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Revving up for the Richmond regional

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August 28, 2014

From Scarborough, Maine on down to N. Charleston, the northeast has been busy showing off its mastery of all things barbeque. With the Region 5 final of the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour on the horizon this Saturday, it’s just about time to settle this year’s score on who will be representing the region at the overall series final in Bentonville in late September.  Just ten out of the eligible 30 teams will be advancing from Richmond, perfectly setting up this weekend’s competition to being one heck of an intense battle. 

“The Richmond field is stacked with exceptional pitmasters and we know we will have to cook a flawless contest to move on to Bentonville,” said Heath Hall, pitmaster for Pork Barrel BBQ. “Our mindset approaching the Richmond event is the same for every contest we cook and that is to focus on walking away with the grand championship from the second our smoker hits the cook site until brisket is turned in.”

Aside from knowing a thing or two about cooking, attitude makes up for a good portion of how well a team will do in any given competition.

“Balance is key going in to a contest like this,” said Tim Rohrs, pitmaster for Stubborn Bull BBQ. “On one hand, you have to go in to the contest with confidence, but not cocky or boastful. You also don’t want to look at the team list of heavy hitters in the BBQ world and start thinking that they can’t be beat; you have lost then.”

As always, the caliber of competition that shows up to the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour is tough to beat. With representation from teams who have tried their hand in the series for multiple years in a row and a handful of teams who simply seem to carry a stroke of luck in their first few years on the circuit, the team roster for the Richmond regional is certainly robust.   

“We are relatively inexperienced in the Richmond area, with only our past experience in the Chesapeake Regional in 2012 to measure against,” said Kevin Whitney, pitmaster for Herding Smoke. “How we do is a little of an unknown. One thing is for certain: a bad day of barbeque is better than a good day at work, so we expect to enjoy every minute of it.”

We’re officially in the homestretch to competition day. Many teams are already on the road down to Richmond, soon to be joined by others. No doubt, all 30 teams already have their heads in the game anxiously awaiting Saturday’s final verdict. 
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