ROCKINGHAM — The stars of the Discovery Channel’s most popular franchise, “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings,” will throw down at The Rock next October in a blockbuster event that will serve as the anchor of a barrier-shattering 2022 schedule announced Monday by track owner Steve Earwood.
Although it is equal parts old school and new, the 2022 schedule includes a large dose of the hottest new forms of organized drag racing including no prep, roll racing (including three International Roll Racing Association events) and big wheel racing as governed by the National Donk Racing Association created by Orangeburg native Sage “the Donkmaster” Thomas.
“It’s probably the most diverse schedule we’ve ever put together,” Earwood said of a calendar that tentatively begins Jan. 9 with The Kickoff Car and Truck Show. “With the growing popularity of roll racing, no-prep and big wheel racing, we’ve concentrated heavily in those areas with the IRRA, the Dig or Die no prep group, the folks at Street CarTakeover and, of course, Ryan Martin, Kye Kelley, James ‘Birdman’ Finney, Lizzy Musi and the rest of the Street Outlaws.”
Those stars of the Discovery Channel series will assemble at The Rock Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15, for the ultimate “go big or go home” event for street racers, the magnitude of which has not been lost on Meghann Lambeth, executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority.
“What an exciting Christmas surprise,” Lambeth said of the event confirmation. “We are so excited to welcome the hugely popular Street Outlaws to Richmond County! The national exposure of this prestigious series will be a welcomed rejuvenation to tourism in our community after the lull of the pandemic. This addition to the 2022 schedule further cements the magnitude of The Rock in our county as one of our longest-standing economic drivers for growth and visitor spending revenue.”
The number of no prep and roll racing events notwithstanding, Earwood emphasized that the track has not at all abandoned traditional drag racing.
“No way have we turned our backs on our roots,” he said. “We have a lot of traditional events on the new schedule including the Griffin Motors MOPARs at the Rock, which was one of the first races we ran after we bought the track back in 1992, the 24thannual “Big John” Leviner Bracket Nationals, the NHRA Sportsman Doubleheader, the Super Chevy Show, three big motorcycle races, the Modern Street Hemi Shootout and the fifth annual Holiday Jr. Jam on Thanksgiving Weekend.”
Another big 2022 debut will be that of the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals the weekend of April 22-24. The event, jointly hosted by the National Muscle Car Association and the National Mustang Racing Association, will feature Xtreme Pro Modifieds, Factory Super Cars, an X275 small tire class, Nitrous Pro Street, Street Outlaw, Xtreme Street, Nostalgia Super Stock and Nostalgia Muscle Car classes along with a car show and Manufacturers Midway.
In deference to the diversity theme, there’s an all-Volkswagen race and car show March 20, Import Faceoff events in March and August, the return of the Rugged Maniacs Series featuring no vehicles at all on April 9 and Eurofest, an expo devoted exclusively to equipment from across the pond.
Introduced to the world on Vice TV, Donk racing, also known as big wheel racing,is one of the fastest-growing “new” forms of drag racing. With competition in Donk, G-Body and Open classes, the series features classic, well-appointed Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Pontiacs, most of them from the ‘60s and ‘70s,rolling on oversize heavyweight rims under a standardized rules structure.
By contrast, the Lucas Oil Series show cases the class cars that have made NHRA the gold standard in drag racing for more than 60 years. Crowning champions in Super Street, Super Gas, Super Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Competition, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman, the Southeast Division Lucas Series race moves next year from October to May.
And, as has been the case the past several seasons, there will be a double up opportunity for NHRA sportsman racers who, after competing on the quarter mile Friday and Saturday, will be able to compete at the eighth mile distance Sunday in an NHRA National Open that offers up additional NHRA grading points while providing the “doubleheader” designation.
2022 Event Schedule
(Subject to Change)
Jan. 9 – The Kickoff Car and Truck Show
Feb. 5 – MXA Motorsports private testing (call track to pre-enter)
Feb. 12 – MXA Motorsports private testing (call track to pre-enter)
Feb. 19 – Shriner’s Drag Racing Expo at Greenville Auditorium
Feb. 26 – MXA Motorsports private testing (call track to pre-enter)
March 5-6 – Koss Motorsports Series (roll racing, fun runs, car show)
March 13 – Blood, Sweat, and Gears Truck Show and Fun Runs
March 20 – Southeast Volkswagen Association (SEVWA) race and car show
March 25-26 – Dig or Die Series (no-prep racing)
March 27 – Import Faceoff
April 2 – IRRA Regional- Northeast Division (roll racing)
April 9 – Rugged Maniac Series (obstacle course event)
April 16 – 31st Annual Griffin Motors MOPARS at The Rock
April 17 – Easter Holiday/track closed
April 22-24 – NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals
April 26 – Leadership Richmond (special Tuesday event for Richmond County business leaders focusing on Richmond County tourism and Rockingham Dragway’s impact thereon)
April 29-30 – Street Car Takeover
May 7 – Apple Chill Festival (motorcycles, car show and music)
May 13-15 – Modern Street Hemi Shootout
May 19-21 – NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
May 22 – NHRA National Open (eighth-mile sportsman racing)
May 28-30 – 24th annual “Big John” Leviner Memorial Weekend Bracket Championship
June 4 – IRRA Regional- Northeast Division (roll racing)
June 10-11 – Donk Racing Donkapalooza (big wheel racing as seen on Vice TV)
June 17-18 – Thunder at The Rock family motorcycle festival (food, fun, racing, music and games)
June 25-26 – Blue Collar Bracket Championships
July 2 – MXA Street Drags (open test and tune)
July 9 – MXA Street Drags (open test and tune)
July 16 – MXA Street Drags (open test and tune)
July 22-23 – Dig or Die (no-prep racing)
July 30 – MXA Street Drags (open test and tune)
Aug. 6 – MXA Street Drags (open test and tune)
Aug. 13 – Import Faceoff (7 p.m. to midnight)
Aug. 20 – IRRA Regional – Northeast Division (roll racing)
Sept 10-11 – AHDRA (All-Harley Motorcycles featuring Top Fuel bikesl)
Sept. 16-17 – Super Chevy Show
Sept. 24 – Eurofest (racing and car show)
Oct. 1-2 – TBA
Oct. 8-9 – Vance & Hines ManCup motorcycles (all makes)
Oct 14-15 – Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings (as seen on The Discovery Channel)
Oct. 27-30 – 31st Annual Jim McClure Nitro All-Harley World Finals
Nov. 24-26 – 5th annual Holiday Jr. Jam (Jr. Dragster event)
Dec. 2-3 – Dig or Die (no prep racing)