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

2020 was a mix of “Do” and “Don’t”. Do wear masks. Do social distance. Do wash your hands and do stay home. Don’t gather. Don’t have public events. Don’t have restaurants or clubs or bars or concerts… or races…

South Boston Speedway, with strong ties to NASCAR, did everything right. With the guidelines put in place for Virginia, SoBo settled in with their 2020 schedule essentially put in the garage. It was a decision to play it safe with the rules and stand down. The risk of having any cloud fall over the facility, and the possible ramifications and scrutiny if there was an event and anyone linked the track with a Covid incident, was just not worth it for the long run.

Fast forward to 2021. Vaccines are out. Restrictions on numbers of people are relaxed… a bit. Racing events are able to have limited attendance and indications lead to higher numbers as the year progresses. The folks at South Boston Speedway make the moves on a schedule and the “Season Opener” is on for mid March.

It’s one thing to get ready for racing once winter starts to warm. However, after a full year of down time it would be a bit more complex. Add to that the preparations for the rules still in place with additional signage, staff training and documented cleaning guidelines and you have a task to make things right.

They pulled it off like it was a regular mid-season track event. Fans came in with masks and little hassle. The staff was ready like it was routine. The track officials and safety crews were on mark and the schedule for the day progressed rather smoothly.

The racing was great. A full afternoon of Saturday track speed was spirited and lively. Short track racing as presented by SoBo has a long history of fast laps and crowd pleasing action. This first day of racing for 2021 was no different. Six races and four classes of cars on track brought something for everyone. Two Late Model races (75 laps each), two Limited Sportsman events (25 laps each), 15 laps of Budweiser Hornets and 25 laps Budweiser Pure Stocks filled the afternoon of a brisk March Saturday.

Peyton Sellers was the big winner of the day taking the checkers for both Late Model events. The second win from starting mid pack with an inverted line up from the first race. Sellers, a seasoned driver with winning results around the region, is a regular performer at South Boston. Daniel Moss was the strong winner of the first Limited Sportsman race running out front practically start to finish. The second Sportsman event was won by Eric Winslow who also dominated with his run. Nathan Crews, a Budweiser Pure Stock SoBo title winner, began his 2021 with a win in the series opener. Josh Dawson grabbed the win in the 15-lap Budweiser Hornets Division.

South Boston Speedway is set to host the next event on April 3rd. Late Models, Hornets and Pure Stocks return with the SMART Open Wheel Modifieds. Mark your calendars!

Bristol. Matt Kenseth took the win. Keselowski had an incident. Kahne couldn’t quite make the move. Jimmie Johnson just had a flat out bad day. Fortunately for him he could afford it.

Two races remain, Atlanta and Richmond, before “The Chase” is set. Minor miracles need to happen for some while Johnson, Bowyer and Kenseth can relax even though Bowyer has yet to log a win for the season. Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are practically in and would need major setbacks over the next two to jinx it. Dale, Jr., Kahne and Biffle just have to finish well to hold their spots, for the most part.

Bubbles and longshots include Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. along with the likes of Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Jamie McMurray…

We’re not going for selective alliteration… We promise.

Actually, none of the above is really the point at all. It just so happens it is top tier NASCAR racing the same day (night, as it were) as the entry level series we actually attended. While the Sprint Cup drivers ran for the shrinking availability of Chase points at Bristol, the K&N Pro Series East was packing it in at Virginia International Raceway. It was this race, the first road course for the “East” series, that had us out in the countryside of southside Virginia rather than fighting the traffic around the Tennessee – Virginia border. (more…)