Intense Battle for the 2024 Late Model Crown Looms Ahead at South Boston

Plenty of excitement, a high level of competition, and another intense chase for the South Boston Speedway Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division title are in store as teams prepare for the 100-lap race that will be part of South Boston Speedway’s season-opening URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day event on Saturday afternoon, March 23.

The 100-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division will be the co-feature race with the Pace-O-Matic King of the Modifieds race for the competitors of the SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic that will pay a minimum of $20,000 to win.

“We enjoy racing at South Boston Speedway,” remarked Peyton Sellers who will be searching for a record-tying seventh career South Boston Speedway track championship.

“It’s home for us. I feel as good about our chances as any of the past few seasons. NASCAR hasn’t made a lot of changes in the cars during the off-season. Our cars are kind of dialed in. Things we have been doing are working.”

Sellers, who has scored 11 wins in a total of 36 starts at South Boston Speedway over the course of the past two seasons, pointed out he is expecting another very competitive season at the .4-mile oval.

“The competition is always good at South Boston Speedway,” Sellers noted. “This place is unique enough to where the cars are constantly changing, and it’s a hard place to get around. That breeds good competition.”

Mike Looney of Catawba, Virginia, is one of the drivers expected to compete for the track championship. Looney won 10 races last season and is only eight wins shy of the 100-win mark. He made seven starts at South Boston Speedway last season, scoring four Top-5 finishes which included a pair of second-place finishes and a pair of third-place finishes.

“We didn’t get to race here as much last year as we wanted to,” Looney noted. “It’s a great place to race. We’ve got a pretty good notebook. I’ve got the tools to be successful and that’s all I can ask for. I’ve got some fans down here and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve been working hard. Race time is upon us.”
Looney, the 2023 track champion at Pulaski County Motorsports Park (formerly known as Motor Mile Speedway) points out that the competition level is always high at South Boston Speedway.

“I’d say this is the best weekly track in the country as far as car count and competition,” remarked Looney. “It’s a whole experience with the fans down here. There are a lot of people and a lot of energy. You make a pass for the lead here and you can hear it in the car. It’s really fun.”

Jacob Borst is optimistic about his chances to be a title contender this season. Borst finished third in the South Boston Speedway point standings last season. He had one win, and 14 Top-5 finishes which included five second-place finishes in his 18 starts.

“It’s surprising to me that this is our fourth year of racing Late Model at South Boston Speedway,” Borst said. “I’m looking forward to it. I think a lot of my guys are looking forward to it. I’ve always looked forward to racing at SoBo because you’re racing people that race with respect and will race you hard without wrecking you.”

Borst characterized his 2023 season as a learning year.

“Last year we struggled a little bit trying different things,” the Elon, North Carolina resident explained. “It definitely was a learning year for us. Everybody has to try something different. If you don’t try something different, you’re never going to get any better. That’s what we did last year. We took that knowledge of what didn’t work and what did work and put it all together. I felt like at the end of the year we were a lot better.

“We have done a lot over the winter, and we will have a good piece for this year,” he added. “I’m just hoping we can have that break-out season and end up on top.”

Blake Stallings of Danville, Virginia said he is “super excited and glad to be back at South Boston Speedway this year. I’m in better shape physically and mentally. I’ve been in the gym and have also been working on my diet and working on our racing program.”

As for his racing program goes, Stallings is very optimistic about the 2024 season. Last season at South Boston Speedway Stallings had a pair of Top-5 finishes and nine Top-10 finishes in 14 starts.

“We’ve got some pretty big plans this year. The car will be fielded by R&S Racecars. They are going to maintain the car and handle the setup. Myself, my dad, and my crew will be at the track like normal.”

Stallings has a two-pronged goal for the 2024 season – win the South Boston Speedwasy track championship and win his first career race at the .4-mile oval.

“The goal is to compete for the championship,” Stallings explained, “but ultimately, we would like to win some races here this year. I’ve never won a race at South Boston Speedway, and I would love to win a race down here. That’s been a goal of mine and a goal my dad has wanted for me for a long time.”

Trevor Ward of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the winner of last year’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway, is looking forward to South Boston Speedway’s March 23 season-opener. Ward made six starts at South Boston Speedway last season, scoring four Top-5 finishes that included a trio of third-place finishes.

“We’re out to win races and put on a good show,” Ward said during a break in a recent testing session at the .4-mile oval.

“We had three third-place finishes out of the six races we ran here last year. We just could never pull off a win, but that is one thing on the bucket list that we want to do. My father has won a handful of races here and that’s something that has always been on my bucket list. South Boston is a prestigious racetrack, and I would like to check winning here off of my bucket list.”

Landon Pembelton’s goal when he races at South Boston Speedway this season is simply to win races. In his six starts at South Boston Speedway last season, Pembelton had a win, a pole, four Top-5 finishes and five Top-10 finishes.

“We’re going for multiple wins this year,” he pointed out. “We’re always trying to chase after that trophy when we come. We’ve just got to make sure our stuff is on point every time we come to the racetrack. I have pretty high expectations this year.”

Three races are slated for Saturday afternoon’s URW Community Federal Credit Union Race Day event at South Boston Speedway. The area’s Late Model Stock Car Division drivers and teams will gather for a 100-lap race to kick off the track championship chase.

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 bring together to competitors of the SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic and the top Modified drivers from the north.

South Boston Speedway’s Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division competitors will be featured in a 20-lap race that will round out the three-race event that will kick off South Boston Speedway’s 2024 season.

Advance tickets are priced at $17 each. Tickets may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, 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.