Event Preview: Drivers gearing up for Billy Robinson Memorial

Event Preview: Drivers gearing up for Billy Robinson Memorial

VIVIAN, Louisiana (May 15, 2024) — He was one of the best to ever compete in a part of the country where talent lurks in every corner. This weekend, they’ll pay tribute to a Modified legend, as officials host the fourth annual Billy Robinson Memorial on Friday and Saturday at Ark-La-Tex Speedway. 

Since Robinson, father of current Super Late Model star BJ, drove the potent No. 01 Modified, it’s these ground-pounders who’ll be in the spotlight this weekend. With two full shows each night, teams will battle for $1,501-to-win on Friday, then compete for a $2,001 lion’s share on Saturday evening. 

Also on the card this weekend are the USRA Limited/B Mods; Factory Stocks, Pro Mods, Tuners (4 Cyl.) and Sportsters. The Sportsters and Tuners will compete on Saturday only. With top teams from around the area planning to attend, this promises to be one of the hottest two-day shows on tap in 2024. 

Chris Henigan is among the seasoned Modified veterans preparing his car for battle this weekend.  

“We’ve had three wins so far this year, but didn’t start off all that strong,” he said when contacted at his home on Tuesday evening. “We went out to Vado and weren’t very good, then we raced around here for a while, and still weren’t particularly good. I think here lately though, we finally got our car dialed in. 

“We’ve finished second a few times, so I feel like we’re getting there. What’s cool is the fact my son has been outrunning me. He just won the feature this past weekend. He’s been playing baseball this Spring, so he hasn’t been able to race very often. I think the other night showed how much he’s matured.” 

Josh Baucom is hoping to bring his Limited Modified entry this weekend, yet was still repairing a pair of bent race cars in his shop earlier this week. 

“The Pro Mod is in pretty rough shape, but damage to the Limited was mostly cosmetic,” he explained. “I’m hoping I can get the Limited ready to go, but time will tell. We’ve been really good the first part of this year; although there’s still room for improvement. 

“The Limited has been solid; we ended up winning one at Boothill, and I don’t know how many times we’ve run second. It seems like a lot. But I race when I have time, since family takes a priority. So as a part-timer, I’m doing my best. We’ve won three in the Pro Mods so far, which is pretty cool.” 

Colby Mewborn is another skilled Limited pilot planning to bring his machine to Vivian this weekend. 

“I’m not going to lie, it’s been a pretty rough start to our season,” he said candidly on Tuesday evening. “I got a new-to-me car this year, I put a new motor in it; and the engine lasted two nights and blew up. So I’ve been out of it for a month, that was such a big setback. 

“I took off from work last weekend and went to Boothill; I won my Heat race and ended up fourth in the feature. That was the first race in this car I got to finish this year, as hard as that is to say. It’s been rough, to say the least. But this IRP has a ton of potential, so I’m confident going into this weekend.” 

The Limited and Factory Stock teams will compete for $701-to-win on Friday, bumped up to $801 for each division on Saturday night. While it’s the mighty Mods in the spotlight, that’s still good money for those guys. It’s a safe bet to say we’ll see two and even three-wide battles in every class both nights. 

Hot Laps get under way at 7 p.m. both nights, with racing to follow. Once they wave that initial green flag, fans will have plenty to watch in every division all weekend long. 

If you can’t attend in person, you can catch every lap of the annual Billy Robinson Memorial at Ark-La-Tex Speedway, presented by Genuine RV & Powersports, with a Membership at RaceON.com. With over 450 events on the schedule this year, it’s home to a huge variety of oval racing content.   

When you become a Member today, choose your favorite or home track, then start enjoying tons of great content while supporting that track even when you can’t attend with our revenue sharing program. 

By Phil Whipple, RaceON.com Staff Writer