The New York-based artist mines the mud-slicked culture of his native Lone Star State in this photo story dedicated to the eponymous collective of offroaders

Every spring, in the ranchlands of Montague County, Texas, a collective of offroaders, mudders, and general trucking enthusiasts gather on a 1200-acre property for a festival of motorly delights. The group is known as Rednecks with Paychecks; their shenanigans, if not directly accessible to most, can be perused on YouTube. One such video titled “Barbie Jeep Racing” shows a chorus line of iron-willed participants racing small toy trucks down a steep incline, and invariably crashing, to the delight of hundreds of spectators.

It is this video which piqued the interest of documentary photographer Drew Ducote, who himself hails from outside Dallas, Texas. Too far to smell the waft of octane; not far enough to avoid the festival’s comely allure. Ducote was intrigued by this daredevil commune he’d stumbled on. So, when the collective gathered for this year’s Spring Break, he went to see what it was all about.

What Ducote found was something close to his heart: a cohesive microculture, with a compelling aesthetic and a strong identity to boot. His camera did the rest. Rednecks with Paychecks is the latest in a series of photographic investigations Ducote has made into the hidden cultures of his native Texas: one examining the refinery towns of Texas’s Gulf Coast, heavily indebted to the famed photographer Richard Misrach; and another depicting life in his hometown of San Marcos.

In the photo series, Ducote documents the festival-goers against the backdrop of the vehicles they cherish—vehicles which Ducote sees as “extensions of themselves, bold symbols of expression.” This year’s assembly was held amid torrential rain, every quad-bike race, modded trailer truck, and mud-splattered denim trouser set against dense, stormy skies. But the realism and honesty of the photos, achieved through some astute framing and use of flash, is augmented by Ducote’s choice to shoot not necessarily the most violent aspects of the meet—the crashes, the drifting, the flurry of exhaust fumes. Instead, he finds the interstitial moments, the pauses, the locals just hanging out, sipping beer, waiting for the show to begin again. Sure, there are big tires—and even bigger stetsons—but Rednecks with Paychecks is more than aestheticized Americana: it’s a testament to a very special kind of communal exultation.