Competition teams revving up for American Royal at Kansas Speedway

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The Royals might have missed the World Series, but we’ve got another one heating up October. The 2016 American Royal World Series of Barbecue is in its second day.

There’s no cooking just yet, but you can smell the BBQ in the air, and see empty grills, a little relaxation, and a lot of prep work. Friday marks one of the only down times teams competing in the American Royal will get before the real competition kicks off.

Ben Wilson of the Q-Bones is cooking-off for the second time, but this Kansas City native has been going to the World Series of BBQ long before he started competing.

“It had to be 10 or 12, it was pretty young that I could remember,” he said.

The contest began 36 years ago in the West Bottoms, moved to Arrowhead Stadium in 2015. The BBQ competition settled into the Kansas Speedway this year. That’s a new space and a new team for Ben.

“I’m used to competing against Ben. Call it what it is, Ben beats me a lot. Ben’s a fantastic guy,” said Shane Draper who stepped in to help a fellow BBQ lover.

Ben assembled a team made of up fellow rivals and friends. But at the American Royal, there’s one goal, to best the nearly 600 competitors vying for the same title.

“I haven’t won the big grandaddy of the American Royal, hopefully it’s this weekend,” he said.