Opening Day is still a couple weeks away at South Boston Speedway, but the track will rumble to life this Saturday with the track’s annual open practice, traditionally held one week before the season-opener.
For most of the drivers the season-opener on March 16 is the biggest day of the year, but this Saturday’s practice session isn’t far behind.
“It’s like a first date for all of us,” reigning South Boston Speedway Late Model Stock champion Peyton Sellers said of the upcoming open practice. “We’ll be adjusting to a few new rules, some new team members. And the track has been vacant for six months. There are a lot of changes that we have made in the off season that we feel will affect everyone, so it’s important to get ahead of the curve quicker than our competitors.”
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, with cars on track from 10 a.m. until noon when there will be an hour break for lunch. Cars will be back on track from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with the garage closing at 5 p.m. The practice is open to the public at no charge. All divisions, Late Model Stock, Limited Sportsman, Pure Stock and Hornets, will be practicing.
South Boston Speedway’s season-opener, the Danville Toyota NASCAR Late Model Twin 100s, is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 with gates opening at 12:30 p.m. and the green flag falling at 2 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and children 12 and under admitted free.
Thomas Scott, who finished third in the 2018 Late Model points chase behind Sellers and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Philip Morris, said he hopes to break Saturday’s open practice into two separate parts.
“First we’ll just be shaking the car down to make sure there are no issues where it was completely disassembled over the winter,” said Scott. “We’ll be breaking in the refreshed engine, seating in the new brakes, stuff like that.
“Once all is good there, then we will work on the set up of the car, starting off with last year’s set up to see how much the track has changed over the past six months since we were on it last. I have some new stuff I want to try to see if it makes the car better or not.”
Not everyone can make it to Saturday’s day-long practice. Trey Crews, who is moving up to Late Models this season after winning a second Limited Division title in 2018, will be tied up with work and unable to make it to the track.
“We’ve worked hard in the off season getting ready to make a run at the Late Model division,” said Crews, praising the support of Stallings Collision Centers, Mincey Graphics, Elite Recycling and his dad, H.E. Crews. “I hope to test the Friday before the opening race. We already shook it down once and were pleased with the car.
“Our goal is to come out and have fun like last year and hopefully everything falls into place. We’re excited about the 16th (the opener) and hope our performance from last year rolls over into this season.”
Defending Pure Stock champion Jordan Pickrel isn’t sure he will make it Saturday either. He will, though, practice at least once before opening day on March 16.
“We will be looking to get back in the swing of things, getting myself back in rhythm,” said Pickrel. “We’ll try some things that we worked on over the winter and experiment. We’re not sure where the track is going to be due to aging over the winter. I expect we are probably going to have a little less grip this year so I’m sure that will be a learning curve.”
Tickets for the Danville Toyota NASCAR Late Model Twin 100s on the afternoon of March 16 may be purchased in advance by calling 877.440.1540 or by stopping by the office between the hours of 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.
Relevant Public Relations