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Factory Stock drivers gear up for Smackdown

May 2, 2024  |  by Phil Whipple

With a chance to run for big money and take on some of the best talent in Factory Stock racing, drivers across North Texas and beyond are gearing up for the ninth annual Smackdown presented by By-Line Surveying, now set for Saturday, May 4, at the Rocket Raceway Park.

Drivers were originally set to practice Thursday night and run two sets of qualifying heats on Friday, but persistent rains have forced promoter Kevin Sustaire to host the full program on Saturday. If he gets it all in, 24 fortunate teams will battle it out for $2,500 to win the By-Line Surveying USRA Factory Stock main event.

Stealth Oilwell Services USRA Stock Cars, Coston & Son Ready Mix USRA Limited Mods, J&G Services Eco-Mods and Bravado Wireless Jr Limited Mods are also on the card this weekend.

Among the list of Factory Stock drivers planning to compete in this weekend’s Smackdown is current points leader Michael Smith. The soft-spoken local favorite says he’s confident going into the weekend.

“We like our chances for this weekend,” Smith said. “But mostly, we just want to go there, have fun, and see what we can do. I drive for Johnny Williams now, I’m in a new car that’s going really well. He offered us a ride, and we took it.

“We did some work to the car, and everything seems to be going good. Yet I know the level of talent coming to this big-money event. If you’re able to win the feature this weekend, you’ll be able to say you beat some of the best.”

Jeremy Fodge is another of the top contenders at the Rocket Raceway Park hoping for a shot at the money this weekend.

“We’re pretty excited for this race,” he said. “I have a bad feeling about the whole weather deal, but I sure do hope we can get it in on Saturday night.

“The car I’m driving is Michael’s (Smith) car, and I’m pretty new to the sport. They tell me I’m catching on quickly. We think our equipment is superior to most of what’s out there. We’re running in the top five with a rookie driver. If we can get Shelby (Williams) into the car this weekend, we’re confident we can win.”

Brandon Bettis can hold his own against just about any of those who’ll be on hand at the Smackdown.

“I think we have some of the best Factory Stock drivers in the state at Rocket,” he said. “Plus, I know if we do get this thing in, we’ll have a few heavy hitters from outside our area make the drive for their shot at the money. Even with a reduced winner’s share, they’ll still turn out for a chance at $2,500.

“I certainly hope we can run up front and make a good showing in the Smackdown. I think last year we were running inside the top ten when the driver messed up a little bit, and we didn’t get to finish. I’ll say since last September, we’ve started moving in the right direction. I have high hopes for Saturday night.”

The Rocket Raceway Park holds 3,400 spectators and its elevated grandstands offer superb viewing from any seat. The venue can be found in Lamar County—about 15 minutes west of Paris and 25 minutes east of Bonham at 16369 US Hwy 82, Petty, TX 75470.

Learn more at RocketRacewayPark.com and follow RRP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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