Rally Racing is coming to Texas County.
The 100AW Performance Rally Group is partnering with the Texas County Commission to bring rally racing to the county on Saturday, July 30, on roadways east of Cabool.
The group has been meeting with the county commissioners and Sargent Township officials since April. The commission is always looking for events and excitement to bring people to the county and the group is always looking for new roads and venues on which to conduct events.
In April, 100AW Performance Rally Group President Kim DeMotte approached the Texas County commissioners in search of a home for the “Missouri Ozarks Rally.” With some introduction from Joleen Durham from Piney River Brewing (a long time supporter of rallying in the area) and Texas County Memorial Hospital CEO Chris Strickland, DeMotte proposed a small, one-day event his organization uses for officials training and close-to-home experience for a small group of rally racers residing within about 150-mile radius of Texas County.
The organization also conducts the Show-Me Rally in Washington County in November, and the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Dent and Washington counties every March. This year’s inaugural event in Texas County will serve as a “proof-of-concept” for potentially including the county in the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, which annually draws a large, international field of racers.
Working closely with Sargent Township board member Jeremy Minton, the organizers have laid out a course east of Cabool for racers to compete on. With the commissioners’ blessing, traffic will be controlled on these roads throughout the day, making it safe for the competition, spectators and local residents.
“Rally racing is a unique form of motorsport that’s been as popular in Europe as NASCAR is in the U.S.,” DeMotte said. “And it’s growing in the U.S. with entries at last year’s 100 Acre Wood pushing 100 cars.”
Cars start a competitive section, or stage, at one-minute intervals and race a prescribed course, one car at a time, so no wheel-to-wheel racing takes place. After completing a prescribed section, they transit at safe speeds to the next section. It’s all against the clock.
The racers will gather at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds at 9 a.m. on race day, and leave for the rally course at 10:30. Meanwhile, their pit crews will convene in front of the New Cabool High School Gymnasium and will come in for service around noon Saturday.
Cabool R-IV School District Superintendent Dr. Karl Janson reported that Cabool’s Community Foundation is excited about the event and hopes to see it grow in the future.
When the racers return to the fairgrounds in the afternoon to a finish and awards banquet, they will join an already exciting cadre of activities, including the annual Show Me Smash Demolition Derby and a carnival, according to Houston chamber board member Mike Zamarron.
An accurate schedule and spectator guide will be published about a week prior on the organization’s website, www.missouriozarkrally.100aw.org.
“And we’re always looking for volunteers to come enjoy the fun with us,” DeMotte said.
Information about volunteering is available online at rally101.100aw.org/volunteerinformation/.