockingham Speedway’s open House in March 2022.

Hartt, a native of neighboring Stanly County, shot the video for his song “Good Years” at the speedway in February. The song was dedicated to the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. and released on the 21st anniversary of the Intmidator’s tragic death at Daytona.

Click here to read about the video.

Hart also performed a short acoustic set during the speedway’s open house in March.

Jennings has an outlaw pedigree, being the grandson of Jessi Colter and guitarist Duane Eddy and step-grandson of his stage-namesake, Waylon Jennings.

He has released several albums in his nearly decade-long career, including his 2013 debut effort “I Am Struggle” and a quartet of “Waylon & Willie” recordings with Jelly Roll.

Saturday’s show will be the fourth consecutive night on the current leg of Jennings’ Angels and Outlaws Tour, before hitting the road again the second week of October. Joining him on the tour are singers Caitlynne Curtis and his daughter, Brianna Harness.

“We have had several events this year and have been excited for all of them,” Jones said. “But this has the opportunity to be one of our biggest yet this year. I hope people come out for an affordable afternoon at the track.”

Jones added that “it doesn’t get much better” than the $40 ticket price for two races and a concert — with free parking.

“The buzz and the energy are sky high around here and hopefully it’s infectious.”

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