Mid February had temperatures in the 70s… Pushing 80…
By mid March, winter apparently made up for it and pulled the thermometer back into the 30s. That temperature drop forced some tracks to make hard decisions. As an example, Lonesome Pine Motorsports Park, (Lonesome Pine Raceway) was set to open their season with the SMART Modified Tour but pushed that back due to the possibility of snow…
Southside Virginia had a slightly better forecast. Mostly sunny and mid to upper 50s was enough to keep the gates open for the Danville Toyota season opener. As the gates opened and practices were run the infield was full with competitors. Twenty plus cars were there just for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series / Sentara Healthcare Late Models. The other divisions also had double digits on the track. The buzz was there for a show at South Boston Speedway.
Sentara Healthcare Late Model
For two time National Champion and multiple Track Champion, Peyton Sellers, the afternoon came up a little short of the hopes coming in. While the #26 Toyota looked like the previous, it was a new car sporting the same sponsors of Clarence’s Steak House and race title sponsor, Danville Toyota. Late season wins of 2022 were pushing the new year and a shot at regaining the titles that eluded Sellers from that previous year. (*The young man that did win those 2022 titles was in Atlanta driving in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series.)
Another regional driver looking at making waves was Mike Looney who made the trip in from Catawba, VA. Looney has also been around these tracks for a long time and is a common front runner. Motor Mile may be his current “home track” but good results at South Boston also pad his racing resume.
Both of these veterans were in the mirrors at the finish of both of the 75 lap late model races. It was, however, a dream of a season open for Carter Langley as he swept both races and notched his first and second series wins on the same day. Not bad work for a packed, 23 car field.
Langley was competitive in both events even if practice and qualifying had him start with cars to chase. Race one early cautions did not really alter the front pack but lap 59 sent the entire field into a mix. Sellers spun in a move to miss it and would up in the back. Mike Looney restarted on the front and had it for around 10 laps but Langley made the pass and held for the win. Looney ran 2nd, Sellers came back to 3rd and Camden Gullie and Logan Clark filled the top 5.
Langley started ninth and was out front by lap 59. He managed to navigate by Sellers with 25 left and pass Jacob Borst for the lead with 16 remaining. Borst crossed in 2nd, Sellers doubled up on third place finishes, and Mark Wertz and Craig Moore completed the top five.
Budweiser Limited Sportsman
In the first 30 lap race, Adam Murray took his first SoBo checkered flag. He chased J.D. Eversole for the lead and had it by the 19th lap and held for the win.
J.D. Eversole, Carter Russo, Kyle Barnes, Jason Myers top five
Kyle Barnes won the second race from starting in the 3rd row and sixth position. By the tenth lap he had passed Zach Peregoy for take the lead and stayed out front for the victory.
Ronnie Jones, Jason Myers, Drew Dawson, Justin Dawson filled the top five.
Southside Disposal Pure Stock
Johnny Layne overcame the obstacles thrown for the win. Troubles started at practice with a blown engine. Layne left the track, drove to his Halifax home and got a backup car to get back for the race. With no laps on the “new” car, he started at the back and made the front by lap 7. The rest were in his mirrors to the checkers of the 25 lap race.
Zach Reaves (pole), B.J. Reaves, Bruce Mayo, Scott Phillips top five.
VA State Police Heat Hornets
Cameron Goble notched the win. This was his first victory at South Boston Speedway.
Dillon Davis, Jason DeCarlo, Steven Layne, Andrea Ruotolo top five.
The next event at South Boston is scheduled to feature the SMART Modifieds. Sentara Healthcare Late Models and VA State Police HEAT Hornets are also set to run the URW Fools Rush 260 on April 1st.
Full Photo Gallery – Danville Toyota Opener at South Boston Speedway