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Sturgis Mustang Rally

Written By Emily Pogue

As the second longest-running sports car line in the United States, the Ford Mustang is an icon in the automotive industry. Add to that the affordability, customizability, and community that surrounds the Mustang name, and you’ll see why so many people from around the world have fallen in love with this performance car.

Paying homage to this American beauty and creating entertaining competition is the Sturgis Mustang Rally. As the 13th annual weeklong event kicks off on August 26th, people from around the world will gather to test their skills, prove their loyalty, and stand in awe of the incredible Ford Mustang.

From the free concert Monday night to the banquet and award dinner Sunday evening, the week is loaded with Mustang-related fun. And that’s exactly what Frank Lawton, Rally founder and one of 7 event organizers, thinks keeps people coming in from around the world.

“It’s a pretty close-knit family,” Frank shares. We have people who have been there for 13 years. And we bring them in from all over the world”.

Wanting to take full advantage of their weeklong schedule, the festivities will kick off on Monday with a free concert at The Outlaw Square in Deadwood featuring The Kid and Nic show.

Registration for events will be open all day Tuesday while SMR attendees can plan to attend Deadwood Days where there will be fun re-enactments, historic bus tours, and slot tournaments to participate in.

This year’s individual events will be full of adrenaline and nostalgia. From a chance to race other Mustang owners, to learning some skills at driving school, to the pride and awe of a Show & Shine, there is a little something for everyone.

Ford Performance Driving School
Wednesday, August 28

Take advantage of the expert instructors from the Ford Performance Racing School experts to begin or enhance your autocross skills. Two personalized driving schools will be held – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.


“Ponies for Patriots” – Military & Veterans Tribute Cruise
Wednesday, August 28         Noon

The special tribute begins with lunch at noon at Scott Peterson Ford. Cars will pass through the Black Hills National Cemetery and then stop for a visit with the disabled veterans at Ft. Meade Veterans Hospital. On Thursday, the tribute continues with a concert by 4 on the Floor to benefit Wounded Warrior Family Support.


Mustang Rodeo
Wednesday, August 28         6:00PM

Score points when you lasso a horse or throw bean bags in this low-speed, timed team sport. This event, held at the Thunderdome, is sure to bring a few laughs!


Launch Box Competition
Thursday, August 29            3:00PM

You’ve got 60 feet and a time to beat in order to take home one of the top 3 awards in this 0-60 event. Make sure you stop in the box or elimination is your fate!


AutoCross Racing
Friday, August 30                  1:00PM

Enter into this low to medium speed event in which you can practice those driving school skills and try to beat your opponent’s time. This elimination event boasts great awards and cash prizes for winners. The first round of the competition starts Friday, with finals wrapping up on Sunday.


Barrel Racing
Friday, August 30                  6:00PM

Enter your pony in the Barrel Race and see if you can avoid the barrels but beat your opponent’s time. This event is held on Friday night and offers cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Live entertainment follows at 7:30PM.


Show & Shine
Saturday, August 31             10:00AM

Be one of the proud owners who line up to shine up and show off their cars. From classic to current, this is a great time to view and discuss all the incredible attributes of this American classic. The official photo of entrants will be taken on the famous Main Street of Sturgis at noon sharp. Show off your pipes as you parade out of the Show & Shine with the Loud Pipes Contest at 5:00PM.


Mustang Auction
Saturday, August 31             1:00PM

Join other enthusiasts at Knuckles Saloon Pavilion to see what’s available for purchase or register your items for consignment at this year’s auction. This event is open to the public and full of interesting and cool memorabilia. Auction starts Saturday, August 31st at 1:00PM, with registration beginning at 12:00PM.


Mustang Drag Race
Saturday, August 31             6:00PM

This fan favorite event is for those with a need for speed. Compete against another racer at the Sturgis Dragway to determine who is the fastest in all the land. Professional drag racers will be on hand to give instruction or ride along with you.

Dice Roll
Sunday, September 1           Noon

What would it mean to win a customized Mustang with just a roll of a dice? See if Lady Luck is on your side when you roll the dice for your chance to win a 2019 Ford Mustang GT from Scott Peterson Motors of Sturgis and Sturgis Ford Customs. This beautiful custom car has a 5.0 V8 with 460 HP, a 10 speed select shift automatic transmission, custom Katzkin leather, 20” Ferrada wheels, paint and hood work by Spearfish Hot Rod Shop, Ford racing suspension, and more.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for ride-alongs, social events, poker runs and entertainment including a hypnotist and concerts from Tommy Brandt and Come Together Band.

The week will wrap up Sunday with an awards banquet unlike any other. As the owners come up to receive the award and prize, the winning car will be shown on the drive-in screen.

For full event details, visit

For registration options, there are Show, Race, and Cruise packages available. You can view these packages online at Although online registration has closed, there is still plenty of time to register by downloading the form and sending it via US Mail.

Registration will also be available the week of the rally. And while there are plenty of ways to get involved in the events, spectating is free and open to the public. Thank you to the SMR board members and sponsors for their hard work, dedication and passion to making the 13th annual Sturgis Mustang Rally the best one yet.


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