- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
With 25 wins here over the past four seasons, Philip Morris has come to feel at home in South Boston Speedway’s Victory Lane.
After Saturday night’s South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet, that feeling should grow immensely for the 46-year-old Ruckersville resident.
In a unique honor, Nick Igdalsky, Senior Vice President of Pocono Raceway and South Boston Speedway, and South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice announced that Victory Lane at South Boston Speedway is now officially known as Philip Morris Victory Lane.
The two track officials presented the plaque that will be mounted at the speedway to Morris near the conclusion of the night’s awards ceremonies.
It was a fitting honor for Morris who has become South Boston Speedway’s all-time career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division win leader with 52 victories.
Morris’ 52 career Late Model Stock Car Division race wins eclipses the mark of 34 wins shared by former South Boston Speedway NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division champions Barry Beggarly and David Blankenship.
“This means the world to me,” Morris said.
“I never thought this would ever happen. I never thought I would ever be honored in such a great way. I never considered myself worthy to be called in the same sentence with Barry Beggarly, David Blankenship, Wayne Patterson and all of the champions that have been crowned at South Boston Speedway.”
Igdalsky pointed out this is a very deserving honor for the four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion, who won 19 of the tracks 22 races last season.
“When Peyton Sellers won the NASCAR national championship in 2005, we named a grandstand after him,” Igdalsky noted.
“This time, we decided to do something a little different. It seemed appropriate with his win total and that the fact that he is still an extremely active driver and that his win total will continue to climb.”
Igdalsky pointed out that 52 career wins in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division is a mark that may not be broken for a very long time
“Some of the greatest drivers that have ever raced at South Boston Speedway couldn’t do that,” Igdalsky pointed out.
“The fact that he could do it in this modern era as stout as the competition is is unbelievable.”
The plaque naming South Boston Speedway’s Victory Lane as Philip Morris Victory Lane will be mounted at the track’s Victory Lane. At the end of each season, the bar that cites the number of Morris’ career wins at the track will be changed to reflect his updated win total.
While Morris now holds the track’s all-time career NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division win record by a good margin, he says he expects the record will be broken someday.
“Somebody is always going to come along and beat the records,” Morris remarked.
“But, what’s really cool is that this (honor) will remain, and my kids are going to see it and my kids’ kids are going to see it.”