PRESTONSBURG - It’s only fitting that the man dubbed “Mr. Horsepower” would have the title of Event Coordinator for the Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags. “Mr. Horsepower” Kent Rose was named Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags Event Coordinator in 2012 and he’s leading the event in 2013. The Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags, a unique event that has brought tens of thousands of drag racers and fans together, isn’t slowing down. If anything it’s going full throttle. The 2013 Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags will be held May 10-11 at Paintsville-Prestonsburg-Combs Field Airport. Rose continues to hit the ground running every day to further promote the event.
According to Rose, in early-2013, planning for the Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags is miles ahead of where it had been before in previous years.
“Our meetings are so positive and we get a lot done,” Rose commented. “I’ve got a great group of men in my posse. I call them my posse and they include Darrell Patton-Chairman and Mike Ormerod-Treasurer, along with Chip Salyers, Steve Blackburn, Brian Nelson and my agent, Wade Smith.”
Meetings for the Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags are usually held bi-weekly.
“We have a budget now and our goal is to do scholarships. When I go out into communities, I let everyone know that the money goes back into local businesses. We keep building this event. We’re shakin’ and bakin’ every day.”
The cities of Prestonsburg and Paintsville continue to collaborate their efforts to help make the Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags possible.
“Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin and Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter have been tremendous,” Rose confided. “It’s better every year. The involvement and commitment from both cities has been great. Mayor Fannin called recently and said he wanted to do something for the people on July 4. They appreciate these type of events.”
Rose, who has received a key to the City of Prestonsburg and carries it in his pocket, fields calls on a daily basis from drag racers nationwide. Racers from as far away as California are planning to race in the 2013 Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags. The last Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags featured 206 cars and Rose expects at least 250-300 for the event in May.
Local economies receive a big boost from the drag racing events with campers camping on site and at area campgrounds and visiting racers and fans staying in hotels that are located in Floyd and Johnson counties. Local restaurants have also seen business pick up when the drag races are held.
Rose uses social media to help get the word out on the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags. He posts updates throughout the day, every day on multiple Facebook pages.
The highly-successful drag racing event partners with numerous organizations. Rose will use an existing partnership with the Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center with students providing security at the upcoming event.
“We’ll have 60 individuals from the Job Corps to help with security, again,” Rose noted. “We’ll provide security on bicycle and via radio. They’ll also handle the parking. Job Corps helps to make the race possible. We couldn’t race without Job Corps.”
As has been the case with past editions of the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags, the event will be filled with giveaways. The fan- and child-friendly event offers something for drag racing fans of all ages.
Admission for the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags is $10 per spectator; $15 per pit pass and $35 per racer. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free.
The Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags has added two classes - Front Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive. The first 250 racers to register for the May event will receive driver bags and T-shirts. Each of the first 50 racers to register will receive a dash plaque.
Pig In A Poke will be the primary food vendor for the upcoming Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags, offering deep fried turkey legs, among other items.
Seven-foot trophies will be on the line for racers in the latest version of the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags.
In addition to primary sponsor Pop’s Chevrolet, other businesses who have stepped forward as sponsors include Shirt Gallery, Honda of Prestonsburg, Discount Auto Brokers, Darrell Patton Insurance, Arm Drop Garage, Sign Guys, Taylor Metal and Kelly’s Radiator.
Discount Auto Brokers has signed on to sponsor an appearance from Speed personality Brett Wagner, who many remember from Monster Garage.
It’s February, the 2013 Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags are over three months away and Kent Rose and his posse are shakin’ and bakin’. Are you?
Editor’s note: Each Friday, now through May 10, check The Floyd County Times for more on the 2013 Pop’s Chevrolet Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags.