We’re less than one month away from WeatherTech/IMSA at Virginia International Raceway. The original schedule for the race in August was shuffled to allow drivers and teams to participate at LeMans for the big 24 hour race. So… With October just on the horizon, it would be good to get up to speed on who is running and who is winning. The Daytona Prototypes and LeMans Prototype 2 will not run at VIR, leaving the GT LeMans and GT Daytona classes to race without having to keep eyes out for the larger cars.

However, with racing still to go, it should be noted the top 3 teams in DPi are all within one race in points to be on top. The top 3 in LMP2 are racing practically the same. One race can easily blow the points up and change the game for any of these teams. We won’t see these at VIR but it’s good to catch up.

For GTLM, it’s pretty much a race of Porsche against the Corvettes. The WeatherTech Porsche team got a much needed win at Road America. It was their 2nd win of the season but the Corvettes grabbed it again at Laguna Seca. The Corvettes have notched 5 wins so far.

The GTD class has more diversity but the the top 4 are also running close and within 100 points. The Turner BMW team is currently leading but the PFAFF Porsche team grabbed 2 recent wins and is moving up with Heart of Racing / Aston Martin team has recently fallen back to 3rd overall. Paul Miller Racing and their Lambo is still in the hunt at 4th in points.

The Michelin Pilot Challenge classes of Grand Sport and Touring combine a much larger field of manufacturers and teams. The Turner BMWs are out in front of the GS group with the Winward AMG and Wright Porsche following and within points. The Touring class has the Hyundai / Bryan Herta Autosport #77 on top with another Herta Hyundai chasing up. The KMW/TMR Alpha Romeo team and the Atlanta Speedwerks Honda are chasing up.

VIR will also host the Prototype Challenge featuring the LeMans P3 classes. Muehlner Motorsports #21 is leading the field with #54 MLT Motorsports on the bumper 10 points behind. Conquest Racing #61 is leading in the P3-2 class.

Porsche Carrera Cup North America will also be running events at Virginia International Raceway. All the drivers will be competing in identical spec 911 GT3 Cup Cars so the track will be putting driver skill on the line.

October 8-10 offers up a full weekend of racing and sportsmanship with variety and speed on the full course at Virginia International Raceway. Check IMSA online and VIR online for schedules and tickets!

The regular racing season for Motor Mile Speedway may be over but action at Motor Mile is far from done. A-1 Heating and Cooling Championship Night brought twin event racing start to finish with Track Champions being set for the 2021 season.

Coming up for the rest of the year the track is not holding back with the Tour Of Destruction coming up this weekend (9/18) with School Bus Racing, War Wizard Monster Truck, Fireworks, Demolition Derby and more. October brings the SMART Modified Tour, Circle Track Warehouse Madness, Halloween Pumpkin Smash and Monster Trucks.

The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience has their first year with Motor Mile showing progress and momentum. For the points track racing, it came down to Saturday, September 11 which opened with a quick UCar race before bringing some area fire and emergency vehicles on the track as a tribute to those fallen on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Peyton Howell won the Blue Ridge Church UCar opener. Later in the evening for the 2nd UCar race, Howell and the #11 car were involved in a wreck that left Howell injured and unable to finish. He was treated in the infield for non-serious injury then left the track after the UCar event but was still the UCar Track Champion for 2021. The 2nd UCar race was won by Cary Thomason.

Ryan Wilson picked up wins in both of the twin Late Model races but it wasn’t enough to take the crown from NAAPWS LM Champion Kres VanDyke.

The Super Street races were split with wins from Hank Turman in the first and Ray Sowers taking the second and, with it, the Championship for Motor Mile Super Street.

The largest field of cars on the track was the Sportsman division with crowded competition from green to checkers. The first of the twin-30 Collision Plus Sportsman was won by Corey Dunn. The second was taken by Kyle Barnes but it was Corey Dunn who came away as Sportsman Champion at Motor Mile.

The Mod-4 was also a little crowded and featured split wins. Doodle Lang won the first of the twin-25s and Jimmy Mullins won the second. Lang’s win in the first race added to his Mod-4 Tack Championship for 2021.

