Predictions that South Boston Speedway’s all-time track record would fall at the hands of the competitors in the open-wheel winged 410-sprint cars of the Must See Racing series came true Friday night on the opening night of the Sentara Healthcare American Sprint Car Weekend as Charlie Schultz of Lorain, Ohio turned in a qualifying lap of 12.051 seconds and 119.492 miles per hour, shattering the former record by almost 16 miles per hour.
Bobby Santos of Franklin, Massachusetts followed Schultz’ record-shattering run by winning the 30-lap feature race for the Must See Racing series, running away to a 4.651-second win over Schultz in the series’ season-opening race.
Santos inherited the lead on lap 14 when race leader Troy DeCaire was forced to the sidelines with a mechanical issue after having led the first 13 circuits.
A mid-race caution period set up a 15-lap dash to the finish. Santos got a great jump on the restart and pulled away from his challengers to earn the win.
“We had an awesome car,” Santos remarked. “I just had clean air at that point. I just had a great car and clean air. That makes a huge difference in these cars.”
Santos said South Boston Speedway “was awesome. The track was great. It was fun to race on. It was a lot of fun.”
Jacob Dolinar of Sylvania, Ohio finished third with Joe Liguori of Indianapolis, Indiana and Joshua Sexton of Elyria, Ohio rounding out the top five finishers.
KYLE BARNES WINS BUDWEISER LIMITED SPORTSMAN DIVISION RACE
Kyle Barnes holds the hot hand in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway.
The Draper, Virginia resident earned his second win in three starts Friday night, chalking up a 3.9-second win over Chris Donnelly of Montross, Virginia in the 65-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division.
There were three lead changes among three different drivers in the highly competitive race, with Barnes taking the lead from pole winner Chuck Lawson of Providence, North Carolina on the 33rd lap and controlling the caution-free race the rest of the way.
“I really didn’t know what I was going to have,” Barnes remarked. “I was going to be tickled with a top-five finish. I had a long-run rocket ship.”
Barnes, Lawson and Daniel Crews of Long Island, Virginia battled each other hard in the first half of the race before Barnes was able to pass Lawson for the lead. With others behind him battling for position, Barnes gradually pulled away from his challengers.
“It was really tough,” Barnes remarked of the early-race battle. “All of these guys here are class acts. I feel comfortable and confident with these guys down here that we can race like that. At the end of the day, we put on a great show for the fans.”
Jason Myers of Hurt, Virginia finished third with Lawson taking fourth place and newcomer Parker Brookfield rounding out the top five finishers.
NATHAN CREWS RETURNS AND WINS SOUTHSIDE DISPOSAL PURE STOCK DIVISION RACE
Nathan Crews of Long Island, Virginia proved Friday night he has not lost his touch.
Crews, who won the division title last season with 11 wins in 13 starts, made his first start of the season in the division Friday night and picked up right where he left off with a win.
The defending division champion edged Scott Phillips of Halifax, Virginia by 1.885 seconds to earn the win in the caution-free 25-lap race.
B.J. Reaves of South Boston, Virginia, Bruce Mayo of Halifax, Virginia and Johnny Layne of Halifax, Virginia rounded out the top five finishers.
JARED DAWSON TAKES WIN IN HORNETS DIVISION RACE
Jared Dawson of Nathalie, Virginia started on the pole and led the entire distance in winning Friday night’s 20-lap Hornets Division race at South Boston Speedway.
Dawson, who had two wins and eight Top-Five finishes in 10 starts in the division last season, made his second start of the season in the division in Friday night’s event. He edged runner-up Dillon Davis of Nathalie, Virginia by 1.732 seconds in earning the win.
Jason DeCarlo of Chase City, Virginia finished third, Steven Layne of Nathalie, Virginia finished fourth and former division champion Kevin Currin of Chase City, Virginia finished fifth.
ALLISON WINS USAC EASTERN MIDGETS RACE
Neal Allison won Friday night’s 30-lap USAC Eastern Midgets race, driving to a 6.289-second win over runner-up Brady Allum.
Allison took the lead from Allum on the second lap and was never seriously challenged.
Joe Liguori, Logan Sulley and Avery Stoehr rounded out the top five finishers.
NEXT RACE AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
The Sentara Healthcare American Sprint Car Weekend event at South Boston Speedway continues on Saturday night, April 30, starting at 7 p.m.
Saturday night’s action will include a full program of racing for the Must See Racing winged 410 sprint cars (heat races and a 30-lap feature race), a 30-lap race for the USAC Eastern Midgets, twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division and twin races for the Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club.
Grandstand gates open at 5:45 p.m., qualifying starts at 6 p.m., and the first race of the night gets the green flag at 7 p.m.
Adult general admission tickets at the gate are $20 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, first responders, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $15 each at the gate.
The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway are available on the speedway’s website, southbostonspeedway.com, and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.