Racing at South Boston a family affair
Published 4:38 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023
By Joe Chandler
South Boston Speedway
Racing is a family affair for brothers B.J. Reaves and Zach Reaves.
The two Halifax County natives started racing last season in the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division at South Boston Speedway and have formed a tight family bond through racing.
“Zach lives outside of Danville, Virginia toward Brosville, Virginia,” B.J. Reaves noted.
“We don’t get to see each other that much. Racing has been great for me, him, and my dad as a family because we get to spend time together working on the cars. That has been amazing for us.”
“B.J. got started racing first and he was nice enough to help me get a car,” Zach Reaves explained.
“The racing’s fun but being able to spend time and work together as family is the big thing. If it wasn’t for B.J., I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now. It’s not just a family thing, everybody at the track has been extremely helpful for us. Other guys that compete in the class have been extremely helpful throughout the winter with parts and giving us knowledge, letting me know where I can improve and helping me with certain parts on our cars.”
Zach Reaves won the pole and finished second in South Boston Speedway’s 2023 season-opener on March 18 while B.J. Reaves finished third, close behind his brother.
Last season, B.J. Reaves won Rookie of the Year honors with his third-place finish in the final season point standings. He picked up a win, earned seven Top- Five finishes and never finished outside of the Top-10.
Zach Reaves had a later start to his 2022 season but garnered four Top-Five finishes and never finished outside of the Top-10. His best finishes included one third-place finish and a pair of fourth-place finishes.
Working on each other’s car together has been a key component to their success.
“Zach knows how my car is set up and what we’re doing on my car, and we both know what we’re doing on his car,” B.J. Reaves said.
“That helps because we can try different things on each car and see what works. It makes us both better.
“It’s a big benefit for us working together,” added Zach Reaves.
“We both know each other’s car real well. When something is working for B.J. we can try it on my car and when something is working for me, we can try it on his car. Hopefully our learning will be twice as fast.”
The experience and knowledge they gained last season will play a role in the success the two brothers achieve this season.
“I think this is going to be a good year for both myself and B.J.,” Zach Reaves said.
“I was proud of what I accomplished last year. I ran in the middle of the pack the whole time. I had a whole lot of learning to do and still have a lot of learning to do. It seems that every race I have gotten a little bit faster. If I can keep that up, maybe I’ll be up front one day.”
B.J. Reaves noted that experience is often the difference when it comes to success.
“Experience is going to help a lot,” he pointed out.
“Half of the year last year I needed more laps. I didn’t know what line to run, and really didn’t know much. I understand the setup of the car better. I better understand the mechanics of the car. Last year I was as green as you can be. This year I’m coming in with a much better understanding. I’m drastically more prepared this season.”
Both brothers say a successful outing is for both to finish in the top three.
“If we could get in the top three, that would be a win for us,” B.J. Reaves remarked.
“Of course, we both want to win a race and win multiple races, but a top-three finish for us together would be amazing. That would tell us we’re heading in the right direction.”
The two brothers will return to competition in the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division when South Boston Speedway hosts its next NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event, the Viny’s Italian Restaurant Race Night, on Saturday night, April 22.
A 100-lap race for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division will be the feature race of the six-race event. In addition to the 100-lap race for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division the night’s racing action will include a 50-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
Fans will also see a 25-lap race for the East Coast Flathead Ford Racing Association and a 20-lap race for the Mills Family Practice Champ Karts.
Registration and pit gates will open at 12:30 p.m. Practice will begin at 3:30 p.m., gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and qualifying starts at 6 p.m. The first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.
Advance adult general admission tickets for the April 22 Viny’s Italian Restaurant Race Night event are priced at $12 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www. southbostonspeedway. com or by calling the speedway office at 434- 572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Tickets at the gate on race day will be $15 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $12 each at the gate on race day.
The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway can be found on the speedway’s website and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway during regular business hours.