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Slingshot racing coming to Little Rock

Slingshot racing is coming to Rockingham Speedway's Little Rock track. Contributed photo

ROCKINGHAM — A weekly racing series in the works for the Little Rock.

Rockingham Speedway announced July 15 that Carolina Slingshots would be coming to the half-mile track.

Carolina Slingshots is a new division — established in 2021 — of the Slingshot Racing Series based out of Meyerstown, Pennsylvania, according to Robert Wagoner.

The Slingshot was developed in 1999 by Rich Tobias as an affordable way to race.

“I kept seeing guys spending their entire paychecks every week, just to race,” Tobias said in an article for the Northeast DIRT Modified Hall of Fame. “I thought there had to be a better way.”

The Slingshots are a scaled down version of Northeast Modifieds with a 58-inch wheel base, and powered by modified Briggs and Stratton Vanguard V-twin engines, capable of reaching 80-plus mph.

Wagoner said there are nearly 600 teams in the other five divisions — North East, Great Lakes, Maple Leaf, Mountain and Sunshine — racing at more than 25 tracks across the U.S. and in two Canadian provinces.

Slingshot cars compete on dirt, asphalt and concrete tracks, which range from oval and road courses to indoor arenas, according to Wagoner.

Wagoner added that the division and series is run with spec rules, which include sealed engines, 10-tooth clutches and a max 62-tooth sprocket.

“Spec racing makes for closer racing,” Wagoner said. “So it boils down to driver and maintenance program versus the team/owners with deeper pockets winning on a continuous basis.”

The turnkey pricing for a first-time buyer is $9,400, according to Wagoner.

Contributed photo

The series features a JR. class for young racers 8-14 years of age and an All Star Class for drivers 15 and up.

The only partner track currently listed on the Carolina Slingshots website is Rockfish Speedway, a ⅕-mile clay track in nearby Hoke County.

“Once we have a good footprint here, we are looking at bridging the gap even more by ranching out to (South Carolina,” Wagoner said.

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Justin Jones, vice president of operations at the speedway, said there is not yet a start date for the weekly series.

Most of the races will be on the quarter-mile section of Little Rock, though he added there will be some on the infield road course of the main track.
Jones also said that there will be Slingshots available to rent so spectators can have the experience.

The speedway is in the process of renovations at Little Rock, especially in terms of seating and bathroom facilities. Jones said last week that they were in the process of purchasing new seats. The ticket and concession areas are good to go, he added.

Little Rock, built by previous owner Andy Hillenburg as a replica of Martinsville Speedway, was the first track to be used in Rockingham’s recent revival with a go-kart race on Feb. 6, 2001.

That was followed the next month by MB Drift’s first competitive event after the grassroots series made Rockingham its new home.

MB Drift will return to Little Rock Aug. 13-14 for the third round of competition of the 2022 season.

Little Rock has also been used by Motorsport for the Masses and the Tarheel Sports Car Club for autocross events.

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