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Struttin' in the Ruts takes new approach to good 'clean' fun

June 1st, 2012 1:44 pm by Susan Kendrick Lauhoff

Struttin' in the Ruts takes new approach to good 'clean' fun

Race season is every Saturday from April through October. Gates open at 5 p.m. Races start about 7 p.m.

Remember splashing through mud puddles in the rain as a kid? Well, you and your family can still do that in Hawkins County.


A tragic loss, family land and big hearts led to the opening of Struttin’ in the Ruts. Chris and Jon Gentry lost their eldest son, Houston, to a car accident and in his honor opened a place where the whole family could have fun together. With their twin sons, Sam and Scott, a dream was realized in 2007 when people started participating in an evening of muddy adventure on their beautiful 65 acres.


Growing each year, spectators hoot and holler under lights in stands that seat over 350. Considered the No. 1 Mud Bog Track in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the pit is over 200 feet long and 6 feet deep. Hobbyist racers test their lead feet in one of four categories.


"Each competitor gets three runs for $20 and an option at the end of the night for $10 in a last-ditch effort to take home the trophy for their class. The classes depend on the size of the tires," Chris Gentry said.


Race season is every Saturday from April through October. Gates open at 5 p.m. Races start about 7 p.m. (earlier in October). A concession stand is available on-site. Children may race if accompanied by an adult and, during intermission, can run the foot race or take part in the balloon toss.


New events are scheduled in 2012 with a Demolition Derby, flea market and crown competition for Miss Mud Queen. Follow the signs to the alcohol-free and drug-free Struttin’ in the Ruts, located in Carters Valley, at 352 Gravely Road in Surgoinsville. Anyone interested in getting muddy or becoming a sponsor should call Chris to register at 423-429-7711. Also, visit www.struttinintheruts.com or "like" them on Facebook.

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