National champions to bid for win in Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota at South Boston Speedway
“Having this particular race at the beginning of the year can be a big momentum boost for the rest of the season.”
Those were the words of defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Philip Morris when discussing Saturday’s season-opening NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota at South Boston Speedway. The green flag for the season opener will fly at 2 p.m.
In 2011, Morris roared to the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship by claiming 19 wins in the regular season. He then capped off his banner campaign by scoring a victory in the season-ending NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota in October.
This year, the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota was moved to the start of the campaign in 2012 to bring added excitement to the start of the new season for competitors and fans.
“I think it was a great decision to move it,” Morris said. “If you get a win there on Saturday it will certainly be a big boost to the season and the excitement of having that event at the start of the year is great for the fans.”
The region’s best Late Model Stock Car Division competitors will join Morris, a four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, in the elite field of competitors Saturday.
“There’s no doubt there will be a lot of great competitors there,” Morris said. “South Boston always has great competition and, for this event, it will be even more.”
Among those who will try to halt Morris’ momentum and claim the $10,000 first-place prize Saturday will be former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Peyton Sellers.
Sellers won the season-opening race at America’s Hometown Track last year and hopes to repeat that performance on Saturday when the green flag waves.
“I am looking forward to it,” Sellers said. “It should be a really good day.”
Sellers and Morris are teammates, but they are also two competitors who want to collect a victory.
“I’m going there to win, absolutely,” Sellers said. “Philip is my teammate and I hope he does well, but my plan is to try and get a win. I’m really looking forward to running more races this year and I want to get the season off to a good start.”
Among the other top drivers slated to compete in the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota on Saturday at the four-tenths mile asphalt oval are Frank Deiny Jr., C.E. Falk, Bruce Anderson, Eddie Johnson and many more top competitors from throughout the region.
Advance tickets, priced at $10 for adults, until 5 p.m. on Friday are available at the speedway office. Adult tickets on Saturday will be priced at $15.
Practice for the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota will be held from 12:45 p.m. until 2:45 p.m. on Friday, March 9. Qualifying time trials for the Saturday race will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday.
Grandstand gates will open on Saturday, March 10 at 11 a.m. and 25-lap qualifying races will get cranked up at 11:30 a.m. and the feature race at 2 p.m.
A Fan Appreciation Session prior to the start of the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota will be held after the qualifying races.
In addition to triggering the start of the season at South Boston Speedway, the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota will also be the first event in a unique tripleheader — the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown will consist of the season-opening NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota at South Boston Speedway, the Langley Heat 200 on July 28 in Hampton, Va. and the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 on Oct. 21 at Martinsville Speedway.
The winner of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown this year will receive an additional $5,000. The runner-up in the competition will claim $3,000 and the third-place finisher will receive $2,000.
“I really like the new deal South Boston has worked out with Langley and Martinsville,” Morris said. “It should add a lot of excitement for the drivers and the fans as well. If you win that Triple Crown, you know you have done it against the best competition around.”
Points for the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown will be awarded to competitors based on their finish in the “feature” race at each site and the points will be applied. The driver with the highest point total over the course of the three races will claim the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown title.
For more information visit the track's Web site or phone the track at (434) 572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540.