Open Practice Day On March 5 One Of Most Important Days Of The Year For South Boston Speedway Drivers
SOUTH BOSTON, VA – Teams will shake off the winter weather and head back to South Boston Speedway as the season unofficially cranks up with the traditional open day of practice on Saturday, March 5.
The season officially begins at South Boston a week later, Saturday, March 12 with the Danville Toyota NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 100’s program with racing action in five classes.
The open practice, which is open to the public at no charge, is one of the biggest days of the year for teams in every division, even though there will be no checkered flags waved or trophies handed out.
“This test is really important due to another long winter where the track gains a little more character. It gives us a chance to fine tune the cars with other cars out there putting down rubber,” said Peyton Sellers, former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion and former South Boston champ. “It also helps fine tune the drivers’ reflexes from the off season.”
Bobby McCarty won a Late Model race last season and finished fifth in the 2015 points standings, but despite all those laps and all that success he’ll get as much track time as possible on March 5.
“Mainly it’s just getting used to being back in the car again after the offseason and seeing where you stack up against the rest of the competition,” said McCarty. “That’s going to be especially big with all the rule changes this year.”
There were several rule changes during the offseason, all aimed at cutting costs, making the racing better and in turn giving fans more bang for their ticket buck.
A new two-tire rule in the Late Model division should make the racing more competitive while saving the teams money. Speaking of money, a purse increase for 2016 guarantees Late Model teams at least $500 for each night of racing.
It was the new tire rule, which allows teams to purchase only two new tires a week, which convinced Danny Willis Jr. the time was right for him to move up from the Limited Division. He had won three out of the past five Limited championships.
The move to Late Models makes the March 5 practice session even more important to Willis.
“It’s important because it gives us a chance to knock the rust off and work out any bugs we may have on the car,” said Willis, who has a brand new Late Model that he spent a good part of the winter working on.
Registration and pit gate opens at 9 a.m. on March 5. Practice will occur from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.with a one-hour break for lunch from noon until 1 p.m.