NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national points leader and South Boston Speedway points leader Layne Riggs is excited and ready to face the competition in the 200-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division race that headlines Saturday night’s Thunder Road 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort at South Boston Speedway.
That is good because the largest number of entries in the event’s history – 48 drivers – are entered in Saturday night’s 200-lap NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division race at South Boston Speedway, and 40 drivers will start the race.
“I’m ready to see the competition come,” Riggs remarked. “I want some out-of-towners to come. I want to see how we stack up.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Riggs added. “It’s going to be a huge race. The stands will be packed, and I’m excited to see that. It’s going to be great short track racing. I’m happy to be part of it.”
The Bahama, North Carolina resident has 10 wins and 15 Top-Five finishes on the season. He is the top winner this season at South Boston Speedway with seven victories in 10 starts.
Riggs has never won South Boston Speedway’s showcase NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series race and says winning this race would be among his biggest accomplishments.
“It would be amazing,” Riggs replied when asked what it would mean to him to win the race.
“I’ve run the 200 only one time and it was three or four years ago. I was just getting started racing Late Models and traveling. I didn’t have the best performance that night.
“Winning this race would be among my biggest wins,” Riggs continued. “The 200-lapper will be in front of the biggest audience and would have the most eyes on me, and that’s what we’re really going for right now. We’re trying to draw as much attention as we can to hopefully draw some sponsors in and hopefully be able to make something out of it next season.”
Riggs says he feels good about his chances in Saturday night’s race.
“I feel like we have really good long-run cars here,” explained Riggs. “That is what our strength is right now. I feel like I’m easy on the tires and can go fast at the same time. I feel like a 200-lap race will play even more into my favor. I feel like I have more of an opportunity to have a successful run.”
Saturday night’s 200-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race will pay $10,000 to win, and it is the first race in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown series. With the race being the Triple Crown opener, Riggs says it is vital to do well in Saturday night’s race.
“Usually, the winner at South Boston is more than likely to win the Triple Crown,” Riggs pointed out. “If we can run well here at South Boston Speedway, Langley is another good track of mine. I’ve also been successful at Martinsville in the past. I think all three tracks play into my favor. I feel we have a really good chance to win the Triple Crown this year.”
Saturday night’s Thunder Road 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort is South Boston Speedway’s biggest NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event of the season each year for both competitors and fans.
Saturday night’s event features a new, exciting format that will have the race being run in four stages. Stage One will end at lap 50 with a caution and Stage 2 will conclude at lap 100 with caution to be followed by a halfway break. The third stage will end at lap 150 with a caution and the final stage ends at lap 200 with the end of the race.
Qualifying for the event will be exciting as well with the top 30 cars being locked into the field on time. Drivers that fail to qualify on time will compete in a Last Chance Qualifying Race that will go for 25 laps or 25 minutes, with the top 10 finishers advancing into the 200-lap feature race.
Four of the top 10 drivers in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national standings are among the 48 drivers entered in Saturday night’s 200-lap race. The group includes Riggs, the national leader, current second-place driver and defending national champion Peyton Sellers of Danville, Virginia, the current sixth-place driver, Landon Pembelton of Amelia, Virginia and current eighth place driver, Mason Bailey of Richmond, Virginia.
In addition to the 200-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, the four-race program will include a 50-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
Fans will enjoy a big weekend as well. A Fan Appreciation driver autograph session will be held on-track Saturday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
On Friday, fans can watch practice throughout the day and enjoy a free Fan Fest Friday night featuring popular country music performer Matt Boswell and the Hillbilly Blues Band. Practice will run from 11 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and the concert featuring Matt Boswell will begin at approximately 8 p.m. The concert will be held on the speedway’s frontstretch in the speedway’s Victory Lane.
Advance tickets for Saturday night’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort are available for $15 each plus a $1.50 processing fee. The advance tickets may be purchased online on the South Boston Speedway website or by calling the speedway office. Advance tickets are available until midnight Friday.
Tickets at the gate on race day will be $20 each. Kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, first responders, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $15 each at the gate on race day.
Saturday’s race day schedule has practice starting at 1 p.m. Qualifying starts at 4:15 p.m., the Fan Appreciation autograph session will be held at 5:15 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.