ROCKINGHAM — As the idiom goes, there’s a first time for everything — and Nick Abbott could make that happen in the MB Drift series.
A win on Saturday in the Battle of Little Rock would make Abbott’s fourth consecutive victory and secure the season championship.
It would also make him the first driver to sweep an entire season in the series’ 18-year history, according to co-founder Marshall Eggerling.
Abbott, of Henderson, currently leads in points after winning the first three of four rounds of the competitive season.
Sitting in second place on the leaderboard is 2021 season winner Joe Busam, who placed second in the first two rounds of 2023.
Being 105 points ahead, Abbott wouldn’t have to win to take home the championship belt and $4,000 in cash and prizes — but he can’t stay parked.
Drivers are awarded 32 points as the top qualifier and 100 points to win.
If Busam were to qualify and place first — like Abbott did at Round 3 — he could possibly earn his second season win since the series moved to Rockingham Speedway.
But that depends on how well Abbott performs.
Busam does have an edge with experience on the quarter-mile loop, having won the Little Rock 235 Shootout earlier this year and placing third on the track in both 2021 and 2022.
Last year, Abbott fell in the top eight to Dan Stoneburner, who went on to place second in the competition.
The Little Rock, which has been a favorite of many of the drivers, offers the added challenge of banked curves in contrast to the flat infield road course of the main track.
Justin Bauer, 2022 season champ, sits 36 points behind Busam and only 11 points ahead of Wade Smith.
Rounding out the top 10 are Drew Riggins (5), Cameron Griffin (6), Paul Smith (7), Said Maharramov (8), Tevin Baysa (8), and Max Czibere (10).
Wade Smith and Bauer placed second and third, respectively, in Round 3 — the first podium placement for either of them this season; Riggins, who had a rookie Round 1 win in 2022, placed third in this year’s first round; and Baysa placed third in Round 2.
MB Drift will award $2,000 and $1,700 in cash and prizes to the second- and third-place season winners, respectively.
If Abbott is able to pull off another win, there will be a downside to his success: he’ll have to compete somewhere else.
“If someone dominates our series like that, the rulebooks says that they wouldn’t be able to compete in our entry level series in the next season,” Eggerling told the RO on Monday. “Then they would have to petition to enter back into after that. It’s designed to keep one driver from becoming too dominant in the series.”
Local food trucks Burger Bros and Puckered Up Lemonade will be on site for the event.
Competition is on Saturday afternoon with the track open for fun runs afterward and on Sunday. During open drift times, free ride-alongs are available for spectators 18 and older.
MB Drift’s final event of the season will be Halloween Havoc Oct. 21-22, with action on both tracks. The event also includes trunk-or-treat and a costume contest.