The season championship came to a head Saturday night (9-3-2022) at South Boston Speedway. Defending National Champion and SoBo Track Champion, Peyton Sellers, was up against some hard numbers from competitor Layne Riggs for this racing season. Coming into the Halifax County Farm Bureau Championship Night, Riggs had the advantage locally and in the regional points for the national title.

Race night had two, 65 lap Late Model runs on tap and Sellers took the win in both. However, Riggs crossed the checkers in the 2nd slot for both. The double win was not enough for Sellers to regain the track title but it did narrow the chase for the national points. Layne Riggs is the 2022 SoBo Late Model Track Champion.

The Budweiser Limited Sportsman bunch also ran doubles with a Track Championship possibly on the bubble. It was Kyle Barnes racing into third in both races to maintain his points for the Track Championship. He was a runner at Motor Mile and began racing at SoBo early on with some wins and stuck to his game. Jason Myers gave it a run with second slots in both races but it wasn’t enough to catch Barnes. It was Eric Winslow, coming in from NC for a first time run this season, that may have upset the cart with the pole and the win in both of the Sportsman races.

The other divisions at South Boston also had race winners share the spotlight with track champions. The Southside Disposal Pure Stocks had Nathan Crews take the win while Scott Phillips finished fourth carrying enough points to claim the Track Championship for the division. Phillips had an 8 point lead over Johnny Layne coming in and, despite having no wins still held enough points to claim the Championship for a first time. Layne drove in for second.

Jason DeCarlo and Kevin Currin came into SoBo chasing the same Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division Championship. DeCarlo managed to finish a spot in front of Currin to claim the 2022 Hornets Championship. The actual finish order was bumped as race winner Steven Layne’s car failed post race inspection. The official order was changed to put Kendall Milam on the win, with Dillon Davis in second. Landon Milam, DeCarlo and Currin were set in the top five.

The Mills Family Practice Champ Karts ran a 20 lap race with Tyler Wray taking the win. Wray started on pole, briefly fell back but retook that lead position on the 2nd lap. Dustin Phillips rolled over the line in the second slot.

South Boston Speedway is hosting some fun and fast events coming up. Later in September, the Country Roads Truck Show comes in. October brings the CARS Tour and SoBo Drifts.

PHOTO GALLERY – SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
Halifax County Farm Bureau Championship Night

Virginia racing does have some weight to throw with big names in fast cars. Natives like Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, Ward and Jeff Burton are well known in the NASCAR garage. Movie and TV stars such as Paul Newman and Patrick Dempsey have raced the pavement at Virginia International Raceway. The stars are not strangers to Virginia racing.

However, even with the heritage and history at South Boston Speedway, it is a rare appearance for racing royalty at the track. The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown charity races are brought to mind and came through in 2014 / 2015.

Matt Bowling wins the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown for Hamlin’s Charity Foundation – April 2014

Set the calendar for 2022 and a new series, running it’s second year with a six race highlight schedule, is running hot laps and highlighting the short tracks that form the foundation for American racing. The Camping World SRX Series (Superstar Racing Experience) set race number 2 for 2022 at South Boston Speedway. For those of us that know SoBo, the question was “what took you so long?”.

A bit of history… The SRX Series combines driving talents from across the American racing spectrum. NASCAR and IndyCar draw a lot, such as Greg Biffle and Michael Waltrip. IndyCar is well represented with Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Local drivers from the tracks they race are also featured. For South Boston, that was Track and National Champion, Peyton Sellers. The cars are generally based on a stock car chassis, with 700 horsepower engines and are all the same from the wheels up. The only difference is the color, driver name and number.

NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart, with owner and Hall of Fame Crew Chief, Ray Evernham, are involved with former NASCAR executive, George Pyne and television veteran, Sandy Montag in the formation of SRX. The combined talents pull from many points to make the racing and presentation something the fans and drivers can enjoy.

For SRX at SoBo, perhaps the racing was a little more lively than intended. For the fans it was a great show with some short track intensity that seemed to pull from the Limited Sportsman opener. The Sportsman bunched up in turn 3 of the green flag lap and tore up 3 cars. However, the track crews were on track quickly and the red flag was resolved safely and efficiently. Kyle Barnes took the win as he controlled the pace of the 50 lap opener. Jason Myers and Chris Donnelly came in second and third.

