Was it the weather? Did 24 hours alter the course of the race at all? The finish was a surprise for fans as much as for the winner in the SMART Modified feature for URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day at South Boston Speedway.

The day was supposed to be Saturday. A wet forecast several days earlier that gave every impression it would be a soaker into the afternoon forced the hand of the speedway and the series to push it to Sunday.

Of course the rain was over by 11:00AM… But that did not change the decision that was, in all respects, correct for the circumstance. Race day was Sunday with blue skies and slightly chilled temperatures for all but about 38 minutes around 3:51PM or so when the sun pushed the thermometer into almost, but not quite, warmer.

The crowd, however, came in and filled in for a very hot show. Late Models were set as the opener with a season shakedown race of 100 laps. The official track opener comes up April 13 with Danville Toyota Weekly Series Opening Night. The Hornets ran their laps with the sound that gave them the name. Those little engines are running at the limit with no muffler and sound like something small and flying angry. The SMART Modified teams and drivers just sat back and watched the others run their lines while looking for an angle that might work.

The Late Models: Local track champion Peyton Sellers was on tap with other drivers familiar to SoBo and were joined by “visiting” challengers such as Mike Looney and Kyle Dudley. Dudley, Looney and a few others were taking on South Boston as their usual track (Motor Mile / Pulaski County) was shut down for 2024.

The Late Model opener was won by Craig Moore who had taken the lead from Trevor Ward a little over half way into the race. Ward took a spin from the position going into turn 3 and finished ninth. Moore has won at SoBo before in a CARS Tour event and took a borrowed car (from Jay Fogleman) to Victory Lane this time around. Mike Looney came across second, Blake Stallings finished third, veteran racer Stacy Puryear finished fourth, and Kyle Dudley filled the top five finishers.

The winner of 20 lap run of the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets managed to navigate 5 cautions and keep the lead. Cameron Goble lead the field from the start to the checkered flag with Jason DeCarlo coming across in the second slot. Chris Barrett, Steven Layne and Jordaine Penick completed the top five.

NASCAR veteran Ryan Newman joined SMART and Whelen veterans such as Brandon Ward, Burt Myers, Doug Coby and Matt Hirschman and more to challenge and come away as the “King Of The Modifieds”. The winner of this race, likely to be annual event, came away with $20,000. The runner-up pulled a respectable $10,000 prize.

17 year old Luke Baldwin drove his Sadler-Stanley Racing Pace-O-Matic #7VA into Victory Lane and the “King” spot. He took the re-start lead with 26 to go and held the spot to the end. Matt Hirschman had a front running car but was caught in track incidents that cost him position and speed. The late race caution halted the race as Hirschman misjudged a corner and put several cars in jeopardy. He still managed to hang on for the second spot. Doug finished third, Jonathan Cash ran fourth and Anthony Bello took the fifth position.

Crash incidents took out Ryan Newman, Woody Pitkat and Jake Crum in the race with 6 running cautions and 2 red flag stops.

The SMART Modified race at South Boston is one of two modified events in a week in Virginia. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour comes up the next Friday at Richmond Raceway.

PHOTOS – URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day at South Boston Speedway

**Results for the Sentara late Model – Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200 updated due to disqualification of race night winner.

The calendar presents a timeline that, on the surface, does not add up. Circumstances of reality, however, put us on the tenth anniversary of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.

What is it? It is a cooperative set of races from three tracks in Virginia. Previously, these tracks had showcase events focused on each track but the results only held the prestige and payouts assigned by each facility. A discussion was held to tie events together with combined results carrying to each track for a big payout. Clay Campbell of Martinsville Speedway was directly involved with Langley Speedway (Bill Mullis) and South Boston Speedway (Cathy Rice) leading into 2012 for the first year of the “Triple Crown”.

When is it? South Boston hosts the first of the three races. The Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 for early July. Langley has the Hampton Heat in late July. Martinsville Speedway has the finale, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, in September.

The payouts…? The best, combined result of the three races wins $7,000, second takes $2,000 and third gets $1,000. That, of course, is on top of each track purse earned on race day by the winners and designated place payouts.

