Tires will be squealin’, cameras will be rolling and spectators just might find themselves part of the action as reality TV makes its way to eastern North Carolina and GALOT Motorsports Park, 555 Dragstrip Road, Benson, just a few miles from the Sampson County line, in early March.
The reality show will follow Sampson County native Earl Wells, owner of the multi-million dollar NHRA and PDRA track, and life at GALOT, and will feature guest appearances from well-known reality star Ron Shirley of Lizard Lick Towing and Byron Cherry of Dukes of Hazard fame.
Both have already been signed to the show, which will focus on track life — from what goes on behind the driver’s seat to a birds-eye view from the tower; from the concession stand to spectator seats; and from the relationships of the crew to what goes on in the mind of the big boss, himself.
“It’s going to be a wild ride,” said Sampson native Monty Hobbs, president of Tobacco Road Productions, the local company producing the reality show. “You’ll certainly have to buckle in.”
Aptly named Burning Rubber, the reality show, Hobbs promises, will be a mix of gut-grabbing humor, fast-paced action and high-octane racing.
“If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the minds of drivers and their crews, or what goes on high in the tower as the race is going on, Burning Rubber will put you smack dab in the middle of it.”
What’s more, Wells interjects, “if you are a spectator just coming to enjoy the race, you might just find yourself on TV, too.” The reality show will be filmed in real time, capturing participants during the action. “Who knows, our next reality star might be one of those purchasing a ticket for any number of our races, including our Mad Mule events.” The first Mad Mule Pro Mod Shootout is Saturday, March 4, and cameras will be rolling.
And, participants will get to rub elbows with the likes of Shirley and Cherry, both who will be frequent visitors to GALOT during filming of the reality show.
Shirley is president of Lizard Lick Towing and Recovery and oversees the day to day operations of the repo company as well as heading up the repossession skip tracing department. He is the man that puts the Ron in Ronpos and is in the seat of a truck as a real-life repo man most days and nights . He is also the pastor Of the Eastern Chapter of Dirt Church and an Evangelist by grace. A reality show based on Lizard Lick can be found on TruTV and features Shirley and his wife Amy.
“Honestly, I’m just as excited as a three-eyed dog in a hubcap factory,” Shirley said during a telephone interview. “To be a part of a show in an area like where I grew up, well there’s nothing better.”
Shirley said the premise for Burning Rubber fits he and wife Amy perfectly. “You know, I’m into a lot of power and there’s one thing for sure — there’s a heck of a lot of power out there at GALOT Motorsports Park. I love being out there, and those people, whew they are just great. Earl’s a real trip, and we are real excited to be a part of something that I think is going to be real special.”
The Burning Rubber producers are just as excited to have Shirley involved.
“We are thrilled that Ron agreed to come aboard with us on this ride we are now calling Burning Rubber,” Hobbs said. “He brings name recognition to a great concept, and with him on board we are definitely going to have a great time. Race spectators are going to love seeing him around, and they are going to love watching all the action as it unfolds for the cameras. Nothing like this has ever been done in this area of North Carolina before, and we are pleased to be partnering with GALOT to bring it to folks in the area,” Hobbs said.
Cherry portrayed Coy Duke, one of the new Duke Boys in the 1982–1983 season of The Dukes of Hazzard.
“When we learned that Bryon had agreed to do Burning Rubber, we were ecstatic,” Hobbs attested. “Like Ron, he brings tremendous name recognition to our show, and he will also bring a lot of energy. The two of them are going to make a great show, with a great premise, an amazing series that folks are going to want to watch.
Cherry said he was chomping at the bit to be involved in this high-octane show. “I honestly can’t wait to do this thing,” he said during a phone interview. “From the moment I got the text asking me if I was interested, I’ve been eager to get started.
With the General Lee in tow, Cherry promises his part in the Burning Rubber show will be fun and, quite frankly, wide open. “You can expect a whole lot of speed, and a bunch of twists and turns in the action as well. I am so looking forward to getting started on this project. It’s a real blessing to be a part of it.”
Wells said he was thrilled to have such tremendous guest stars as part of the Burning Rubber action, something that he hopes track-goers will enjoy being a part of each time cameras roll.
Filming begins at GALOT this Friday and Saturday.
Wells and Hobbs said spectators will be a large part of the show.
“This is a show about racing, and the spectators are a vital part of our track. It only stands to reason that they will be a vital part of the reality show as well,” Wells said.
Reach publisher and editor Sherry Matthews at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.