Home Local Sports MB Drift returns to the Rock for ‘The Smoke Show’

MB Drift returns to the Rock for ‘The Smoke Show’

Smoke rolls off the back tires of Derick Gaskins' 2000 C5 Corvette during MB Drift's "Initiation" in April 2024. Photo by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — More than two dozen drivers will be skidding across the road course at Rockingham Speedway this weekend to see who moves up in the bracket of MB Drift’s 2024 competitive season.

The competition for “The Smoke Show,” the second round of the season, is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Saturday after practice and qualifying rounds.

“(We’re) extremely happy to be back at the Rock and thankful for their support,” said MB Drift’s Zach Sebald. “Everyone has been driving extremely well, so we’re excited for this round to see who will come out on top.”

The first-round win went to Belarusian-born Anton Shenderov, with Mooresville 17-year-old Jake Little coming in second and Gray Champion of Kenersville taking third.

Click here to read about Round 1.

Gray Champion, front, and Anton Shenderov perform a victory burnout following the first round.

Champion bested Shenderov in the Doorbanger’s Ball during April’s Spring Matsuri. He also placed second in the final round of 2023, falling to season champ Nick Abbott — who won all four rounds.

Click here to read about the Doorbanger’s Ball.
Click here to read about the 2023 season finale.

The road course was repaved just prior to the first round, though some of the fresh paving was down for Spring Matsuri.

“The new pavement had so much more grip so we’ll see if the drivers are more prepared,” Sebald said.

Oleg Volcov slides between the first two turns during a qualifying round.

Derick Gaskins, who came in fourth in Round 1, told the RO following the event that he had to make several adjustments — including increasing tire pressure.

Gaskins and several other drivers also commented how the new paving increases tire life.

“It’s a game changer for tire cost,” Gaskins said, noting that he previously was only able to make about five laps before having to change tires, but now he can squeeze in around 20.

Heading into Round 2, the remaining drivers in the top 10 are: Nathan McDuffie (5); Corey “Shake” Mendenhall (6); Frank Evans (7); Tyler Williams (8); Max Czibere (9); and Jeremy Coble (10).


Shenderov has 100 points, followed by Little with 84. Champion and Gaskins each have 70 points; and McDuffie, Mendenhall, Evans and Williams have 56 points.

Several other — drivers Andy Wright, Cameron Swaim, Grant Murphy, Oleg Volcov, Vlad Khulahin and Chase Helderman — are tied with 42 points, along with Czibere and Coble.

Cameron Swaim slides out of the first turn before heading into the second.

During the competition, there will also be a second layout for drivers to practice their drifting skills. There will also be “fun runs” after the comp Saturday and again all day Sunday.

“If you’ve never seen drifting before, be sure to see it live,” said Sebald, who also encourages ride-alongs.

Free ride-alongs are available for spectators 18 years old and older during non-competition times.

The competition will also be livestreamed by MBK productions on the MB Drift Facebook page.

Tickets are available for both days at the gate, and kids 12 and under get in free.

This will be MB Drift’s third of six events for the year, with the third and fourth rounds scheduled for Aug. 24-25. MB Drift will also be hosting a Summer Matsuri July 27-28 and its annual Halloween Havoc Oct. 19-20.

MB Drift will also give a demonstration at the Speedway’s open house, which has been rescheduled for July 13.

CORRECTION: The cutline in the top photo was edited to reflect the correct date of Round 1. 7:23 p.m. 5-30-24.