Historic Virginia Track Hosts NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour stays down south for race two of the season on Saturday, before heading back to New England.
The South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway will see Whelen Modified Tour drivers return to the Virginia oval for the first time since in 18 years. South Boston is one of two new tracks on the 2019 series schedule that will see teams test their equipment in another short-track environment.
SOUTH BOSTON 150 AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Doug Coby is back at the top. At least for now.
The five-time series champion opened the season with a victory at Myrtle Beach Speedway, and he leads a long list of drivers looking to keep momentum rolling into South Boston. But, prior to two weeks ago, Coby didn’t have laps at the Virginia track under his belt. During an organizational test, Coby and his No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet team earned crucial experience just two days before Myrtle Beach, building a notebook they will need for Saturday’s afternoon showdown.
But, over his 18-year career, Coby hasn’t quite found the knack for this style track. In his 25 career wins, he has just three at tracks that are under a half-mile — Seekonk Speedway, Monadnock Speedway and New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Instead, Coby’s success has come at tracks like Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park — which combine for 16 of his victories, and are tracks that have long straightaways and high-speed action.
South Boston is a short, .4-mile, paved oval that Coby will be hoping to quickly knock of his bucket list in his first start. With Phil Moran in control, and Coby sitting behind the wheel of an LFR Chassis — a department that does have previous experience at the track in the past — it could be the perfect place for him to put his struggles at bullrings officially behind him.
The real advantage, though, may rest with the drivers who have previous experience at the Virginia oval in Whelen Southern Modified Tour action from 2009-2016. Burt Myers, who also tested at South Boston, has 10 starts at the track nicknamed ‘SoBo’ but has come up just short of winning. The Walnut Cove, North Carolina, driver finished eighth or better in all of those starts, and as one of the only with experience, they could pay off for him in a big way.
Kyle Bonsignore, who picked up his first career Whelen Modified Tour win last year, finished second in his most recent South Boston stop. Kyle Ebersole, who led 12 laps in the Myrtle Beach opener, won at the Virginia oval in 2014. Jeremy Gerstner and Gary Putnam also have previous starts at the track. The Hill family returns to action with veteran James Civali behind the wheel — another driver who has previous experience and two wins at South Boston.
From up north, Chase Dowling, who finished in the runner-up spot in the championship standings last season, will make his first start driving for Jamie Tomaino.
|RACE||SOUTH BOSTON 150|
|PLACE||South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Virginia|
|DATE||Saturday, March 30|
|TIME||2:45 p.m. (approx.)|
|TELEVISION||FansChoice.TV, 2:45 p.m. (live broadcast); NBCSN — Wednesday, April 3, 4 p.m.|
|TRACK LAYOUT||.4-mile paved oval|
|EVENT SCHEDULE||Saturday: Garage Opens: 7:30 a.m., Practice: 9:45-11 a.m., Group Qualifying: 12:10 p.m., South Boston 150: 2:45 p.m. (approx.)|
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT:
The starting field for the South Boston 150 is limited to 28 starters, including provisional positions. The first 22 drivers will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying process. The remaining six positions will be awarded through the provisional process.
NASCAR group qualifying is in place for this event. The number of groups for qualifying will be determined by NASCAR. Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine the first 22 starting positions. Vehicles may not return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete. Once a vehicle’s attempt is complete, the vehicle must proceed directly to the designated impound area once it enters pit road. Vehicles will proceed immediately to impound after making their qualifying attempt. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying/inspection. Vehicle must qualify on race set up.
The South Boston 150 is 150 laps (60 miles). The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. Four tires (4) must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.