Connect with us

Late Model Stock Cars

Connor Hall, Nelson 22 make statement(s) with South Boston 200 win

It was an eventful Triple Crown opener with some underlying contextual narratives

Connor Hall and Nelson Motorsports made a handful of statements on Saturday night in winning the South Boston 200.

First, this has historically been a challenge for Connor Hall over the years, any trip to South Boston Speedway across NASCAR Weekly Series competition and also CARS Tour competition. It just hasn’t fit his driving style.

“These like, really high grip racetracks where we all seem to struggle with loose entries, these scenarios are like my kryptonite,” Hall said in Victory Lane. “Not to discredit anything I’ve done since joining Nelson (Motorsports) but when I was at Chad Bryant, he would just beat my head against the side of the trailer trying to get me to understand what it takes to win these races.

“And while I don’t drive for him anymore, he’s still one of my best friends and I really wish he was here because he made me the race car driver I am today.”

It sure as heck seemed like his driving style on Saturday in having to pass 30 cars, everyone else, after starting in the back and driving away dominantly to his first win at South Boston and its signature event. Hall posted just the 23rd fastest time in qualifications but there was an explanation for that.

“So, I thought I just sucked in qualifying because it didn’t feel like it did in practice,” Hall said. “It was like wrecking loose but that didn’t surprise me because like I said, this place just kicks my tail.

“I came in and there’s 10 pounds in the right rear, a third of what it should be coming off a qualifying lap, and we kept putting air in it and it kept deflating.

Thus, NASCAR officials gave them two choices — retain their mid-pack starting spot on a scuffed right rear or just go to the rear on a sticker.

Easy choice.

But there was also another statement they made, and maybe it’s a little premature and low brow, but they were certainly aware that Landon Huffman had kind of jabbed them with a tweet after qualifying.

In a since deleted tweet, Huffman said ‘it’s interesting to see a certain Toyota in the back …”

It’s no secret that Huffman still feels burned by the circumstances that led to him legitimately contributing to the revitalization of Nelson Motorsports in 2023 but then losing the ride when Hall was displaced by Treyten Lapcevich at Bryant. But the timing just felt unusual for the Nelson team as it’s now pretty much July and they were just going about their business at South Boston.

Upon crossing the finish line and taking a victory lap, Hall even referenced the tweet and suggested he might have a tweet to compose now too, at which point he was told they did their talking on the track on Saturday.

Does Hall have a tweet coming?

“What are you talking about,” Hall said cheekily. “Did something happen?”

Heh.

“Listen, I don’t drive with my thumbs,” Hall said. “I drive with my hands and feet, so I’m going to let my driving do the talking. I like having fans and people that tweet aboyt me and support me. I could donate a million dollars to charity and everyone is still going to talk bad about me. I don’t know why. I feel like I race hard but pretty good and pretty admirable — I do to you what you do to me, that old school way.

“If I rough you up a little bit, you have every right to rough me up back. That’s racing. I don’t do Twitter fingers. I handle it out here. I’m not saying that anyone does or doesn’t. No shade. I’m not throwing any shade. I’m just doing Connor. Connor is doing Connor.”

He didn’t expect to have a tweet but his girlfriend certainly had one ready.

Meanwhile, ‘what Connor did’ is chase down Trevor Ward in the closing laps and defeated the reigning Valleystar Credit Union 300 winner over a series hard-nosed restart. Hall climbed out of the car and asked his team if he raced Ward too hard and he was told no. Ward agreed on the podium.

“That’s good hard racing for the South Boston 200,” Ward said. “I have been friends with Connor for a long time and have a lot of respect for him because that’s the way you want to be raced. Beyond that, we don’t race as much as some of these boys out here do and so I’m just proud of the speed we had and hope we can take that to Langley and Martinsville.”

The remaining two Virginia Triple Crown races, of which South Boston kicks off the summer with.

Kaden Honeycutt finished third after leading most every lap of the first half. Ward picked off him off five laps into the second half and Honeycutt just had to hang on over the closing laps.

“I had really good turn over those first 100 laps and didn’t make much of an adjustment at the break when we probably should,” he said of a track that tightened up as it took rubber.

Honeycutt was pushed up the track by six-time track champion Peyton Sellers on the final lap racing for a podium and it left both the driver and his car builder Marcus Richmond frustrated, the latter confronting Sellers in tech.

“That was foul, definitely foul,” Honeycutt said when asked about the racing with Sellers. “It was for third place, and I get that we’re running for Triple Crown points, but there was no need for that. I gave him plenty of room. He wanted it and unfortunately for him he didn’t get it.”

Sellers certainly made that argument.

“We were having a good day, not a great day and he backed up to me and I got to his door and made a move that any red blooded American would make, pushed him a foot or two up the race track but never wrecked him,” Sellers said. “I was racing for points because we see every year at Martinsville that the Triple Crown championship comes down to a single pass in one of these three races but I didn’t wreck him.

“I didn’t understand Marcus coming over here and saying everything he said. I told him he needs to stick to selling race cars. And we’re friends and we’re going to continue to be friends but we didn’t see eye-to-eye on this one.”

South Boston 200
South Boston Speedway
June 29 2024

  1. Connor Hall
  2. Trevor Ward
  3. Kaden Honeycutt
  4. Peyton Sellers
  5. Kade Brown
  6. Carter Langley
  7. Kyle Dudley
  8. Brenden Queen
  9. Deac McCaskill
  10. Blake Stallings
  11. Tate Fogleman
  12. Stacy Puryear
  13. Raymond Pittman
  14. Brandon Pierce
  15. Matt Waltz
  16. Jessica Cann
  17. Timothy Peters
  18. Jason Myers
  19. Landon Pembleton
  20. Mason Bailey
  21. Mike Looney
  22. Sam Yarbrough
  23. Chase Burrow
  24. Brian Thomas
  25. Bonny McCarty
  26. GR Waldrop
  27. Isabella Robusto
  28. Logan Clark
  29. Eric Winslow
  30. Jacob Borst
  31. Camden Gullie
  32. Andrew Grady

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook

Archive

Advertisement

More in Late Model Stock Cars