Story By: SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY – SOUTH BOSTON, VA – On an afternoon on which South Boston Speedway and the SMART Modified Tour honored Modified racing legend and five-time South Boston Speedway champion, the late Ray Hendrick, Matt Hirschman put together a late-race rally and held off Jonathan Brown in a five-lap dash to the finish to win Saturday’s Flying VA 99 SMART Modified Tour race.
Hirschman got a good surge on the race’s final restart, quickly cleared Brown, and pulled away in the closing laps to earn his third SMART Modified Tour victory in four series starts this season.
“At the end, once I got back to the lead, I was confident that as long as I got a good clean start I could pull away,” Hirschman said. “Getting back to the lead is what I worried about.”
Hirschman gave up the lead to pit under caution on lap 72 for a fresh right rear tire. It wasn’t until he passed Brown on lap 89 that he regained the lead. A caution flag with five laps to go gave Brown one last shot at Hirschman, but Hirschman was able to hold onto the top spot and pull away for the win.
“We opted to get our (right rear) tire on lap 35, and a lot of guys waited until around lap 70 to come in,” Brown remarked. “It hurt us a little bit there at the end. That fresher right rear (tire) they had would have really helped us, but all in all it was a good day.”
Caleb Heady of Shelbyville, KY finished third, former NASCAR Cup Series Champion Bobby Labonte of Corpus Christi, TX placed fourth and Tom Buzze rounded out the top five finishers. Rounding out the Top 10 finishers in the unofficial results were Burt Myers, Danny Bohn, Brandon Ward, Brian Loftin and J.B. Fortin.
The race was a highly competitive one with seven lead changes among five drivers. Hirschman led three times for a total of 39 laps.
Saturday’s race was slowed by 13 cautions, a circumstance that led to a lot of competitive racing, especially on the restarts.
“There were a lot of wrecks,” Hirschman noted. “Fortunately, I really didn’t see any of them. I wasn’t around them, but it was great racing. There was a lot of grip in the track, but it’s also fast, and things happen fast. I guess that might have been part of it.”
LAYNE RIGGS SCORES THIRD STRAIGHT SBS LATE MODEL WIN
Layne Riggs is holding the upper hand in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway.
The Bahama, NC resident made it three victories in as many races, edging defending NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion Peyton Sellers of Danville, VA to win Saturday afternoon’s 100-lap NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division race at South Boston Speedway.
Riggs had to do it the hard way, having to start mid-field in the 22-car starting field under South Boston Speedway’s handicapping system after having won two consecutive races. He worked his way past Jacob Borst to take second place on lap 47 and began chipping away at Sellers’ lead. With 18 laps to go, Riggs worked his way past Sellers. Once in front, Riggs never relinquished the lead.
“I knew I was catching him (Sellers) slowly,” Riggs noted. “He’s a tough guy to race with. He doesn’t show his cards much. I couldn’t tell if he was playing with me a little bit or if he was really slowing down. He was losing pace, and I was gaining pace at the same time. We did it all again. I hope we keep getting these victories.”
Borst, from Elon, NC, took third place with Mark Wertz of Chesapeake, VA and Mason Bailey rounding out the top five finishers. John Goin, Landon Pembelton, Camden Gullie, Chris Denny and Daniel Moss rounded out the Top 10 finishers.
JARRETT MILAM SCORES HORNETS DIVISION WIN
Jarrett Milam moved into the top spot with five laps to go and won Saturday’s 20-lap Hornets Division race. The win was Milam’s first victory of the season.
Jason DeCarlo of Chase City, VA finished second with Dylan Davis of Nathalie, VA finishing third. Nathalie, Virginia residents Steven Layne and Jared Dawson completed the top five finishers.
The race featured two lead changes among three drivers.
TONY ARNOLD TAKES CHAMP KARTS WIN
Tony Arnold took the lead from Tyler Perry on the final lap and held off a last-ditch charge from Tommy Elliott to win Saturday’s 15-lap Champ Karts race.
Kevin Elliott finished third with Perry, Kenny Mills and Billy Parrish rounding out the finishing order.
NEXT RACE AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
NASCAR racing action returns to South Boston Speedway on Saturday afternoon, April 16, with the Viny’s Italian Restaurant/Frutopia Mini Family Day event. It will be a big day for family fun at South Boston Speedway as everyone under the age of 18 will be admitted free courtesy of Viny’s Italian Restaurant/Frutopia Mini.
Six races are scheduled for that event, with twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division highlighting the action. A 50-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, twin 15-lap races for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race for the Hornets Division round of the action.
Grandstand gates will open at 12:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 1 p.m. and the first race will get the green flag at 2 p.m.