Home Local Sports MB Drift returns to Rockingham Speedway for ‘Back in the Ring’

MB Drift returns to Rockingham Speedway for ‘Back in the Ring’

Nick Abbott taunts Justin Bauer as they enter the second curve of the kokoro circuit on the Rockingham Speedway road course. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Will Justin Bauer be able to claim the first win of MB Drift’s competitive season Saturday at Rockingham Speedway?

Bauer, of Durham, won the final round and the 2022 season, will be one of 32 drivers vying for the podium at “Back in the Ring.”

With a new livery on his Ford Mustang, Bauer will face competition from the other drivers including 2021 winner Joe Busam of Fuquay Varina — who placed third overall last year — and Nick Abbott.

Although Abbot finished third in the final round and tied Busam in points, he wound up in fourth place at the end of the season.

Click here to read more about the final round of 2022.

Although Bauer wasn’t at the Spring Matsuri in March, he’s not rusty behind the wheel, having smoked tires at GridLife at Carolina Motorsports in Kershaw, South Carolina, about a month ago.

Busam seems ready to take on any challengers to regain the title after winning the Battle of Little Rock 235 Shootout last month.

Click here to read about the shootout and Spring Matsuri.

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Joe Busam leads a tandem lap with Austin Smith during the Battle of Little Rock 235 Shootout at MB Drift’s Spring Matsuri on March 19. Photos by William R. Toler – Richmond Observer

The action this weekend will take place on the infield road course of the main track using “The Chute” layout for competition, scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m.

Drivers qualify on solo and then run tandem during the competition, with each driver getting a turn to lead, in a basketball-style bracket. Prizes are given to the top three finishers.

Several other layouts will be used prior to and after the comp to give drivers a chance to build their skills.

And even if rains, that won’t stop the action. Unlike most other motorsports, drifters will drive on a wet track.

MB Drift moved to the Rock in 2021 after 15 years at Myrtle Beach Speedway when that track was shut down.

This year, the grassroots drifting series has four more two-day events scheduled at Rockingham Speedway: three more competitive events — June 17-18, July 29-30 and Sept. 9-10; and its annual Halloween Havoc Oct. 21-22.

Competitions will be on Saturdays with the track open for fun runs on Sundays. During open drift times, free ride-alongs are available for spectators 18 and older.

Nick Abbott leads a tandem run with Josh Calla in “The Chute” layout at MB Drift’s Spring Matsuri in March 2023.

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