The SRX Series began with two heat races that set a running order for the main event. Greg Biffle took the first heat and Helio Castroneves took the second. It was combined times that set the 100 lap main which put Marco Andretti and Tony Stewart on the front row, The racing was bold from the start and seemed to take the “short track” bump style of racing to heart which made a show for the sold out crowd. However, by the last lap, it was obvious some tempers were as hot as the track.

Andretti nudged Stewart for a pass to the front early on. Ryan Hunter-Reay got loose and bounced Paul Tracy to bring out a caution. Stewart and Andretti continue racing hard and trading the front through the half way. A hard bumper nudge from Stewart finally put Andretti off the pace enough to let Stewart and Greg Biffle get by. Andretti tried to make the move back on Biffle but went way loose and spun to bring on a caution. Stewart and Biffle race on the restart but Stewart takes the outside lead. The next caution came on as Hunter-Reay made a move on Michael Waltrip. An attempted block put Waltrip in the wall and brought a “pay back” move as Waltrip skipped pit road and put a rammer on Hunter-Reay before parking it for the night.

The final laps wound down with Greg Biffle trying to get by Stewart but could not get an advantage. At the checkers, it was Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Bobby LaBonte going one, two, three.

For South Boston and Danville native Track Champion Peyton Sellers… The evening started well enough with a mid pack show in the first heat. The inversion in the second had him start an OK run but his car fell off a bit. For the main he seemed to struggle further as the car developed handling issues. The familiarity of the track seemed to be overshadowed by the car and the drama of the racing around him. He remained in good spirits and focused his attention on the next weekend event at SoBo.

SoBo Track Champion / NAAPWS Champion Peyton Sellers with Tony Stewart (left) and Marco Andretti (right)

Stewart, post race, had some words for the racing of the SRX drivers stating that some were either being careless or even lacked a skill set for the short track environment. Stewart was no stranger to nudges and bumps during the event but had something on his mind as he made note of the next race and the drivers’ meeting having a call down to get the attention of the drivers to get back in the game.

It is likely that there will be focus on the damage to the cars and the quick turnaround for six races in as many weeks to get the cars fixed and evenly competitive. It is a challenge with damage to multiple cars and limited staff to move and repair them in the days to the next event.

For South Boston… Fans got a show. They saw a race with drivers that, under a normal season, would be nowhere near southside Virginia. They saw Tony Stewart be… Tony Stewart. There were lead changes, there were bumps and there were some hot battles that kept fans engaged.

South Boston is not skipping a beat as the weekend coming is another big event. The Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 already has a huge late model field ready to run for the first leg of the “Virginia Triple Crown”. Support races are on tap with fireworks and a free “fan fest” set for Friday, July 1st, featuring Matt Boswell & the H.B.B.

SRX heads to the northeast to race at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. Tennessee, Missouri and Ohio will fill the six weeks. Catch the action on CBS (locally in southwest Virginia on WDBJ-7)

Full Photo Gallery from SRX at South Boston Speedway

Racing is a historic backdrop of South Boston. Names have begun and careers have been born here. Friday, April 29th more history was made as speed set a new standard. It happened in 12 seconds.

That’s all it took for Charlie Schultz to set a lap record at SoBo. It was a thing to see. A bit weird, but still a thing.

Those Sprint cars are quick! They are light and have gobs of power and the big, angled wings look off balance and a bit fragile. Somehow, it all works. Schultz made it work turning laps and marking a record time of 12.051 seconds.

We weren’t there to see a lap record. However, we haven’t seen the the Sprints before so as an aside, perhaps we were.

These things run hot and fast. They average 3 seconds per lap faster than the late models that run at SoBo. The races are short at 30 laps. Drivers are on edge constantly as they are so light and fast they want to slide and you can see them working the steering wheel constantly. The potential for danger was addressed by the staff and officials by closing off some areas usually open to fans.

