Test Session Adds to Excitement for March 23 King of the Modifieds Race at South Boston Speedway

The excitement surrounding the SMART Modified Tour’s Pace-O-Matic King of the Modifieds race that will be part of the March 23 URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day event at South Boston Speedway continues to build as nine SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic drivers gathered at the .4-mile oval for testing Thursday.

A new crown jewel in Modified racing that makes it one of the biggest Modified races in the country this season, the 125-lap Pace-O-Matic King of the Modifieds race will pay a minimum of $20,000 to win.

Former NASCAR Cup Series star Ryan Newman, who is competing for the SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic championship in the No. 2 Randy Renfrow-owned Coulter Motorsports entry, was among the drivers attending Thursday testing session.

The King of the Modifieds race will be the second time that Newman will race at South Boston Speedway. He competed at the track when the track hosted an SRX Series event two years ago.

“This is my first opportunity to race a Modified here,” Newman pointed out. “This is a big race here at South Boston Speedway, and that’s why we’re here testing, getting the car where it feels good and drives good, and has speed. That seems to be what we came off of the truck with.”

“It’s a fun racetrack,” Newman said of South Boston Speedway. “This is a great opportunity, and I thank the SMART series and Pace-O-Matic for putting this race on.”

Burt Myers, the 2023 SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic champion, is excited about the King of the Modifieds race.

“I love coming to South Boston, and to come up here for an event like this, for a purse like this, makes it more special.

“Just think of the title, not just the title, but also the purse,” he remarked. “You’d better be fast. We’re going to be racing against some of the best Modified drivers and some of the best equipment in the country.”
Myers said near the end of testing he was confident in his car.

“We actually feel really good about it,” Myers said. “The car is really comfortable, really stable.”

Brandon Ward, last season’s NASCAR Modified champion at Bowman Gray Stadium, says the King of the Modifieds race “is going to be one of the biggest races of the year for the Modifieds, and I’m sure the biggest paying race. It’s one we want to be prepared for.

“There will be a lot of good cars here and it will be a real tough race to win,” he added. “I feel like we’ll be in good shape. I feel good about our chances. Today we had time to run through several different scenarios so hopefully when we unload next weekend we will unload pretty much where we feel like we need to be and just fine-tune on it during practice on race day.”

SMART Modified Tour veteran Joey Coulter calls the King of the Modifieds race “awesome.”

“I’m a sucker for crown jewel races,” Coulter said with a smile. “I’ve been really fortunate to have been a part of a lot of them. It’s going to be really great for Modified racing. The racetrack is doing a fantastic job of promoting it. It sounds like we’re going to get some pretty big names from up north coming down. It’s going to be a good race.”

Coulter said he likes racing at South Boston Speedway.

“I’ve always been partial to higher grip, faster-paced racetracks,” he pointed out. “This place still has a ton of grip compared to a lot of tracks in the south. This one fits my style pretty well.”

One of the young drivers to watch for in the race is 17-year-old Luke Baldwin, the youngest son of noted Modified racer Tommy Baldwin and grandson of the legendary Tom Baldwin. Baldwin is driving the No. 7VA car out of the SS Racing stable.

A former 602 Modified champion at New Smyrna Speedway’s World of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, will be making his third tour race start in the King of the Modifieds race.

“I’m really excited,” Baldwin said. “I think we’ve got a good piece. It’s going to be a really big event. Hopefully my inexperience can keep up with all of the big guys out there and I can learn a ton from it and hopefully end up in the winner’s circle.

“It’s going to be tough,” Baldwin said of the race. “There are some heavy hitters out there that I haven’t raced against before. It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but I’m up for it.”

Co-headlining South Boston Speedway’s March 23 season-opening URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day event is a 100-lap race for South Boston Speedway’s Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division. The track’s Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division competitors will be featured in a 20-lap race.

Advance tickets are priced at $17 each. Tickets 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 $20 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $17 each at the gate on race day.

The URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day event schedule has practice running from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Qualifying begins at 11:45 a.m., a SMART Modified Tour driver autograph session is set for 1:15 p.m., a last chance qualifying race for the modifieds is set for 2:10 p.m. and the first race of the day is set to get the green flag at 3 p.m.

The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway can be found on the speedway’s website and social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway during regular business hours.