NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes - South Boston Camping World Series Returns To South Boston Gresham Up Next In JGR No. 18 Home Tracks: South Boston Tradition Camping World Series Returns To South Boston The NASCAR Camping...
NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes - South Boston
Camping World Series Returns To South Boston
Gresham Up Next In JGR No. 18
Home Tracks: South Boston Tradition
Camping World Series Returns To South Boston
The NASCAR Camping World Series East is slated to make its third annual visit to historic South Boston (Va.) Speedway this Saturday, May 30.
South Boston, which has produced up-and-coming stock car racing talent for more than five decades, will welcome NASCAR's top developmental series to its .400-mile banked oval for the series' fourth race of the year.
Current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Jeff Burton and Elliott Sadler got their start at South Boston, and a number of drivers in this year's South Boston 150 will look for success at the iconic track to help advance their careers.
Peyton Sellers, who earned the 2005 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national crown on the strength of his track title at South Boston, is the latest success story.
"There is a lot of history there," Sellers said. "A lot of big names have come from there. It produces winners." Sellers parlayed his South Boston success into a full-time ride in the NASCAR Camping World Series East in 2007 and 2008. He now competes part-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Current NASCAR Camping World Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunners Brett Moffitt and Alan Tardiff will get their first shot at South Boston this weekend. Both have run up front in their first three outings this year and could be contenders in their debut at the track.
The South Boston 150 will also serve as the coming out party for a pair of development drivers. Max Gresham is slated to make his debut for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 18 Toyota while Richard Childress Racing's Ty Dillon is set to make his inaugural NASCAR Camping World Series East start in the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon is the grandson of Childress, and the younger brother of 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Austin Dillon, who has piloted the No. 3 in the previous two races.
While a number of young drivers will garner attention at South Boston, there is a group of veterans that should not be overlooked. Matt Kobyluck, the defending NASCAR Camping World Series East champion, won the series' inaugural race at South Boston in 2007 and is third in the standings through three races. Eddie MacDonald, who is currently second in points, finished fourth last year at South Boston and is a consistent frontrunner at short tracks. Points leader Jody Lavender should also be a factor with top-five finishes in both short track races this year.
Action on the track for the South Boston 150 on Saturday is set to get underway with practice at Noon and the green flag is slated to drop at 7 p.m. For ticket and event information, please visit South Boston's Web site: southbostonspeedway.com.
The Race: South Boston 150
The Place: South Boston (Va.) Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 30
The Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: SPEED, June 4, 3 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .4-mile banked paved oval
Race Purse: $102,695
2008 Winner: Brian Ickler
2008 Polesitter: Ricky Carmichael
Saturday, May 30 - Practice 12-12:45 p.m., 1:15-2 p.m.; Qualifying 4:45 p.m.
News & Notes
The Race ... The South Boston 150 is the fourth event in an 11-race schedule this year for the NASCAR Camping World Series East, and the only trip to Virginia. This is the third year in a row that South Boston has played host to the NASCAR Camping World Series East.
Gresham Up Next In The JGR No. 18
The seat for Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota that competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2008 was filled by a rotation of drivers that all had one thing in common: they were talented enough to deliver the car to Victory Lane week-in and week-out.
One of NASCAR's most successful organizations for the better part of a decade, JGR has taken that same philosophy to the NASCAR Camping World Series East in 2009 for their familiar No. 18 Toyota.
Matt DiBenedetto, one of the newest crop of JGR development drivers, made his NASCAR Camping World Series East debut in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Driven Toyota at Greenville Pickens Speedway on April 11 and registered a 10th place finish. It took little time for the Grass Valley, Calif., teen to reach Victory Lane as he won the second race of the season at Tri-County Speedway on April 25.
In an agreement that was reached in early March, JGR placed it's highly-successful NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Kyle Busch in the No. 18 for the NASCAR Camping World Series combination race at Iowa Speedway. Like he has done so many times before across each of NASCAR's top three national series, Busch found Victory Lane at Iowa in the No. 18, which launched car owner J.D. Gibbs into the series' owner points lead.
JGR's other development driver, Max Gresham, will finally get his shot in the No. 18 at South Boston after what have must felt like an eternity watching DiBenedetto and Busch pilot the car through the first two months of the season.
