2023 marks 40 years of racing at South Boston
Published 5:40 pm Thursday, January 12, 2023
By Joe Chandler
South Boston Speedway
When South Boston Speedway opens its 2023 NASCAR racing season on Saturday afternoon, March 18 a new bit of history will unfold.
The 2023 season will mark the 40th year of Late Model Stock Car Division racing at the historic Halifax County, Virginia speedway and a new division sponsor, Sentara Healthcare, will be on board.
“The history and tradition of Late Model Stock Car racing at South Boston Speedway is very rich,” said South Boston Speedway General Manager Chase Brashears. “The Late Model Stock Car racing at South Boston is some of the most competitive you will see anywhere. The competition is intense, and fans have been treated to thrilling action in the division for the majority of the track’s 66-year history.”
When it comes to Late Model Stock Car racing, South Boston Speedway has traditionally featured formats and race lengths that are popular among both competitors and fans and provide great competition. In most instances, South Boston Speedway’s regular Late Model Stock Car feature races are either 100 laps or twin 75-lap races.
South Boston Speedway’s 2023 season schedule includes the track’s showcase NASCAR Late Model Stock Car event, the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort on Saturday night, July 1. That event is the kickoff race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
To appreciate the excitement that lies ahead, it is worth taking a quick journey back through the history of Late Model Stock Car racing at South Boston Speedway.
When one looks back through South Boston Speedway’s history with Late Model Stock Car racing one finds that drivers who were able to put together a good number of wins against the tough competition that exists at the .4-mile oval put themselves in a position to win the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national championship.
South Boston Speedway’s 2022 Late Model champion, Layne Riggs of Bahama, North Carolina, is an example. Riggs won 16 races last season enroute to winning the NASCAR national championship – 10 of them coming at South Boston Speedway where he won 10 of 16 starts.
NASCAR National Champion Peyton Sellers of Danville, Virginia, and former NASCAR national champions Phillip Morris, Lee Pulliam, Matt Bowling and Barry Beggarly also found success at South Boston Speedway was a key to winning a national championship.
To highlight how competitive Late Model Stock Car racing has been at South Boston Speedway over the years it must be pointed out that there have been only nine occasions when a driver has won 10 or more races in a single season.
Morris, the leader in career Late Model Stock Car wins at the track with 76 wins, accomplished that feat three times. He won 15 of 22 starts in 1998, won 20 of 23 starts in 2011 and earned 10 wins in 2018. Sellers won 12 races in 2005, Elliott Sadler won 11 races in 1995, and Pulliam won 11 races in 2013. Brandon Butler won 10 races in 2001, Adam Barker won 10 races in 2007 and Riggs won 10 races last season.
South Boston Speedway’s first spectator event of the 2023 season will be the SoBo Drifts Powered by Barlow’s Tire on Saturday, March 4. The track will host its annual pre-season test day on the following weekend, Saturday, March 11.
The track’s first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing event is set for Saturday afternoon, March 18, featuring twin 75-lap races for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stocks and races for the track’s Limited Sportsman, Pure Stock and Hornets divisions.
A total of 13 events are currently set on the 2023 South Boston Speedway schedule. Advance tickets for all 2023 events are on sale on the track’s website, southbostonspeedway.com.
For South Boston Speedway’s regular NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series events tickets will be priced at $12 in advance and $15 at the gate on the day of the event.
Tickets for the April 1 event featuring the powerful open-wheel cars of the SMART Modified Tour, the 150-lap Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division event on August 19 and the October 7 CARS Tour event are priced at $17 in advance and $20 at the gate on the day of the event.
Tickets for the July 1 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200, the opening race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, are priced at $20 in advance and $25 at the gate on the day of the event.
Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets at the advance ticket price in advance and at the gate on the day of the event.