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Saturday’s South Boston 200 kicks off Virginia Triple Crown

The $10,000-to-win race is the start of NASCAR’s summer LMSC series

This weekend marks the start of the Virginia Triple Crown, one of the most anticipated three race stretches in Late Model Stock Car racing every summer, that includes the South Boston 200, Hampton Heat 200 and concludes with the Martinsville 300.

The latter is the richest and most prestigious race in the discipline.

Before the CARS Tour, and especially after UARA STARS dissipated, these were the races in which all the big players from the Mid-Atlantic region congregated. For a discipline that only races in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, southern Virginia represents something of a centralized location for everyone who runs these cars.

This is the 11th year in a row that these three races have come together for a championship within a championship. Instead of utilizing a points format, the Triple Crown is decided by best average finish between the three races and it pays a $7,000 bonus with second and third best earning $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.

The series was conceived by Martinsville Speedway president Clay Cambell, Langley Speedway track operator Bill Mullis and then South Boston GM Cathy Rice.

“At the time, all three tracks had their own big race,” Campbell said. “We put our heads together to try and figure out if there was some way we could tie the three together and get some of the local guys to run at different tracks. The premise was to make these three races bigger and putting emphasis on the great racing in Virginia.”

Peyton Sellers has won four of the championships.

“This has really gained popularity from guys in other states,” Sellers said. “You have drivers from Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland trying to win it. For me, this is home, and there are a lot of people in Virginia who have carried the torch for short-track racing. That’s what you do by winning the Triple Crown.”

The South Boston 200 on Saturday night pays $10,000 to win to kick off the three-race stretch and the big names are indeed coming. That includes CARS Tour winners Connor Hall, Brenden Queen and Deac McCaskill.

The latter of which, is one of the greats of his era, but his tour season has been plagued with misfortune and injury.

“I’ve been racing a long time, and I don’t think I’ve ever had this kind of luck that we have had this year. It’s been absolutely horrible. We’ve had good speed, but it’s just things happened that are out of our control a lot this year.”

The Triple Crown represents an opportunity at a reset of sorts.

“I’m happy with the speed we’ve been showing,” McCaskill continued. “It’s been fun working with Bobby McCarty and Marcus Richmond. It’s a new deal for me. I’ve learned a lot. If we can get some luck on our side, I feel like we can win some races. There are still a lot of races left to go this year. We’re kind of out of the CARS Tour championship, but I feel like we can win a couple of races and go after the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown and maybe win that championship.”

Former Langley champion Matt Waltz made his first start at the track in three years on June 8 for a pair of Twin 50s in anticipation. He also finished top-5 in the CARS Tour race at Dominion earlier in the month.

“I like South Boston Speedway a lot,” Waltz said. “I’ve always seemed to run decent here. We’ve just never really brought our car here enough to race week-after-week to really get a good handle on the track.

“We were pretty good here but we’ve never been great. We’ve had some good runs here at South Boston Speedway. It’s just we haven’t been able to put it all together. In 2014, I had a good run here in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown (leading 195 of the race’s 200 laps) and ended up losing that one in the last couple of laps. That one stung, and we have had a couple of other races that we were really close.”

Veteran Mike Looney has won Martinsville and the SoBo 200 is one of his last remaining check list items and is one of the reasons he and Billy Martin Racing is racing at the track full-time this season, where he is third in the standings.

“Winning that race is one of the biggest goals we’ve got left,” Looney said. “Winning this race would be right up there with the grandfather clock sitting in the living room. We’re not going to do this much longer. I don’t have many more shots at this deal, so I’ve got to make my opportunities count. We’re going to work hard, do some testing, and give it our best shot.”

He finished second and third on June 8 in his tune up race.

“It was two spirited races,” Looney said of the twin bill. “It was intense. I just got up on the wheel, sawed on it, burned the brakes off, and did all I could do.”

This race two years was a complete crashfest and Looney knows that potential is there on Saturday too.

“Obviously, you’ve got to have a good car, but you’ve got to survive,” he said. “It’s similar to Martinsville. You have to set your mind to try to win the race at the end. There is a lot of pushing and shoving that goes on and you can lose your temper pretty quick. You’ve got to stay out of that.

“You can’t let them walk all over you all night but you can’t get into a shoving match. You need to decide whether you want to get this guy back or do you want to finish and have a chance to win this race.”

The race is scheduled to begin after local Hornet and Limited Sportsman races, which starts at 7 p.m. The South Boston 200 will air live on FloRacing.

The entry list is below.

Chase Burrow

Landon Pembelton

Andrew Grady

Camden Gullie

Brandon Pierce

Matt Waltz

Brenden Queen

Kyle Dudley

Carter Langley

Bobby McCarty

Deac McCaskill

Austin Thaxton

Logan Clark

Jason Myers

Kaden Honeycutt

Jessica Cann

Connor Hall

Kade Brown

Jacob Borst

Peyton Sellers

Brian Thomas

Raymond Pittman

Timothy Peters

Isabella Robusto

Blake Stallings

Trevor Ward

Mike Looney

Tate Fogleman

Sam Yarbrough

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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ralph Savage

    June 27, 2024 at 3:05 pm

    Great write up on SouthBoston 200!

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