The full facility at Motor Mile also features a drag strip with still more events on the calendar. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience features karts with a dedicated track, stock car and drag car driving for fans to get behind the wheel and see what it’s like to take to the track. There is a lot more to see and do on the way at Motor Mile.

FULL PHOTO GALLERY from A-1 Heating and Cooling Championship Night is below

Track Champion Night at South Boston Speedway brought the season together with the winners on and off the track. The race fans themselves were honored as retiring General Manager Cathy Rice gave them the credit for the success of the track as she thanked them for making her job easier. Rice had announced early on that she would be leaving as GM at the end of the 2021 season. The pre-race events of Danville Toyota Championship Night was the perfect opportunity to honor Cathy Rice with presentations and well deserved awards. However, Cathy made it clear as she thanked everyone for the honors that it was the fans that made South Boston Speedway special.

And, not to worry, she will still be around the track as the new folks take SoBo racing forward. Chase and Carly Brashears will be taking the track into 2022 and beyond. With Mattco Inc., known for Pocono Raceway, in the financial seat and the racing history and experience the Brashears bring to the facility, South Boston is well set for the future as Cathy carries on in a friendly consultant capacity.

For racing, the crowd from the grandstands to the backstretch had a full night of action. The regular hosted series crowned their season champions for 2021 with an opening show featuring the vintage Southern Ground Pounders. The opener was cut short for time after cautions and some blown engines. At the front at the call was Danny Bond and local favorite Stacy Puryear. Bond took the Modified and Puryear took the Sportsman.

Stacy Puryear (#63), Christopher Werner (#19), Danny Bond (#007) Southern Ground Pounders at South Boston

Josh Dawson won the 15 lap Budweiser Hornets race which also put him in place to take the Division Title for South Boston. Dawson had 8 wins on 10 starts at South Boston with this win coming from the back of the field.

Josh Dawson – South Boston Budweiser Hornets 2021 Champion

Daniel Moss came away from Saturday night as the Limited Sportsman Division Champion. The points were tight coming in and Moss had to drive hard to keep a margin for the championship as his car faded and he finished in 7th place. His points competitors, Jason Myers and Drew Dawson, finished third and fourth but Moss kept the season Champion lead by 2 points over Myers. Eric Winslow, the race winner, took the lead 1/3 of the way in and held that lead to the checkers. This was Winslow’s third victory of the season at South Boston Speedway.

Eric Winslow (left) Limited Sportsman race winner | Daniel Moss (LS 2021 SoBo Champion) with Cathy Rice and Chase Brashears

Nathan Crews took the lead from teammate Daniel Shelton with three laps to go in the Budweiser Pure Stock race. Shelton’s car faded as Crews passed by to win the evening and the 2021 South Boston Speedway Budweiser Pure Stock Division championship. The family owned team has this and the previous Championship with Crews and a third with Shelton who took the title in 2018.

Nathan Crews (Budweiser Pure Stock 2021 Champion) with Cathy Rice and Chase Brashears

Peyton Sellers snagged a fourth straight win and his ninth victory of the season at South Boston. Sellers is chasing a second career NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national championship with 21 wins this season. Four race wins in a row also ties together four straight Division Titles as the South Boston NAAPWS 2021 Champion. This also marks six titles leaving him one short of the record seven by David Blankenship.

Peyton Sellers – 2021 NAAPWS Late Model Champion

Sellers avoided a front stretch wreck on the first lap and chased down the lead. Sellers and Jacob Borst raced the lead a few times but it was Sellers who took the checkers after fighting through traffic again with 28 laps to go.
Borst hung on for second, with Chris Denny finishing third. Landon Pembelton finished fourth, helping his National rookie standing and John Goin rounded out the top five. Goin was racing in as a regular at Dominion Raceway where Sellers has also been making the rounds and collecting some wins.

Racing at South Boston Speedway is not over for 2021, even as track champions come away with their titles from Danville Toyota Championship Night. Later this month, SoBo hosts the Country Roads Truck Show with trucks, 4X4s, hot rods, rat rods and more. In October, the CARS Tour makes its way through America’s Hometown Track!

