If you’ve got to have a season-ending race, it might as well be like the one shaping up at South Boston Speedway Saturday night.
The AutosbyNelson.com CARS Tour 250 has attracted one of the largest Late Model Stock fields in the history of the touring series. Almost one third of the 25 Late Model entries are home-grown South Boston Speedway drivers.
Add to that tight point battles in both the Late Model and Super Late Model divisions and you’ve got the makings of a pair of barn-burners in the twin 125-lap races. It is the CARS Tour first visit to South Boston Speedway.
Grandstand gates open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with Late Model qualifying at 5 p.m. and Super Late Model qualifying at 5:30. An on-track fan fest is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the 125-lap Late Model race starting at 7 p.m. followed by the 125-lap Super Late Model race.
Typically, when the touring CARS series visits a local track, it attracts one or two of the track’s drivers. Eight South Boston drivers have entered the Late Model event, including Bobby McCarty, Philip Morris, Stacy Puryear, Brandon Pierce, Mike Jones, Timothy Peters, Matt Bowling and Blake Stallings.
Morris, Bowling and Peters are all former South Boston champions while Morris and Bowling both have won NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championships. Morris, Puryear, McCarty, Peters and Bowling have won Late Model races at South Boston. Jones won three races in the Limited Sportsman division at South Boston this season.
“There are going to be more regulars in this race than ever,” said Layne Riggs, who has a one-point lead in the CARS Late Model championship chase headed into Saturday’s race. “And I expect them to be running up front. The South Boston competition is the best I’ve ever seen wherever they go.”
Ronald Hill and Justin Johnson, former South Boston drivers are now regulars on the CARS Late Model tour. Johnson is also a former South Boston track champion. Other familiar drivers entered are Deac McCaskill, Jake Crum, Josh Berry, Ryan Repko and Ty Gibbs, son of NASCAR Cup team owner and former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs
Riggs, the 15-year-old son of former NASCAR Cup driver Scott Riggs, had a second-place finish in his only career South Boston Late Model start last month, a race that was a test run for this Saturday’s race.
Riggs’ biggest goal for Saturday is to finish one spot better than Berry and wrap up the championship
There are 13 cars entered in the Super Late Model race, where a championship will also be decided. Cole Rouse has an eight-point lead over Brandon Setzer headed into the 125-lap Super Late Model season finale.
Advance adult general admission tickets to the AutosbyNelson.com 250 are on sale in advance for $10 each. Adult general admission tickets on race day will be $15. Youth ages 7-12 will be admitted for $5 with children six and under admitted free.
Advance tickets can be purchased daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 877.440.1540.