Davis enjoying his best season in Sportsman division
Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 15, 2023
BY JOE CHANDLER
South Boston Speedway
It was around a decade ago that Bob Davis started racing in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway. This season Davis is enjoying his best season at the .4- mile oval.
The Thaxton businessman and farmer is tied with Drew Dawson of Nathalie, for third place in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division point standings heading into the twin 30-lap races that will be part of the Billy’s A/C Service Night Race on Saturday night, July 15 at South Boston Speedway. He stands only three points out of second place, and only 22 points behind division points leader Jason Myers of Hurt.
Thus far, Davis has five Top-5 finishes and six Top-10 finishes in his eight starts. He earned a runner-up finish on June 3 for his best finish of the season and has logged three third-place finishes and a fourth-place finish.
“I’m very grateful,” Davis said of the good results he has been able to post this season. “We have a really good team. I’ve had a good car.”
Davis is in a good place points-wise as a contender for the division title, yet he isn’t placing a great deal of emphasis on points.
“I’m focused on each race, trying to do my best each race,” he said. “I don’t worry about the points that much.”
While winning a Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division race at South Boston Speedway would be a special accomplishment, Davis does not want to set his expectations too high.
“I look forward to winning a race here at South Boston Speedway,” he said with a smile. “It’s been great to run second against this competition. So many things can happen. I don’t want to expect too much.”
Davis is taking his racing more seriously this season and it has played a role in Davis’ success.
“I’ve been coming here (to South Boston Speedway) a long, long time and I’ve really gotten serious,” Davis noted, “and my attitude is a lot different.”
Davis’ early racing career centered around road racing in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). He was successful in road racing, winning numerous races along the way.
“We won a good portion of the races,” Davis pointed out. “My car builder and crew chief, Ron Fariss, always had a piece that was spot-on. We always did well. We raced at VIR, Watkins Glen, Daytona, and a lot of other road courses and had good success. Ron was a success at road racing in his own right. I still do it, although we’ve been out of it for awhile.”
Davis wanted to try short-track racing and that desire led him to competing in the Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway.
“It (short track racing) is a little more convenient because it’s closer to home and you don’t have to be gone but for a couple of days if you practice on Friday,” he explained. “I liked the idea of being in an environment that was a little more competitive. I had no idea how competitive it was until I got into it. I really like the people. It’s a hard-working group of people.”
Davis says the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division is a good division.
“Bruce Anderson told me one time these Limited Sportsman drivers don’t race Limited Sportsman cars because they’re not good drivers, they race Limited Sportsman because it can be done on a lower budget,” Davis explained.
“In my case, I don’t have time to practice and come out here and spend a whole day on Friday. A lot of times I don’t get to practice. I’ve got a business to run, a farm to care for and other things going on.
“Limited Sportsman racing is a great opportunity to run with some good drivers, and it’s a great opportunity for young drivers to get some experience before they move up to Late Model.”
Racing at South Boston Speedway means a lot to Davis.
“I just get warm fuzzies when I’m driving down here through Halifax,” he remarked, “and all of the people here are great. You drive around the track on the pace lap, and you see all of these people sitting here. That means a lot.”
Seven races are slated for the July 15 Billy’s A/C Service Night Race event at South Boston Speedway including twin races for both the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division and the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division.
Twin 75-lap races for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and twin 30-lap races for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division will headline the night’s racing action. A 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division, and a 25-lap race for the regional touring East Coast Ford Flathead Racing Association round out the night’s racing action.
Registration and pit gates will open at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15. Frontstretch spectator gates will open at 3:20 p.m. and practice will start at 3:30 p.m. Backstretch spectator and tailgate section gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Qualifying starts at 6 p.m. and the first race will get the green flag at 7 p.m.
Advance adult general admission tickets 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.