Electronics.

You’ve been on the short side of it… The internet goes down or your router blips and the wi-fi drops out and none of your devices work right…

It’s a bit like that. The thing that caused a bit of confusion and almost a fight at Motor Mile Speedway on Saturday night. (April 23, 2022)

The transponders… They are the things in the race cars that electronically count the laps and tag the positions on the race track. These are either owned by the teams or supplied by the race track. The second late Model race at Motor Mile was an example of confusion caused by an intermittent transponder.

That, however, was later in the evening… Racing was spread over eight classes including the visiting Southern Ground Pounders which actually comprised two of those classes. Sportsman, Super Street, Mod-4, UCar and Pure-4 joined the late model and Ground Pounders on this Saturday afternoon at Motor Mile.

The Ground Pounders bring a bit of nostalgia to the tracks they run on. It’s a rolling car show from a time gone by! The Sportsman and Super Street brought some numbers to the track as both classes had over 15 competitors chasing hot laps. The show in these races gave fans a good view for competition! The Late Models ran only six cars on this one but the drama was there. The Mod-4 and combined UCar / Pure4 ran a fair showing, also.

As for the Late Model transponders… Three (at least) drivers and teams were impacted in one way or another. An earlier caution had shaken the field of six cars and put the early leaders on the back. The #4 of Kyle Dudley flatted in turns one and two and quite possibly made contact with the #87 of Mike Looney as both cars came through turns three and four off the back. They managed to get back up on the bunch and get around as the final laps turned. However, the failing electronics did not represent this on the scoring tower.

Bryan Reedy crossing under the checkered flag at Motor Mile Speedway – Late Model race #2 – April 23, 2022

This was unknown to most at the time. As the final laps ran down on the white flag, the #17 of Bryan Reedy was shown in the lead with the #75 of Cory Dunn chasing. At the checkers the #17 was shown on top. Moments later, however, The #17 and #75 were pushed to spots two and three as the #87 was placed on top.

So… From our vantage point… Bryan Reedy won, but didn’t. So Mike Looney won…? Well, read on…

Mike Looney #87 with team and friends – Victory Lane – Late Model Race #2 – Motor Mile Speedway – April 23, 2022

This was explained by a track official as the transponder in the #87 was not working but had actually regained the lead several laps before. This manual adjustment of the scoring did not sit well with the team that was being shown in 6th (#4 Kyle Dudley) spot which prompted some heated words and what appeared to be a “fighting posture” on the front stretch concerning the contact that had put the #4 down with a rear flat. Some fun words were exchanged… Maybe an unsanctioned hand gesture…

It is actually a tad ironic. Dudley had won the first late Model feature with Looney in the 2nd spot. Looney congratulated the #4 driver as Dudley smiled and gratefully shook hands. That happy meeting was quickly tossed aside as Dudley was quite angry with Looney at the conclusion of race number two.

Mike Looney (left) congratulating Kyle Dudley (right) – Motor Mile Victory Lane – Late Model Race #1 *Photo: Motor Mile Speedway

It is also ironic, perhaps, that later it was determined the transponder in Dudley’s car was actually one lap off. Once the reviews on the positions were done it was found, and announced the next day, that the actual winner of race two was Kyle Dudley. As in race one, Looney was again in the 2nd slot and Reedy was scored in third for this second race.

Kyle Dudley – Motor Mile Victory Lane – Late Model Race #1 (Following official review of laps and transponders determined to also be Race #2 Winner)

We assume any hostility has subsided…

The next races on the schedule at Motor Mile Speedway will be run in the evening and under the lights – Check their schedule online!

Results and Photos – Motor Mile Speedway – April 23, 2022

  • Late Model Race 1
  • Kyle Dudley #4
  • Mike Looney #87
  • Cory Dunn #75
  • Late Model Race 2
  • Kyle Dudley #4
  • Mike Looney #87
  • Bryan Reedy #17
  • Sportsman Race 1
  • Karl Budzevski #7
  • Daryn Cockram #1
  • Kyle Barnes #00
  • Sportsman Race 2
  • Daryn Cockram #1
  • Karl Budzevski #7
  • Kyle Barnes #00
  • Ground Pounders
  • Mack Tatum – Modified
  • Ground Pounders
  • Bobby Griffin – Sportsman
  • Super Street
  • Bryce Blake #87
  • Hank Turman #0
  • Scooter Hollandsworth #16
  • Mod-4
  • Doodle Lang #22
  • Kevin Canter #3
  • Drew Holdren #2
  • UCar
  • Cary Thomason #8
  • Kirby Shipman #7
  • Pure4
  • John Coe #00

Is there more to “race day” than racing? If you’re one of the drivers or teams then you know there is. A good bit of the previous week has been spent going over the car to make sure all is right. On race day you’re up earlier than most to get sorted and drive to the track to get in, get unloaded and get the car last minute ready for practice. Every driver and team member knows the time and effort is going into that shot at victory lane.

For fans, it’s a little bit different. Make some calls and confirm who is coming along. Fill the car and drive the bunch out to the track. Set up the chairs or grab a slot in the stands. There might be a little tailgating before going inside. Either have a driver and car on the list or pick some to pull for. Have a cold one or two, a hot dog or maybe a famous bologna burger. Cheer and / or boo and shout and jump and go home.

