At Age 62, Lane Thomason Achieves Goal in First Career Race; Embraces Pure Stock Challenge at South Boston

Joe Chandler/South Boston Speedway Photo

Most racecar drivers begin racing in their teens or twenties. Lane Thomason’s start in racing comes much later in life.

It was in March of this year that Thomason, 62, got behind the wheel of a racecar for the first time, wheeling a car he now drives in the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division at South Boston Speedway.

“Until March 13, I had never sat in a racecar in my life,” the South Boston resident explained. “I drove it and it felt good to me. I got out of the car, and B.J. (fellow Pure Stock driver B.J. Reaves) asked me how it was, and I said it felt great. I told him I’d drive the first race and see how we do.”

Thomason competed in his first race, a 25-lap race, on April 13 and finished 10th.

“The goal the first race was not to finish last and bring the car home in one piece, and I did that,” Thomason said with a smile.

Thomason, who owns Bo’s Hydraulics in South Boston, Virginia, sponsors B.J. Reaves through Riverdale Laser Wash and sponsors Reaves’ brother, Zach Reaves, through Bo’s Hydraulics. Thomason and the Reaves brothers work together as a team. The car Thomason drives is intended to be a back-up car for the Reaves brothers in case either one needs it.

“B.J. had an accident and couldn’t get the car ready for one race,” Thomason explained. “He missed one race, and I said ‘let’s get a back-up car, that way if one of you has an accident we’ll have a car.’ They said okay, and I got the car. B.J. talked me into driving.”

Thomason says driving the car is challenging.

“I’m so new at it,” Thomason pointed out. “If the car is pushing or the car is loose, it is hard for me to tell exactly what’s going on. It’s just instinct, do what I think. So far, it’s paid off.”

B.J. Reaves says Thomason is making very good progress.

“Lane is coming along faster than I expected,” Reaves remarked. “We came over and practiced and he was turning 20-second lap times. We really didn’t know where we were going to be. We kept practicing and kept trying.
“He’s a good student,” Reaves continued. “If you tell him to do something he’ll make a change when he goes back out onto the track. He did extremely well the first race. He got into the 18-second bracket and even turned an 18.5 during the race. If anybody had told me Lane was going to turn an 18.5-second lap in the race I’d have told them I don’t think so, but he sure did it. He’s been impressive.”

Thomason’s goals for the season are simple.

“I’d like to finish mid-pack,” he remarked. “I’d like to climb up from the first race and be a little bit better each race.  As I get more comfortable with the car, I’ll push it harder.“

Thomason is enjoying the experience of driving and racing.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, my wife not so much,” he said. “I used to come over here to South Boston Speedway a lot. My wife’s brother used to help a guy that we hung around with some. I’ve always enjoyed being around it. One day I said I wouldn’t mind seeing what I could do with one, but that was years ago, and I never did it. Now that I’m doing it, I actually like it.”

Thomason and the competitors in all four of South Boston Speedway’s NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions will return to competition on Saturday night, May 11 in the ABC 13, WSET-TV Race Night presented by Bojangles event.

South Boston Speedway will observe its annual First Responders Appreciation Night in conjunction with the Saturday, May 11 event. All first responders will be admitted free with a valid department ID/badge or a department roster signed by the chief with accompanying government-issued ID. In addition, there will be a parade lap of fire trucks, emergency vehicles and police cars from various agencies in the area during pre-race ceremonies.

The ABC 13, WSET-TV Race Night presented by Bojangles event on Saturday night, May 11 will feature double races for two of the track’s four NASCAR racing divisions. Double 65-lap races for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division will highlight the night’s action. The Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division competitors will battle it out in double 30-lap races.

Also slated as part of the night’s seven-race card are a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division, and a 25-lap race for the regional touring Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club.

The event schedule has registration and pit gates opening at 2 p.m. Practice will run from 3:25 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. Frontstretch spectator gates will open at 3:30 p.m. Qualifying is set for 6 p.m., pre-race ceremonies are scheduled for 6:45 p.m. and the first race of the night will start at 7 p.m.

Advance tickets for the May 11 ABC 13, WSET-TV Race Night presented by Bojangles event are priced at $12 each. Advance tickets may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.comor 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 race day will be $15 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $12 each at the gate on race day.

Advance tickets purchased for last week’s canceled God’s Pit Crew Race Night presented by Billy’s A/C Service event will be honored for the Saturday, May 11ABC 13, WSET-TV Race Night presented by Bojangles event.

Fans and competitors can find the latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway on the speedway’s website,, by calling the speedway office at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours, and through the track’s social media channels.

South Boston Speedway PR

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