The Rack Race Season 2 Opener: Josh Roberts Secures Victory in Augusta, GA

The second season of The Rack Race kicked off in Augusta, GA, at Rack & Grill II, featuring a $2,000-added event that attracted a full field of 64 participants. Josh Roberts, Jr. started the new season just as he had ended the previous one—with a victory. He remained undefeated on his way to the hot seat, ultimately defeating BJ Ussery, Jr. in the lone set required for a true double-elimination final.

Before delving into the specifics of the 2024 season’s inaugural event, a brief overview of The Rack Race is necessary. Conceived by Michael Newsome and his wife, Avery Palmer, this series was created to boost attendance at Newsome’s regularly scheduled tournaments across his three Rack & Grill locations—two in Augusta, GA, and one in Aiken, SC. The Rack Race, adorned with a clever comic ‘rat’ logo and the urging to “GET THAT CHEDDAR,” operates on a points system and features an individual event format with cash prizes for both single events and the overall series. Three designated ‘major’ events with added prize money add extra allure to the series.

The recent event saw Josh Roberts dominate the competition with four consecutive 6-2 wins, setting the stage for his quest for a second consecutive Rack Race title. Meanwhile, Nick Van Allen navigated through the field to face BJ Ussery in the winners’ side semifinal.

Roberts secured his place in the hot seat match with a hard-fought double-hill victory against Dave Cook, while Ussery also faced a double-hill battle but emerged victorious to meet Roberts in the final. In the hot seat match, Roberts triumphed over Allen 6-4.

On the losers’ side, Cody Sones, recovering from an initial loss, embarked on an impressive eight-match run, eliminating opponents like George Spires and Todd Blackwell. Ussery, on the other hand, contended with Mike Wise in a double-hill battle before reaching the quarterfinals. Sones ultimately halted Cook’s journey on the losers’ side, securing a spot in the quarterfinal against Ussery. In a tense double-hill quarterfinal, Ussery advanced, setting the stage for a rematch with Van Allen. Ussery sealed the victory 5-3, earning a spot in the final against Roberts.

The final showdown almost reached double-hill territory, but Roberts clinched the season opener with a 6-4 victory over Ussery. Michael Newsome expressed gratitude to sponsors and announced that the next Rack Race stop, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 3-4, will be hosted by Rack & Grill II in Augusta, GA.

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