Home Local Sports MB Drift gears up for season’s final comp at Rockingham Speedway; Motorsport...

MB Drift gears up for season’s final comp at Rockingham Speedway; Motorsport 4the Masses returns to Little Rock

T.J. Gutierrez, left, and Jody Utsey go head to head during MB Drift's Round 2 competition in May. Gutierrez leads the point standings going into the final round this Saturday, with Utsey tied at second with Joseph Busam.
RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — The road course and Little Rock oval will both see action this weekend with simultaneous events at Rockingham Speedway.

MB Drift is gearing up for the fourth and final competitive round of 2021, with the season’s winner being crowned.

There are six drivers in the running for the championship.

Leading in the points is Round 1 winner T.J. Gutierrez, who was edged out in Round 3 by Joseph Busam, who, in turn, is currently tied for second in the standings with Jody Utsey. 

Busam placed third in Round 1 and Utsey came in second in Round 2. During Round 3, Utsey broke the axle on his Ford Mustang during qualifying but managed to make the repairs in time to compete.

There is a three-way tie for third in the standings between Dan Selwa, Drake Carter and Nathan McDuffie — all 36 points behind Gutierrez.

Carter is the only contender without a top-three finish in the previous rounds, as Selway placed second in Round 1 and McDuffie came in third in Round 2.

“I’m almost nervous because I know everybody’s going to drive so good, but I’m almost nervous that it’s going to be too good and too hard to make the decisions for the judges,” Zach Sebald said in a live online video Wednesday evening.

Returning as judges are 2019 season champ Joshua Buster and driver Bobby Devito, who is taking this year off for car repairs. As of Wednesday, the team was still trying to line up a third judge.

Devin Crezee said the layout for the course is “going to be fun” and technical with a lot of turns — resulting in a lot of footwork for the drivers.

They’re calling it “The Chute” because it’s similar to how they used to come out of the chute at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

“I like it because it really challenges you as a driver,” Crezee said. “It’s a lot of clutch work because you’re on- and off-throttle to maintain your speed through the course.”

Sebald added that those who were at July’s Summer Vibes event toward the end of the day will have an idea of how the course will be.

Drivers qualify on a solo run, but the competition pits them against each other, running tandem as one car leads and the other follows — then they switch for the second run, with the loser being eliminated and the winner moving forward to the next slot in the basketball-style bracket.

Crezee and Sebald said Rockingham’s road course is a good place for grassroots drifters to build their skill set.

The Little Rock was used in the first competition, but the other two previous rounds have been on the infield road course, as have most of the other MB Drift events.

“A lot of drivers have come a long way since day one out here,” Sebald said. “It’s pretty cool to see.”

Open qualifying runs from 12:30-1:30 p.m. with the competition starting around 2 p.m. and the trophy ceremony is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.


Following that, the track will be available for open drifting, with spectators able to ride along with the drivers.

MB Drift also has non-competitive events scheduled for September, October and November

A driver zips around the Rockingham Speedway road course in a Porsche June 26 during Motorsport 4the Masses’ second event at the track. – RO file photo

While that’s going on, Motorsport 4the Masses returns to the Little Rock for its third event at the speedway.

M4theM held its first event June 12 — the same day as MB Drift’s Round 3 — and ran “thrill rides” on the road course and also managed laps around the oval for the speedway on June 26.

MB Drift’s Crezee and Marshall Eggerling took their drift cars for a few laps around the roval.

“I got to ride in one of their cars, as well as my drift car, so it was cool to see the difference in how the cars were set up and how they handle and take the course,” Crezee said.

“M4theM brings safe, fun, affordable performance driving opportunities to anyone with a car and an appetite for adrenaline,” said Peter Bruschi, director of marketing and public relations. “No matter what you drive or how much experience you have, M4theM encourages all to come out and ‘Discover the Racer in You!’”

Drivers are certified with an instructor in the passenger seat before tackling the course alone and are taught “car control and track driving etiquette at significantly lower speeds, costs, and risks than open track days.”

“Performance driving requires a heightened sense of car control and awareness of surroundings,” Bruschi said. “When developed on a closed course, drivers can also use these skills to become safer and more attentive drivers on the street.”

According to Bruschi, the skills drivers learn transfer to autocross, open track and other motorsports disciplines.

“M4theM is thrilled to partner with Rockingham Speedway and play a role in opening the historic facilities back up to the public,” Bruschi said. “Our events have already shown to be a great way for the community to get back to the track and involved with motorsports.”

While taking the classes cost, spectating is free.

M4theM is scheduled to come back to Rockingham Oct. 2 for Race Circuit Drivers Education on the roval.

For the schedule, registration or more information, visit m4theM.com.




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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.