For South Boston, it is embracing the history of the racetrack. Cathy Rice has pulled the facility into this century and stamped its mark on short track racing with a reputation that is held nationwide. The real winners and champions are all of the fans, the drivers, the teams and the employees and volunteers that have taken this track to the level it is.

Cathy Rice, retiring GM of South Boston Speedway – Thanking fans and workers for all the success

Danville Toyota Championship Night Photo Gallery – September 4, 2021 at South Boston Speedway

The season points schedule ended where it began… At Daytona. Tensions ran high as some drivers were looking to validate their points with a win, some had to have a win to make a playoff run and others wanted the win in their corner to add weight to grabbing a seat in the coming season.

Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick would have liked that win as icing on their playoff points clinch. Late race wrecks put an end to Matt DiBenedetto’s chase for a win as his #21 and the #9 of Chase Elliott tangled with blocking and ran up into the wall which set off a bit of a tumble while Ryan Blaney grabbed the front and ran with it to the end. Blaney put a 3rd win in his regular season column and Tyler Reddick made it to the playoffs on points.

However… Consider one year ago. Throw 2020 NASCAR in a bucket and make predictions on what 2021 would bring. If someone had put the following on a list it would have read as parody…

  • Kyle Larson will come back in 2021 after the 2020 suspension for a virtual racing vocal mishap and be the 2021 regular season champion.
  • Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick will have zero wins in regular season racing.
  • Michael McDowell will make the championship playoffs by winning the Daytona 500.
  • Basketball star Michael Jordan will join with Denny Hamlin and field a race team.

All of it is true and happening and is a part of what makes racing so interesting.

For 2021, the playoff series begins. Ten races now remain to determine the NASCAR Cup Champion. The Xfinity series is still chasing points and the post season championship races will begin at Las Vegas. The Camping World Trucks are one race in to their post season with Sheldon Creed grabbing the first playoff win at Gateway ( Madison, Illinois ).

The road course at Indy brought the game of pinball to racing. The curbing installed for the infield turns took a beating from IndyCar to the NASCAR Xfinity race and, finally, tilted out during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race. Turn 5 threw cars off their line, into the air and even ripped the splitter and lower body panels off. Many cars were sacrificed… Few could predict the result.

The final restart put Denny Hamlin in place to get his first season win. Chase Briscoe, racing Hamlin for the lead, went wide and into the grass. As a result, he cut the turn coming back on course briefly in front of Hamlin. As Briscoe tucked in and chased on the tail of the #11, the #14 went in tight and clipped Hamlin’s bumper which put the Toyota off the track. This put Hamlin off the run for the win which was a sour note as Briscoe had been penalized with a pass through penalty for the cut course. Briscoe, unaware, kept racing the #11 which resulted in the off and spin for Hamlin.

AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Hyperice Chevrolet, in Victory Lane at the Verizon 200 Indy Road Course

As a result of the two up front cars out of it… Third place AJ Allmendinger was in the position to take and keep the lead for the win. Allmendinger is racing “full time” in the Xfinity series (currently 2nd in points) so his win in the Cup race does not put him in the Cup playoffs. However, due to finishing order at Indy and the points pay out, Denny Hamlin, even with the spin out, is still locked in the playoffs. Hamlin hasn’t won yet this season but his points were enough.

Two races remain in the “regular” season (Michigan and Daytona) which gets to the month of September and the playoffs, with Darlington, Richmond, Bristol and Vegas.

Michigan and Daytona will be the final shots to “win in” the playoffs. Hamlin is in with no wins but would still want to have that credential. Kevin Harvick has also been having an off season but is hanging on the line with points. He needs the win to secure his spot. All series drivers would benefit from a win as some are even looking for rides in 2022.

Kyle Larson is currently on top with 5 wins and continues to be the one to catch leading also top 5, top 10 and laps in front.

There is a lot on the line for “points only” drivers and those chasing a seat so the final regular season races are going to be hot ones.

Local track racing at Motor Mile Speedway seems to turning some heads as the crowd was noticeably larger than our last visit there. The track is not slowing down at all for August. In fact, they are turning up on several levels. The track is hot 3 of 4 weekends in August with some profile events.

