Event Preview: Drivers gearing up for Ralph Henson Memorial

SPRING, Texas (July 11, 2024) — One of the most special and time-honored races in the south takes place this Saturday, as drivers prepare for the 16th annual Ralph Henson Memorial at 67 Speedway of Texarkana. As a two-time winner of the race, promoter Tim Crawley is an ideal host for this big event.  

Taking center stage on Saturday night are the mighty ASCS Elite Outlaw Sprints, as they compete for a winner’s purse of $4,646 on the famed oval. Also on the card is a Stock Car Special, featuring cars from Arkansas and USRA-legal cars. They will compete for a healthy $1,000-to-win in their feature. 

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Among the Sprint car drivers planning to compete at 67 this weekend are Robert Vetter, Joseph Miller, Austin Mundie, Reese Moran, Koty Adams, Waco legend Paul White, John Carney II and Marcus Thomas. Over 30 teams are expected to be on hand for a chance at a big payday and bragging rights. 

Expected to compete in the Stock Car Special on Saturday night are Arlen Stewart, Ben Necessary, Drake Traylor, Scooter Scruggs, Brandon Randall, Lynnsee Provence, Noah Burlison and John Bubbus. The action on the Stock car side promises to be every bit as exciting as the Sprints on Saturday night. 

Vetter, of Wolfe City, Texas, has been active this year and says he has high hopes to make the A Main.

“We’re a brand new rookie in the 360 class,” he said on Thursday morning. “We’ve been rained out on all of our regional races, so we’ve thrown ourselves to the wolves on the National tour to stay active. It’s just me and my fiance, so we’ve been learning the hard way. It’s been kind of a struggle. 

“But so far, I’ve made every A Main in the races I’ve entered, which is a pretty good deal for it being the National tour. I don’t have any more door cars, we’re concentrating on the Sprint car. So with those rainouts, it was either go racing against the big boys, or sit home. We chose to go racing.” 

As for this weekend at 67, Vetter says he’s more than anxious to get back to the famed Texarkana oval. 

“I can’t wait, we raced there years ago and I really enjoyed it,” he said. “Now, with Tim Crawley taking it over and making it a lot racier, I’m excited to go back. This weekend, we’ll be racing against the 410s. The only reason we’re going is they’ve put up some cash incentives for the 360 cars. 

“The highest finisher in a 360 gets a bonus of $360, which is pretty nice. We’re definitely going to be underpowered, but it is a short track so that kind of helps us out. The track is great, the entire facility is nice, and you have a racing legend now promoting the place. I’m really looking forward to this one.” 

Ralph Henson started his racing career in the late 1950s drag racing motorcycles. In 1966, with help from friends like Hooker Hood and John Suggs, he built his first Sprint Car (called Super Modifieds at that time).

Henson was very successful racing Sprint Cars. He also had other drivers steer his cars, including the late Gentlemen Jim Baker and Bo Pearson. Henson continued to race into the early 1970s, winning countless features and a few points championships along the way.  

Ralph continued racing Sprint Cars along with his son, Wally Henson, for 35 years, racking up hundreds of wins and several championships during a stellar career. Crawley and his staff will graciously welcome and recognize members of the Henson family to the track on Saturday evening. 

Hot Laps for the 16th annual Ralph Henson Memorial at 67 Speedway of Texarkana are set to begin at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, with racing to follow. 

If you can’t make it out to Texarkana this weekend, you can catch every lap Live with a Membership at With over 450 events on tap for 2024, it’s home to some of the best short track racing entertainment available online.

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer . Photo by Chaz Brzeski