Gresham, who just recently became eligible to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Series East when he turned 18 on April 30, hails from Griffin, Ga. He began racing Bandoleros at the age of eight at the quarter-mile ovals at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway. Gresham has since piloted Legends and Late Models, and is champing at the bit to take the next step in a NASCAR Camping World Series car.
"The anticipation for this first race has been real high," Gresham said. "Ever since we went and talked to the Joe Gibbs team about possibly running, I've been excited for this first race at South Boston."
While Gresham has experience at a number of short tracks in the southeast, he has not raced at South Boston before. Gresham's only laps on the track came when he tested a Late Model there.
"I just can't wait for this first race to happen," Gresham said. "Its going to be a real good one, and hopefully we just keep our nose clean and finish the race the first time out."
Gresham is slated to get three more outings in the JGR No. 18 in 2009 following South Boston, as he will compete at Adirondack International Speedway, the September New Hampshire Motor Speedway race and the NASCAR Camping World Series West stand-alone event at Iowa.
Track View: South Boston Speedway
"South Boston is a fun race track. It's fast. You can run two-wide through the corners. It's been a fun place to go and the fans have been great. We look forward to going back." -- Matt Kobyluck
Kobyluck won the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Series East event at South Boston in 2007.
"It's kind of like the East Coast version of Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). It's got three grooves you can run, but you'll only see two-wide racing there. It is just a great, fun track to run. There is a lot of history there." -- Peyton Sellers
Sellers earned the South Boston track title and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship in 2005.
Home Tracks: South Boston Tradition This year marks the 52nd season that South Boston has held auto racing.
The venerable track opened in 1957 as a quarter-mile dirt oval and became a NASCAR-sanctioned venue in 1960. The track was expanded to .375 miles and paved in 1962, and was reconfigured further in 1994 to .400 miles, its current layout.
South Boston, which held 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1960-71 and 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series events from 1982-2000, has seen a number of its weekly competitors graduate on to success on a national level including Ward and Jeff Burton, Hermie and Elliott Sadler, Geoff Bodine and Stacy Compton.
In 2005 Peyton Sellers captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national title while running at South Boston. He has since competed in NASCAR Camping World Series and now drives part-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
South Boston currently promotes four divisions of its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly program on Saturday nights: Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Pure Stocks and Southern Vintage Modifieds.
Last Time Out: Iowa
Standings Update ... Although he finished 21st overall in the Iowa combination race, and was the 11th NASCAR Camping World Series East driver to cross the line, Jody Lavender retained the season points lead. Lavender will take the No. 88 Chevrolet to South Boston (Va.) Speedway on May 30 with a 26-point advantage over Eddie MacDonald, who finished 18th overall in the No. 71 New England Mechanical Overlay Chevrolet at Iowa.
JGR No. 18 Continues to Roll ... Kyle Busch's winning run propelled the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota and owner J.D. Gibbs into the top spot in the NASCAR Camping World Series East owner standings after three races. The No. 18, which won the previous race at Tri-County Motor Speedway with Matt DiBenedetto behind the wheel, will take a 34-point lead on Dave Davis' No. 03 to South Boston. JGR will rotate development drivers DiBenedetto and Max Gresham in the No. 18 for the remainder of the year.
Rookie Moffitt Impresses in Homecoming ... Hometown favorite Brett Moffitt (No. 44 Karl Chevrolet Chevrolet) was a driver to watch in his debut at Iowa Speedway, and he didn't disappoint. The Grimes, Iowa native qualified fifth and finished sixth overall. Moffitt's fourth place finish among the NASCAR Camping World Series East competitors earned the 16-year-old the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award. Moffitt, who had to settle for a 23rd place finish in the previous race at Tri-County, also earned the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award.
MacDonald Comeback Driver of the Weekend ... After an engine change that left the No. 71 team without an opportunity to participate in qualifying, MacDonald had to start the 200-lap race at the rear of the field, 37th. The Rowley, Mass., driver worked his way through the field consistently and wound up with the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award after he finished 13 spots better than his starting position among NASCAR Camping World Series East drivers.
Earnhardt Has Successful Return ... Jeffrey Earnhardt made his 2009 debut at Iowa in the Dave Davis-owned No. 03 Dale Earnhardt Foundation Chevrolet and consistently ran up front throughout the weekend. Earnhardt qualified sixth and finished fourth overall in the race, which marked his best NASCAR Camping World Series finish in seven races since a runner-up effort at Watkins Glen International in 2008.