  • Friday August 6 – Family Fun Night – Super Cup Stock Car Series. $25.00 per car with Bike Races for the kids, FREE Rusty Wallace Ride-Alongs for Winners during intermission plus UCAR, Sportsman and Big Rig Trucks on display in advance of August 7 FASS racing. Access to Friday Night Fury at the drag strip, too!
  • Saturday August 7 – FASS Big Rig Series with Mod-4 and Super Street
  • Saturday August 14 – Shelor Motor Mile Presents – Kenny Wallace Night – NAAPWS-CT LMSC Twin 60’s Watch The Motor Mile Stars Race Against Kenny Wallace In Two Big 60 Lap Features! Rusty Wallace Racing Experience Championship, Sportsman, Super Street, Mod-4, UCAR
  • Saturday August 28 – Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour makes their run at Motor Mile Speedway!

For CMC Supply Night on July 31st, the show brought some racing history out with the The Southern Ground Pounders and began the night with tiny but fast Mini Cup laps. NAAPWS Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Super Street, Mod-4 and U-Car filled the night for a full schedule.

Top Results for CMC Supply Night – July 31, 2021:

  • Mini Cup Winner – Tyler Warriner
  • Sportsman Race #1 Winner – Cory Dunn
  • Super Street Winner – Hank Turman
  • Late Model Race #1 Winner – Ryan Wilson
  • Mod 4 Winner – Tanner Young
  • Ground Pounder Winners – Greg Butchser / Sportman and Cowboy Dewite / Modified
  • Sportsman Race #2 Winner – Kyle Barnes
  • Late Model Race #2 Winner- Kres Vandyke
  • UCAR Winner – Peyton Howell

FULL PHOTO GALLERY from JULY 31, 2021 BELOW:

NASCAR points math ranks right up there with income tax math and black jack card counting. With that, we could dig around and find out how Kyle Larson with 4 wins is 13 season points behind Denny Hamlin with no wins. Larson and Hamlin are tied in Top 5 and Top 10 finishes and Larson actually has 7 more stage wins than Hamlin. Larson has 1 DNF, however, he is leading the “Playoff” rankings while Hamlin sits in the 4th slot.

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics taking the spotlight on NBC, NASCAR is on a break until August 8 weekend and Watkins Glen. It’s a great time to take stock and set the stage for the final 4 races of the regular season in August. The playoffs begin at Darlington in September with Richmond the weekend after.

The most recent winner was Aric Almirola at New Hampshire. Kurt Busch has a win from Atlanta the week before. Chase Elliott won at Road America and earlier at Circuit of the Americas. Kyle Busch has 2 wins from Pocono and Kansas. Alex Bowman grabbed the first of the double-header weekend at Pocono with 2 other checkers from Pocono and Richmond. Kyle Larson had a string of points win around his All Star victory. Nashville, Sonoma and Charlotte were practically back to back with a 4th win at Vegas. Martin Truex Jr was hot early in the season with wins from Darlington. Martinsville and Phoenix. Brad Keselowski came out of Talladega on top. Joey Logano won the dirty Bristol Race. Ryan Blaney snagged Atlanta. William Byron pulled his first win at Homestead. Christopher Bell also hit his first Cup win at the Daytona Road Course. Michael McDowell started the season with his first Cup win at the Daytona 500 opener. McDowell also had a fairly hot early season but seems to be hanging on with performance currently.

Denny Hamlin is hanging on near the top with now wins. Notable, also, is the struggling season of Kevin Harvick. It is an oddity to see the hard charger #4 not notching a win with the season looming late in the schedule. The past few years have seen Harvick sitting comfortable with post season assurance. This season he is just above the cut with 4 races to make it.

So… Here we are with swimming, fencing, cycling and all the other Olympic events carried over from Covid cancel in 2020 to barely Covid live crowds in 2021 in Tokyo. All the NBC channels have the variety of sport across the spectrum and the daily schedule.

Watkins Glen is set to roll out August 8. NASCAR returns to Virginia with the 2nd race of the playoffs on September 11. Virginia race fans have Richmond with Bristol (just over the border) the week after. Later, The race before the season finale at Phoenix is October 31st at Martinsville.

In the Olympic off time, find a local track with some hot laps on track and take advantage of the NASCAR off weeks and get reacquainted with some home track racing.