Parker Hale and his buddies hope the rain holds off, because this is one of the nights they look forward to at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.
Friday night is the ninth annual Rivercity Rumble at the one-third mile, high-banked dirt oval in Fountain City, and with larger payouts for A Mods and B Mods, it’s a date every driver in the area has circled on the calendar.
“You have to bring your ‘A’ game,” said Hale, a 2015 track champion and current points leader in the Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mods class at MTS. “I try to treat it like it’s every other night, but with the bigger payouts, you get guys from other tracks trying to chase that money.
“This is my home track, and when other people show up, I like to run with them.”
Drivers aren’t the only one who look forward to the event. The Rumble has set attendance records for MTS the past two years, and this year’s event features fan giveaways and a post-race fireworks show to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The winner of the Rivercity Manufacturing USRA Modifieds feature will pocket $2,500 and up to $600 more in bonus money. The B-Mods winner can claim as much as $2,600.
If the event is rained out, it will be rescheduled for Friday, July 7. But it’s not a guarantee that everyone who plans to be there can make the rescheduled date.
Among the heavy hitters stopping by will be Chippewa Falls, Wis., driver Michael Truscott, who won the $20,000-to-win feature at last year’s Modified Nationals event at MTS. Dan Hovden, the B-Mods points leader at Upper Iowa Speedway, is registered as well.
Of course, the MTS regulars will be there, too. Defending track champion Ben Moudry and defending Rivercity Rumble champion Casey Knutson are among those racers.
Hale came close to winning the Rumble in 2015 but looped his car in Turns 3 and 4 and ended up going to the back of the pack.
“That’s the closest I’ve come,” Hale said.
Hale has two feature wins and a second-place finish in seven starts to lead the B-Mods points standings.
“I didn’t expect that,” Hale said. “In 2015, we didn’t really try for points, it just kind of happened. The same thing is happening this year. I think some guys, they get too caught up in the points, and they lose the fun part of racing. I try not to worry about that and just try to win and have fun. The points will follow if you shoot for your goal.”
He won’t be the only Hale on the track Friday night. Younger brother Jackson Hale, who wrecked in last week’s feature, will be back on the track. He’s sixth in the points standings.