SMART Modified Tour championship contender Brandon Ward has a two-fold focus for the Pace-O-Matic 99 for the SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic, the feature race of the Boone Tractor 199 presented by Massey Ferguson on Saturday afternoon, October 14 at South Boston Speedway.
The first is winning the race. Just as important is Ward finishing well enough to ensure that he ends the event as one of the top three drivers in the series point standings.
The SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic uses a one-race playoff system to determine its season champion. After Saturday’s race at South Boston Speedway the top three drivers in the series point standings will be the only drivers eligible to win the series championship when the series hosts its final race of the season on October 28.
“It’s all about trying to win the race,” said Ward, who has two wins in the series this season and sits in second place in the series point standings 44 points behind series leader Burt Myers.
“That’s what it’s about every weekend when we race. Even though we’re tied up in a points battle, we need to win the race to gain points and gain ground. Our whole focus is to come into South Boston on Saturday, have a good weekend and have our sights set on trying to win the race.”
Ward looks at Saturday’s Pace-O-Matic 99 as a “must win” race.
“We try to look at it that way,” Ward remarked.
“There are so many things that can happen. First off, we want to make sure we have ourselves locked into the top three for the championship race. If we win this one that’s a guarantee.
“I feel like with two races getting rained out it took some chances away to have the opportunity to gain points,” Ward continued.
“We did not have the night we wanted at Tri-County last Saturday, so going into these last two events, if we can win them that’s the best we can do. No matter how the points fall at that point in time, if we can pick up two more wins, we can call it a great year. We will know we did all we could do closing out the season as far as the points go.”
Ward feels good about returning to South Boston Speedway for a second time this season.
“I was very excited when I saw South Boston get a second race this year,” Ward said. “I love coming to South Boston. It’s a beautiful racetrack, a great facility to race at, and it has a good racing surface that suits these cars really well. I’m really looking forward to the race this weekend.”
South Boston Speedway is a track where Ward has experienced success.
“I’ve had wins at South Boston before in different types of racecars,” Ward pointed out. “My wins came before the track was repaved, but we’ve had good runs there since then. I won a Whelen Southern Modified Tour race back when that series came to South Boston.
“Randy Renfrow always unloads with a good balanced racecar everywhere we go,” he added.
“I definitely have confidence in that going into the weekend.”
One of things Ward likes about South Boston Speedway is that drivers can race hard throughout the race.
“I think it’s going to come down to who has the speed and who has track position,” Ward said of Saturday’s 99-lap race. “We can actually race, and race hard pretty much throughout the entire event. At a lot of track surfaces we race on it’s about who has the most tire left at the end of the race. One good thing about South Boston is it’s one of the few tracks where we don’t seem to fight tire wear. One of the things I like about it is when you get a well-balanced racecar you can pretty much race hard all night. That being said, it takes a good balanced racecar, and it takes having speed.”
The entry list for Saturday’s Pace-O-Matic 99 for the SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic features the series’ top drivers including former NASCAR stars Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman. Labonte won last week’s event and heads into this weekend’s event at South Boston Speedway looking for a second straight win.
Also among the drivers entered in Saturday’s race are series points leader Burt Myers of Walnut Cove, North Carolina, Brian Loftin of Clemmons, North Carolina who won the April race at South Boston Speedway, Jason Myers of Walnut Cove, North Carolina, Caleb Heady of Mooresville, North Carolina and Joey Coulter of Concord, North Carolina.
Four races are slated for Saturday afternoon’s Boone Tractor 199 presented by Massey Ferguson at South Boston Speedway with the Pace-O-Matic 99 for the SMART Modified Tour powered by Pace-O-Matic headlining the afternoon’s action.
Fans will also see a 50-lap race for the Carolina Crate Modified Series and twin 25-lap races for the Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club.
Advance adult general admission tickets for the Boone Tractor 199 presented by Massey Ferguson are priced at $17 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com until midnight Friday night 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 Saturday are priced at $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 race day schedule for Saturday’s Boone Tractor 199 presented by Massey Ferguson has frontstretch spectator gates opening at 10:30 a.m. Practice will run from 10:30 a.m. until 12:25 p.m. Qualifying starts at 1 p.m. and an autograph session is scheduled from 2 p.m. until 2:45 p.m. The first race will get the green flag at 3 p.m.
The latest news and updates about the Boone Tractor 199 presented by Massey Ferguson and other South Boston Speedway events can be found on the speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, and 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.