RUSK — One of the attractions at this weekend’s Independence Day Celebration will be a racing display being sponsored by the Rusk Chamber of Commerce. The display will feature pictures and items donated by automotive and motorsports businesses in the area.

“As a small town, in order to attract people into this area, we need to find a niche that will bring people here and make them stay,” Rusk Chamber of Commerce office manager Connie Brown said. “The Rusk area has a surprising amount of racing history that I think could make us a racing destination.”

The purpose of the display will be to gauge local interest in the topic. If response to the exhibit is positive, the chamber will consider establishing a full-sized racing museum and will try to attract more racing venues into town.

A majority of the exhibits to be on display Saturday have been donated for the day by Racefab Inc. and the Phil Clark Foundation.

Racefab Inc. is a competition automobile manufacturing company that is owned and operated by the Jackson family in Rusk. Racefab custom-makes and designs race cars for any motorsports application. Racefab produced 83 vehicles for the Shelby Can-Am series as well as 14 cars for the Mario Andretti Racing School. Their designs have been used in races all around the world, as well as in the Sylvester Stallone movie “Driven,” according to Racefab.

Joel Jackson, owner of Racefab, has worked at the Chrysler/Shelby Performance Center and has helped design and develop the Shelby Viper, the V-8 Dakota and numerous racing designs. The Jacksons have funded and raced in many forms of motorsports, resulting in several first place and top ten finishes. In 1988, Joel Jackson was awarded the prestigious TRW International Motorsports Association “Mechanic of the Year” award for his work with Team Shelby.

Holly Clark is a local freelance writer who resides in Rusk. She is the only daughter of Phillip Thomas Clark, the designer of the first Ford Mustang. Phil Clark died when Holly was just a little girl, and her family never volunteered information about her father. Holly grew up knowing nothing about her father’s work.

In her attic one day, Holly found a treasure trove of her father’s old things; old design sketches, diaries and pictures — all proving her father’s involvement in designing the first Mustang. Most of the pieces in Clark’s collection had never before been seen. Clark recently self-published a book, “Finding My Father,” the first in “The Man Behind the Pony” series.

“It’s really amazing that these two groups would both end up in Rusk so close to each other,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of automobile and racing history right here in Rusk.”

Also tied into the car/racing theme of the exhibit is the 2nd annual Mustang Stampede that will follow the parade and will feature nearly 100 Mustangs from around the world.

The Mustangs will parade around the square at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and will then park so patrons can take a closer look. Holly Clark will be present at the Stampede for an autograph session to help promote her book.