Rusty Wallace rolled large and in charge into Black Hills Harley-Davidson on a custom Street Glide, his son Steve riding wingman and a full entourage in tow. The Wallaces happened to be on a pair of Southern Country Customs which is the bike shop they opened back in January in Mooresville, North Carolina. Business has gotten off to roaring start as they’ve already built 10 customs according to Steve. On this day, though, they’re in Sturgis creating hype and encouraging people to rally around charitable causes. Taking off his helmet, the NASCAR Hall of Famer had the crowd gathered for the 2nd annual Sturgis Buffalo Chip Rusty Wallace Ride in the palms of his hands soon as he flashed that familiar smile.

The entourage we mentioned included drag racing legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme who traded his funny car for a motorcycle for this special occasion. Baja bad boy Walker Evans was also a member of the pack. Among his many desert racing feats, he’s best known for winning the grueling Baja 1000 five times. No wonder they call him “The Legend.” Professional motocross racer Weston Peick also made a special guest appearance, as did NASCAR racer Clint Bowyer who first signed autographs, then shared the story about how he hung up on Richard Childress’ secretary the first time Childress tried to reach out to him. In addition to getting to hear first-hand tales like this from racing legends, everybody in the Rusty Wallace Ride also received a picture autographed by all of them as a keepsake. One gentleman was smart enough to bring diecast Number 2 race cars and had them signed by Wallace.

Another special guest was celebrated custom motorcycle builder Cory Ness of Arlen Ness Enterprises. Ness and his team put a race-inspired spin on a 2020 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide for Wallace. The motorcycle has parts on it that haven’t even hit the market yet like the Ness Y-Spoke Wheels in a titanium finish, making it truly one-of-a-kind. The custom Harley went up for sale before the rally started and it didn’t take long for somebody to snatch this beauty up. Black Hills Harley-Davidson’s Jim Burgess said it sold for $60,000 and later that day he joined Wallace, Buffalo Chip owner Rod Woodruff, and Ness and presented the Special Olympics – Rapid City Flame with an oversized check for $60,000.

Burgess actually took the shirt off his back for the cause, putting one of his Black Hills Harley-Davidson work shirts from the 75thanniversary Sturgis Rally up for auction. The shirt came complete with a “Jim” nametag. Luckily, it looked like it’d been washed and added another $200 to the kitty. Black Hills Harley-Davidson also deserves a big round of applause for donating the 2020 Street Glide Cory Ness customized for Wallace as they always go above and beyond.

The good times didn’t stop there. Acclaimed actor Tom Berenger, who served as the ride captain of Monday’s Buffalo Chip Legends Ride, popped in to the delight of the crowd. Jimmy John owner James John Liautaud also snuck in quietly and when he heard what was going on donated $10,000 to the cause. Soon after, a live auction started, and not surprisingly, racing memorabilia and packages won the day. A 2020 race car hood signed by the entire starting grid of the Daytona 500 (the race ran before Covid) spurred some spirited bidding before plateauing at $3,600.

The most coveted auction item was a NASCAR VIP Experience at a NASCAR Cup Series Race. Talk about unforgettable. The package included two all-access garage passes with access to pit road and the NASCAR Cup Series garage. It also included access for two to the Driver’s Meeting, Pace Car Rides and Victory Lane. Icing on the cake, a “meet & greet” with Rusty Wallace. Bids went up quick, as did the price, and though the lucky winner’s wallet might be $4,000 lighter, they couldn’t be happier as in the end, charity is the ultimate winner here. Those charities include the NASCAR Foundation, All Kids Bike and Special Olympics South Dakota – Rapid City Flame.

After the last item was auctioned off, riders mounted up as Wallace and his son Steve led them on a route they’d scouted personally, making the run to Nemo from Rapid City, then down through the twists and turns of Vanocker Canyon as they made their way to a catered reception awaiting them at the Buffalo Chip Garden.