Hope, Dream Of Winning at South Boston Speedway Becomes Reality for 16-Year-Old Carter Russo

Carter Russo entered the 2023 season at South Boston Speedway hoping to earn his first career win. Last Saturday night the 16-year-old’s hope and dream became a reality.

Russo scored a flag-to-flag victory in the 50-lap Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division race to score his first career win in Limited Sportsman Division racing.

“South Boston Speedway is a great place to get your first win,” the young Rougemont, North Carolina resident said. I can’t thank Mike Chambers, Thomas Chappell, my sponsors, and everybody that has a part in helping me with the car enough. I knew I had more experience going into this year that would help me a ton. It all just worked out. I’m excited.”

The win was not an easy one for Russo, who finished third in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division last year and won the division’s Rookie of the Year Award. On three occasions he saw his lead over Jason Myers evaporate due to caution flags for mishaps. At the end, Russo had to hold off Myers, who had finished as the division runner-up in each of the past two seasons, in a five-lap dash to the finish to take the win.

“I was thinking I wasn’t going to catch a break,” Russo remarked. “I had a good lead each time we had a caution. It’s just how racing is. Winning never comes easy. You’ve always got to work for it. I like working for things. I don’t like getting things handed to me. It was a good way to win.”
Russo was confident Myers would race him cleanly.

“He’s a really good racer,” Russo said of Myers. “I liked Jason being behind me. I didn’t think he would wreck me for the win. I think he’d like to see me get my first win. I knew it was going to be a good race.”

Russo’s victory vaulted him up to second place in the South Boston Speedway Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division point standings. He stands just six points behind Myers entering the 50-lap Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division race that will be part of the ABC 13 WSET Night Race event on Saturday night, May 13 at South Boston Speedway.

Thus far the student at Orange County High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina has a pair of top-five finishes, and a pair of Top-10 finishes in his second year of racing in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division.

He hopes his solid early-season effort will help propel him to the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division championship.

“You always hope to come out with a championship,” Russo pointed out. “That’s what everybody wants. There is a great group of cars here and some of the best Limited Sportsman drivers you have anywhere. I know that if I can run up there with them, you’re pretty good. Hopefully we can get some more wins, earn some poles, and come out with a championship.”

Russo explained that he feels good about his car, his team and their efforts.

“I feel like we’re in a good spot right now,” he added. “Last year I was going through a learning curve, taking it race-by-race and seeing how it went. I have more confidence now. We went back to our notebook from last year and we’ve got the car turning a little bit better. Our race speed and qualifying speed are a lot better. Instead of qualifying near the back of the pack and having to drive to the front we’re starting in a better position. That helps a lot. I think we’re one of the cars to beat week-in and week-out.”

Russo says the level of the competition in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway is very high. 

“It’s the best field of Limited Sportsman cars you can find anywhere,” he noted. “The field of Limited cars is separated by only a tenth-and-a-half of a second all the way down to last place. If you miss your mark one little bit you’re going to be sitting in a bad spot.”

Six races are slated for the Saturday, May 13 ABC 13 WSET Night Race event at South Boston Speedway with twin 60-lap races for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division headlining the night’s racing action. Also included are a 50-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division and a 25-lap race for the Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club. 

Registration and pit gates will open at 2 p.m. Frontstretch spectator gates will open at 3:20 p.m. and practice will begin at 3:30 p.m. Backstretch spectator and tailgate section gates will open at 5:30 P.M. Qualifying starts at 6 p.m. and the first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.

Advance adult general admission tickets for the Saturday, May 13 ABC 13 WSET Night Race event are priced at $12 each and 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 $15 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $12 each at the gate on race day.

The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway can be found on the speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, on the track’s social media channels, and by phoning the speedway at 1-434-572-4947 or toll free 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.