PRESTONSBURG – Drag racing legend Kent Rose, known as “Mr. Horsepower” and “The Arm Drop Guy” to racers and fans throughout the world, passed away Sunday morning following a battle with cancer. He was 50.
At the time of his passing, Rose was surrounded by family and friends.
Rose helped to start the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags, which grew into one of the top drag racing events in the Southeastern United States. It was Rose’s dream to start the event locally. An experienced racer, Rose led events at Combs Airport in Hagerhill.
Rose, who thrived as a drag racer prior to leading the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags, promoted tourism in Prestonsburg, Paintsville and throughout Eastern Kentucky. He was also a fan favorite among children. During the Hillbilly Arm Drop Drags, which featured Appalachian Wireless as a title sponsor, Rose would hold Big Wheel races for children. He’d also give out Big Wheels and Hot Wheels to the children who were in attendance. Over 19,000 attended Hillbilly Arm Drop Drag events held at Comes Airport on multiple occasions.
Rose documented his battle with cancer on Facebook, uploading videos and posting updates. He posted his last video on Wednesday
Per Rose’s wishes, no visitation or services were held.
An event to honor Rose was held at Pop’s Chevrolet, Buick & Cadillac in Prestonsburg on Monday. Thousands turned out for the event to commemorate the legendary Eastern Kentuckian.
Steve LeMaster is the editor of The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.