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Kingdom Come State Park brings rally car racing to Eastern Kentucky in hopes of promoting the region

Kingdom Come State Park, Harlan County Tourism, Letcher County Tourism, Backroads of Appalachia and NASA Rally Sport are partnering together to bring rally car racing to Eastern Kentucky.
Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 8:16 PM EDT
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CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - Kingdom Come State Park, Harlan County Tourism, Letcher County Tourism, Backroads of Appalachia and NASA Rally Sport are partnering together to bring rally car racing to eastern Kentucky.

“Rally Racing, it’s kind of a special sport. It’s not for everybody. You need to be a little bit crazy to do that,” Marcel Ciascai said, a member of NASA Rally Sport, a performance stage rally in North America.

“For me, this is the greatest motorsport there is. It’s the most exciting,” Brad Gates of Backroads of Appalachia said.

The event planned for August 7 will take place on August 7 as a sprint, which means the event isn’t a multi-person race, but a timed event.

“The rally sprint’s purpose is a small stage just to give the community, the region the idea of what can come for next year and the years to come,” Backroads of Appalachia Founder Erik Hubbard added.

All parties involved took to the trail to map out a route on Saturday in the park with breathtaking views and the highest elevation in the Bluegrass State.

“Kingdom Come State Park is by far the most underrated state park in Kentucky,” Hubbard said.

“Anywhere that you pull off the road, it’s scenic,” Letcher County Judge Executive Terry Adams added. “You can take pictures there.”

Both NASA Rally Sport and the other parties involved are thrilled with the way things are shaping up.

“They said that the scenery here from a racer standpoint and from a promotor’s standpoint with NASA, they’re in love with the area, and we love them,” Paul Browning explained, the District Three magistrate in Harlan County.

The counties hope to bring eyes and economy to the region and all it has to offer.

“I think anything that we do that helps the Mountains of eastern Kentucky and our region is a plus for everybody,” Adams said.

“It’s proven that if you can get one person to stay overnight in your area, they spend an additional $221 in revenue at your grocery stores and your restaurants and that’s what we need,” Kingdom Come State Park Head Sherry Cornett added.”

However, this isn’t a one-race deal. All believe this could start something bigger in the region.

“We see the potential, not only for each individual section of the county, but we see a regional situation here that we’re able to bring people from our area and more importantly, people to our area,” Browning said.

Hubbard added that they are scheduled to have two more races in 2020 and five big races in 2021.

Copyright 2020 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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