All in all, the Friday show went off well with the Sprints putting in a good preview for the Saturday action which had the late models on with an expanded event. For Friday, the results and photos are below.

Pure Stock

1st Nathan Crews #3
2nd Scott Phillips #66
3rd BJ Reaves #11

Limited Sportsman

1st Kyle Barnes #00
2nd Chris Donnelly #47
3rd Jason Myers #17

Hornets

1st Jared Dawson #01
2nd Dylan Davis #63
3rd Jason DeCarlo #54

MSR Sprint Cars

1st Bobby Santos, III #22A
2nd Charlie Schultz #9S
3rd Jacob Dolinar #48

USAC Eastern Midgets

1st Neal Allison #10
2nd Brady Allum #87
3rd Joe Liguori #1

PHOTOS – April 29, 2022 – Sentara American Sprints

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 chips fell on the side of Tony Stewart this weekend. He wasn’t driving but had his hand in it from Phoenix to Gainesville.

Stewart-Haas driver Chase Briscoe clocked his first Cup win at Phoenix in the Ruoff Mortgage 500. NHRA driver Matt Hagan notched a win at the Gatornationals for Tony Stewart Racing.

For NASCAR, this new car is still presenting itself. Drivers are still finding the limits and pit crews are still rolling with one lug instead of five. However, for Phoenix the Cup race played out with several drivers keeping their performance running well throughout. Race winner Briscoe was top 10 in both stages one and two. Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Tyler Reddick were top 10 at the finish and the stages also.

The Xfinity race held similar even though the car is much the same as the previous season. Noah Gragson, Trevor Bayne and Brandon Jones were top five for the stages and the finish with Gragson taking the final win.

This weekend, of course, NASCAR is back at it in Atlanta. NHRA takes a little time before they go 4-wide in Vegas the first of April. What is big this weekend is IMSA getting back at it after the ROLEX 24 back in January. Mobil 1 – Twelve Hours of Sebring is on this week.

Virginia is looking ahead for April and NASCAR at Richmond and Martinsville. This weekend, another track with big NASCAR history gets officially under way. South Boston Speedway is on with their Danville Toyota opener. There is no wait necessary to catch real late model racing action. SoBo always has a show and NASCAR AAPWS National Champion and track Division Champion Peyton Sellers is set to defend the titles.

Racing doesn’t have to wait for the NASCAR Cup circus to come along. Great racing tickets are going to be hitting the weekly series short racks throughout Virginia and the USA with weather going into Spring. Don’t wait – Go Racing!

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

Virginia gets a double shot of NASCAR Cup racing with Richmond this weekend following Martinsville last weekend. A bit of a switch up continues as Xfinity ran at Martinsville and the Camping World Trucks will run at Richmond. The TOYOTACARE 250 truck race is on Saturday and the Cup Toyota Owners 400 is on Sunday (April 17-18)

The weekly short tracks continue their races as the season heats up. South Boston is running their Southern Ground Pounders event with Vintage Sportsman and Open Wheel Mods. The SGP Tour hits Virginia tracks several times through 2021. Following South Boston they run at Motor Mile just a week later. Dominion and Langley are also on the schedule.

Wythe Raceway is also running Vintage Sportsman and Mods on the dirt track. Lonesome Pine is running at night this weekend. Langley has drifting. Natural Bridge is running practically every weekend. Franklin County is also back in action this weekend.

Virginia Motorsports Park has the VP ET Bracket Series heating up the straight line racing. Eastside up in Waynseboro also has their drag strip on tap.

There is a lot of action on track this weekend from NASCAR Cup laps to local hero straight line speed. Pick a track and support some racing. NASCAR at Richmond, with their recent infield improvements for fans, raised the bar for Virginia racing. The open garage walkway is a great way for fans to see the national drivers up close.

However, Richmond Raceway may not be an option for every race fan. The local tracks and drivers put on great shows and deserve some of that praise from the stands. If you can’t make Richmond… There are some really good tracks with exciting racing running close to home. Tickets are family friendly, the racing is fast and the tracks and drivers truly appreciate your support.

As the year opens up and vaccines are more available and restrictions continue to be relaxed perhaps now is the time to go racing!