Newcomers don’t often fare well at South Boston Speedway, but at least for two races, Dylan Saul has avoided that jinx.
The South Boston Limited Sportsman Division rookie heads into Saturday night’s Bojangles NASCAR Twin 75s with a pair of top-five finishes in the first two races of the season.
“Am I surprised so far? Yes and no,” said the 19-year-old Saul, in his second full season in a Limited, but his first at South Boston. “I always want to do my best and I’m disappointed we haven’t won yet, but I think we’re just a lap away from winning.”
Saul made the move to South Boston for a couple of reasons: competition and family.
“There’s more competition in the Limited Division at South Boston. We wanted a fresh start and we wanted more exposure and better competition,” said Saul, who grew up in Charlottesville, but now lives in Mooresville, North Carolina to attend a the NASCAR Technical School.
“And it’s a lot closer to home for me. All of my family has been coming to the first two races here.”
While Saul is a newcomer to South Boston, his crew chief and mentor, Stacy Puryear, logged thousands of laps on the historic track as a driver.
“It’s my second year with Stacy and he’s taught me so much,” said Saul, who is sponsored by Airport Road Auto Center, Damascus Publishing and HVAC of Charlottesville. “He has been so patient with me.”
And there has been a lot for Saul to learn with the move to South Boston.
“I had to relearn everything. When to get in the bas, the braking points. It’s been quite an adjustment,” said Saul, who competed in one race at South Boston in 2016, but crashed out early. “The track is so quick and the repave has made it a lot faster.”
Saul will be shooting for his first South Boston win Saturday night in a 50-lap Limited Sportsman race. Also on tap will be a pair of 75-lap Late Model Stock races, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division.
Registration and pit gates open at 2:30 p.m., practice runs from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and qualifying starts at 6 p.m. The first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 7-12. Kids ages six and under are admitted free with a paid adult.