The Tradition known as the “Uncle Buck” continues this weekend at Cecil County Dragway for Race # 5 & 6.
Article & photos provided by Mid Atlantic .90 Association
RISING SUN, MD- A tradition that has welcomed racers and fans for over 28 years is ready to add another notch to its belt this weekend at Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Md. That tradition simply known as the “Uncle Buck” is now embarking on its 28th year that was started when one man decided that he wanted to ramp up the racetrack afterparty BBQ game at the local Super Gas Association events with a Pig Roast. Little did he know that what he started in 1993, would carry over to today and 9 years after his passing from Pancreatic Cancer.
For more information on the Mid Atlantic .90 Association, click here.
Who was Uncle Buck?
So, who was Uncle Buck? Ronnie Harple, a businessman & farmer from Bel Air, Md who owned Dump trucks, but had a love for hot rods, racing and cooking for his friends and family. Growing up, Ronnie became friends with everyone he met and became remarkably close with George & Linda Donhauser also of Bel Air. Just like Ronnie, George also had that same passion for racing as Ronnie did and the two teamed up to travel the Northeast winning National, Divisional & local Association Events & Championships throughout the years. George was the driver and Ronnie was the Crew Chief and they were an inseparable combo.
Along the way, Ronnie’s passion for cooking started to take over at the Division 1 events and their pits became the place to be for afterhours eating, beer drinking and sometime late-night shenanigans. At that same time Ronnie was beginning his after-hour meals at the track, John Candy was staring in the 1989 hit film “Uncle Buck”. Candy, was known for going above and beyond on his cooking skills in the movie and somehow along the way that name “Uncle Buck” made it’s its way over to Ronnie and it stuck.
28 Years of Tradition
In 1993, that passion for cooking was raised to another level at a local Northeast Super Gas Association Event at his home track of Cecil County Dragway, Ronnie brought along his smoker and decided to “Smoke a Pig”. Little did Ronnie know 28 years later and 9 years since his passing from Pancreatic Cancer that this tradition would become one of the biggest and best .90 races and social gatherings on the East Coast. Racers as far west as California, as far South as South Carolina and as far North as Canada have embarked on what is now known as the “Uncle Buck” Pig Roast.
What started out as a little BBQ with about 30 people has grown to well over 200+ strong friends and family, all there to celebrate the life and legacy of Ronnie Harple. The pits look like a mini-Woodstock with campers, motorhomes and of course racers lined up in the fields to celebrate the tradition started in 1993.
The series itself has grown over the years to include more classes, as in 2011 Super Comp & in 2013 Super Street were added to the event schedule to make it one big happy .90 family.
2021 Event Schedule
In 2021, the event will be held on July 31st & August 1st at Cecil County Dragway in Northeast Maryland which just took a 4-week break to resurface the entire 1320 track by Kurt Johnson and TVC to make it one of the smoothest on the East Coast. Pro Mod Racer Jim Halsey cut his teeth at Cecil County as a bracket racer and part-time .90 racer back in the early 1980’s before becoming a 2x PDRA Pro Nitrous Champion.
One thing that sets the series apart is that we welcome all racers that want to run .90, members or non-members, everyone is allowed to race with us. Racers & Fans can arrive as early as Friday, July 30th at 5pm as Cecil County hosts it’s weekly “Friday Night Street Night” beginning at 6pm until the gates close at 11pm. The action kicks off on July 31st as the Mid Atlantic .90 Series runs Race # 5 of its 2021 season. Gates will open at 8am with time runs beginning around 9:30am with Q1 beginning with Super Street, into Super Comp and then rounding out with Super Gas.
The Annual AMC car show and drag race and test and tune will also join the series up until we crown the champions and celebrate at the Uncle Buck Pig Roast. As the sun settles, a ceremonial lantern lighting is set up to allow loved ones no longer with us partake in the festivities.
On Sunday, August 1st Race # 6 will highlight the day’s activities at Cecil County along with the Test & Tune. Gates open at 8am and racing will hit the strip around 9:30am until completion.
After four events of the 2021 season Don Bangs, who has been on a hot streak with 3 finals in his last 4 events between the series and NHRA events leads the Super Comp points by 56 points over Doug Doll Jr. In Super Gas, Paul Laino and Ron Ross who both have appeared in two finals this season are separated by 29 points. In Super Street, Rick Mattioli holds a slim 7-point lead over 5x champ Keith Mayers as we head into the home stretch.
If you would like more information about the series and how you can partake in the 28th Annual Uncle Buck Pig Roast you can visit their website at www.midatlantic90.org or find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or contact president Rob Keister at 856-332-2851. We will also be live beginning third round both days on Facebook live for those who cannot be in person.
For more Mid Atlantic .90 Association news from DragChamp, click here.