The timeline. Yes, the first sanctioned “Triple Crown” ran in 2012. Phillip Morris won the day but it was C.E. Falk III that had the carry over results from SoBo and Langley to win the first “Triple Crown”. However, circumstances prevented the Triple Crown from happening for two separate years. Martinsville still held their big late model race in 2016 but Langley Speedway had owner/management issues for 2016 and did not run. For 2020, racing nationwide was rattled by the Covid pandemic.

That puts us here. The tenth running of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown and the opening race at South Boston Speedway. The Sentara Late Model race, 200 lap finale closed the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson (presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort) evening of racing.

The track attendance was, in a word, huge. Fans were still arriving as the front stretch was open for meet and greet with drivers during an autograph session. Weather threatened the racing, and even cut short the autographs, as rain came in with a rumble of thunder. Track drying was on and even more fans came as the scheduled green flag was ready to fly.

A full lot and line of fans ready for racing at South Boston Speedway

The evening event ran support races from the regular points schedule for SoBo. Running on the big night gave these drivers a big audience. Opening ceremonies also gave fans a sky show as the Bandit Flight Team from Raleigh, NC flew over with the National Anthem.

Budweiser Limited Sportsman (40 laps): Eric Winslow started up front and drove to the win. The action was hot behind Winslow with challengers going for position bringing a lap one caution. The racing settled a bit but Winslow couldn’t be caught. Jason Myers gave it a good shot but only enough for second place. Bob Davis, Justin Dawson and Drew Dawson rounded out the top-five from the 14 drivers that started.

Southside Disposal Pure Stock (20 laps): Bruce Mayo was a dominant force leading most of the race and taking the checkers. He got by Johnny Layne and held defending division champion, Scott Phillips, in the mirror for his first win of this season. Phillips finished second, Layne was third with Zach Reaves and Andrew Turner filling the top five.

Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets (20 laps): Jason DeCarlo also ran a dominant race with a pole start and an up front run of the distance. The win is also his first of the season. Steven Layne drove to second. Kendall Milam took third as D.J. Moser and Dillon Davis rolled in the top five.

Sentara Late Model / Triple Crown Leg One (200 laps): Carson Kvapil seemed to have the night with a race leading drive to the checkered flag. **However – post race inspection and deliberation determined a rear shock was out of division spec so the race win went to Bobby McCarty. Landon Huffman was also disqualified with a shock issue and a rear end housing not in compliance.

Brenden Queen started on pole but fell back a bit. Queen still put the pressure on but Bobby McCarty and Landon Huffman were there as the race came into the final laps to make challenges to Kvapil. At the checkers, McCarty finished second with Huffman on for third. Queen came in fourth and Trevor Ward filled the top five.

**With the disqualifications, the official top five are: Bobby McCarty, Brenden Queen, Trevor Ward, Landon Pembelton, Jacob Borst.

Thirty-five drivers started and the crowded field with challenges for position threw the caution seven times for 25 percent of the race. Those challenges took their toll as drivers retired with damage beyond race time repair. As an example, defending Virginia Late Model Triple Crown winner, Peyton Sellers took heavy damage early on and managed to get back out for a few laps before retiring. The damage may put pressure on Sellers for the season as his points lead at South Boston also took a hit.

Drivers came in from around the region and some were heading home with damaged cars. Rivals from Pulaski County Motorsports Park, Mike Looney and Kyle Dudley, were both going home bruised. Dudley had even been challenging in the top five for his part but a 3 wide squeeze turned him with a crash just after the half way point that caught Looney and retired at least three or four others. Also crashing out was Layne Riggs. The defending track champion and NAAPWS 2022 champion was caught up racing for position with Landon Pembelton as contact put Riggs into the wall.

Peyton Sellers and team (left) work on the #25 trying to get back on track. Layne Riggs and team (right) with the damaged and out #99

The next leg for the Virginia Triple Crown is at Langley Speedway later in July. The finale runs at Martinsville Speedway later in the year.

*This article has been updated due to official findings and results following technical post race inspections.

Full Photo Gallery – Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 / South Boston Speedway

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.

Race Two
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

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.

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


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!!