For some, perhaps, race day is an adventure. At the track there may be real interest in the challenges of racing. Watching drivers and teams recover from a flat tire or crash or wondering if the drivers forced to the back can pull it back to the front may play into that adventure. The activity of simply watching the scenery go by on the way to the rack while looking out for interesting things not seen before may be a part of it. It may be as simple as a family outing for a day away from the house.

An adventure – Automotive finds on the way to South Boston Speedway

Whatever the reason or attraction, it is race day. The season is opening up all over the country with the sound of hot laps coming back to tracks like South Boston Speedway. SoBo has gone through a bit of change with long time manager Cathy Rice stepping away last season and a new bunch coming in. The new folks have the drive and passion to push South Boston Speedway forward even as new challenges play out. Nick Igdalsky is the current CEO while also handling Pocono Raceway. Chase and Carly Brashaers are in as GM and Marketing Manager with incoming racing experience from several other tracks and NASCAR affiliations.

The season points opener, sponsored by long time associate Danville Toyota, put several divisions on the track with a really good field of cars in each. In honor of the 65th season of racing at South Boston, the Late Model and Limited Sportsman divisions ran 65 laps with Late Models running two features. Pure Stocks and Hornets filled out the show between the mains.

The Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series pole in race one was set by none other than defending Series and SoBo Champion, Peyton Sellers, in the familiar Clarence’s / Danville Toyota #26. Unfortunately, the car faded to third by the end of race one. Layne Riggs drove to the front in 21 laps and went on with the lead and his first Late Model win at South Boston. Riggs swept the afternoon with the win in the second Late Model race. Sellers was there to challenge but was caught in a second lap crash that put the #26 behind the wall. Several other cars were damaged and out also. Riggs again started mid-field and climbed to the front for the second win.

Layne Riggs taking the AAPWS win in race number one

AAPWS LM Race 1: 1st Layne Riggs, 2nd Mike Looney, 3rd Peyton Sellers, 4th Mark Wertz, 5th Landon Pembelton
AAPWS LM Race 2: 1st Layne Riggs, 2nd Mike Looney, 3rd Mason Bailey, 4th Thomas Scott, 5th Jacob Borst

The Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division also ran a hot 65 laps. Jason Myers was up front by lap two and kept the field behind the #17. Chuck Lawson faded from the front after Myers took the lead and at the end, behind Myers, was Kyle Barnes in second with Bob Davis, Chris Donnelly and Drew Dawson filling out the top five.

Jason Myers driving to win the Budweiser Limited Sportsman race at South Boston

The Southside Disposal Pure Stock race ran 30 laps with Johnny Layne on the pole and running up front to the checkers. Scott Phillips came across second with Jarrett Milam finishing third. B.J. Reaves and Jimmy Wade took the 4th and 5th place positions.

The Hornets Division featured some short track drama with contacts, a spin or two and officials stepping between hot tempers. At the end it was two-time division champion Kevin Currin taking the lead with 6 laps remaining and driving on for the win.

Jason DeCarlo finished in slot two with Andrea Ruotolo taking third. Steven Layne and Richard Montgomery came across as four and five.

South Boston is off to a great start with another season highlight coming up on April 2. The SMART Modified Tour is next up at SoBo!!

The Late Model racing season is coming to a head this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will draw drivers and teams from around the region to compete in what is billed as the largest late model race to run. The “Virginia Triple Crown” will take the points from the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston and the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway and push that into the results at Martinsville.

The race returns after the Covid hiatus of 2020 as tracks on the regular season were down across the region. Returning 2019 winner Josh Berry is expected to race carrying a bit of a streak into the weekend. He also won the NASCAR Xfinity race at Martinsville earlier this year.

Peyton Sellers, recently named National Late Model Champion in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, will also be chasing his first win in the “300”. He has run it many times and has been a repeat “Triple Crown” winner but has not been able to take the checkers on the final lap.

Timothy Peters is another name which is no stranger in winner’s circles. His connection to Martinsville and Southside Virginia racing has put him in the spotlight with NASCAR national series races and is another local favorite that could repeat a win at the VSCU 300.

Bobby McCarty and Ty Gibbs will also be drivers to watch. McCarty has the Thunder Road win and Ty Gibbs is expected to show with experience in ARCA and Xfinity.

Motor Mile Speedway just ran their Champions weekend and drivers Kres VanDyke and Ryan Wilson should be on hand to showcase their skills under the big lights. Other tracks from all around the region should also be represented by fan favorites taking their shot at Martinsille.

Previously, there have been full days of practice at Martinsville a week or so before race weekend. This year the format has been compacted into Friday and Saturday. Friday , the 24th, there will be a 4 hour open practice session before qualifying at 8:00pm Friday night. The top two qualifiers will make the 200 lap main event on Saturday night. The rest will race it out in four 25 lap heat races to make the main. The heat races begin at 3:00pm Saturday with gates open at 12:30pm and track walks / autograph session on track until 2:30pm.

The NASCAR Playoffs are set for Martinsville with Camping World, Xfinity and NASCAR Cup all racing October 30-31st. However, all eyes are on the Late Models under the lights coming up this weekend (September 24-25) for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

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

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: