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Lacks joins the elite back-to-back group

Only a handful of drivers have won back-to-back track championships at South Boston Speedway, and 2011 NASCAR Southern Vintage Modified (SVM) Champion Darryl Lacks can now count himself among that number.

The Forest resident won the first two races this past season and emerged the SVM points winner in a tight battle with brother Donnie Lacks, winning by a three-point margin.

Although he finished with one less win than his brother, three race wins to two, Darryl Lacks was a model of consistency with four second-place finishes and a third-place finish in eight races.

Lacks, who now owns three SVM championships overall, is now included with such South Boston stalwarts as David Blankenship and Ray Hendrick, and more recently Justin Johnson who have won back-to-back track titles.

“I thought they told me at the banquet last year there were three or four different people who have won back-to-back championships at South Boston, David Blankenship, Ray Hendrick included,” recalled Lacks.

“It’s less than a handful.  That really makes me pleased to be with company like that.”

It wasn’t always smooth sailing this season for Lacks, who had to battle his brother and at least a couple of other solid cars for the track title.

“This year was a whole lot rougher than last year and 2008,” said Lacks.

“This year was the roughest, hardest championship I’ve ever had to win.

“The beginning of the year it started off real good and I won the first two races, then after that I had obstacles to overcome the rest of the year.

“The third race me and Donnie got tangled up together and had a bad wreck.  Both of us were on the backstretch and our wheels got together and we had a big crash.”

Lacks’ seventh-place finish in that race was the only time he finished out of the top-three.

Not only did he have to battle his brother, he had to compete with perhaps the most competitive field of cars in his division in several years.

“Competition was a whole lot tighter than it has been, plus there were a whole lot more people trying to legitimately run hard for the championship,” said Lacks.

Saying that, there were a few more on-track mishaps and a few more hurt feelings than past years in his division, but Lacks’ primary competition came from his brother.

”My brother drives for Buck Duvall, and he’s been a real competitor,” explained Darryl Lacks.

“Me and him have been super competitive, he won three races and I won two, but he had some worse races than I had.

“That was the difference.  Me and Donnie always help each other in the shop and everything on the cars, but when we go to race, it’s every man for himself.

“He wants to outdo me as bad as I want to outdo him, and it’s a big brotherly rivalry there.

“He ran better than he had been running, and with all the wrecks, I had some trouble with other cars.”

It all came down to the last race, with Darryl Lacks 10 points ahead of Donnie and 13 ahead of Daryl Gwynn.

Donnie Lacks won that final race, but brother Darryl was right behind to clinch the track title.

“We help each other a lot but on the racetrack there’s no driver the other wants to outrun more,” noted Lacks.

Although he led in the points all season, Lacks said he never felt he had enough of a lead where one bad race or wreck could have derailed him.

“It was tight all the way to the end,” he pointed out.  “I never really thought I had it made, but last year I came into the last race without a lot of pressure.

“All I had to do was start the race.  This year, each race it could have changed at any given time, and that puts additional pressure on the drivers because there aren’t as many races.

“If you make a mistake and mess up, if your car breaks down, or if you get involved in an accident, you can go from the top to the bottom real quick.

“The ones I was running with for the championship were running up front every week, so I had to keep on my toes every week.”

He couldn’t have raced this year without a lot of help, Lacks noted, including the help of Bass Automatic Transmission Parts, and Bucky and Barbara Bass.

“They helped out Donnie a little bit and me a whole bunch,” he explained.

“Lou’s Auto Repair helped a lot, and Central Virginia Classic Auto Club.

“In my whole racing career, 35 years, there’s no way I could have done this without my father’s help, Bill Lacks.

“He helps me work on the car and he builds the engines.  He’s really helped Donnie and I a tremendous amount.

“It’s as much credit to him as me for these championships, and he’s really sacrificed a lot for me and Donnie to race,” added Lacks, who also noted support from Chris Carroll, Josh Barnes, Janice Moore and her daughter, and Cheyenne Moore.

THE LACKS RECORD

• Starts: 8

• Wins: 2

• Top-Five Finishes: 7

• Top-Ten Finishes: 8

• Poles: 5

• Laps Led: 81 out of a possible 200

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