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South Boston Speedway

South Boston Speedway News
South Boston Speedway Graduates Give Credit To Historic Track For Successful Racing Careers
Aug 23, 2017 - updated Oct 6th, 2017 3:47am
Web posted by Mike Smith

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SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (August 22, 2017) – Since its first dusty race in the summer of 1957, South Boston Speedway has produced exciting races and equally exciting race car drivers.

Drivers who have won on stock car racing’s biggest stages turned their first competitive laps at South Boston. And despite their fame and notoriety, they don’t forget where it all started for them.

“It’s my hometown track. Without it I wouldn’t have done what I was able to do in racing,” Ward Burton said a few days before this Saturday’s 60th anniversary party for the historic track during the Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents Frutopia Not Just Frozen Yogurt NASCAR Late Model Twin 60s.

Burton still lives in the South Boston area where he grew up, spending his time working with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation. He and his brother Jeff learned their craft at South Boston Speedway while still in their teens and wound up with careers that reached the pinnacle of NASCAR.

“When I was running the street stock and late model at South Boston, it was outstanding racing,” said Burton, who won both the Daytona 500 and the Southern 500 in his 12-year NASCAR Cup career. “Jeff and I were trained by the best late model guys in the country … Maurice Hill, David Blankenship, Wayne Patterson. It was amazing racing.”

Hermie Sadler’s NASCAR career, which spanned more than a dozen years in what is now the Xfinity Series, also began at South Boston Speedway, the track he still calls home.

“South Boston (Speedway) was a huge part of my life before I started racing,” said Sadler, now a pit reporter and analyst for FS1’s broadcasts of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “I used to go there as a kid and watch the old Late Model Sportsman Series. I watched my uncle, Bud Elliott and Ray Hendrick and Sonny Hutchens and Sam Ard. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to compete there.”

Sadler picked up three wins at South Boston in 1992 and another in 1995 before moving on and up. The South Boston experience paid dividends the rest of his career, though.

“The people I got to race around, Barry Beggarly, Maurice Hill, Wayne Patterson, David Blankenship … they did a lot for me on and off the track,” said Sadler. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to a racing career than I got at South Boston.

“South Boston meant so much to my career. Back in my day there were 25 or 30 Late Models every week and about 20 of them could win. It was unbelievable competition. It not only taught me how to race, but how to lose. I’ve got lots of fun memories from those days.”

An evening of great racing and great fun will be wrapped into Saturday night’s Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents Frutopia Not Just Frozen Yogurt NASCAR Late Model Twin 60s.

The twin Late Model races scheduled for the night have been set at 60 laps each and the Limited Sportsman division race will be 60 laps to highlight the occasion. The concession stands will be in a celebratory mood also, offering the world-famous South Boston Speedway bologna burger, an order of fries and a soft drink for $6.

There will be vintage race cars on display, of course dating back to 1957, the year the track opened.

And what’s a birthday celebration without cake and balloons? There will be two huge cakes behind the main grandstands with drivers cutting the cake and serving it to fans after qualifying. Also, all children will receive a balloon when they enter the gates.

The evening will end with a spectacular fireworks display presented by Italian Delight Family Restaurant and the rest of the evening will be filled with things marking the track’s 60th anniversary.

The racing lineup for the Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents Frutopia Not Just Frozen Yogurt NASCAR Late Model Twin 60s. There will also be a 60-lap Limited Division race, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race, a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race and a 25-lap race for the Southern Ground Pounders.

Tickets are $10 for adults. Children’s tickets, for ages 7 to 12 are $5 and children 6 and under are admitted free. Racing action begins at 7 p.m.


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