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Speedway honors four first-time champions

South Boston Speedway has crowned its youngest NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion.

Eighteen-year-old Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, the 2012 South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion, was honored Saturday night during the annual South Boston Speedway NASCAR Awards Banquet held at the historic Berry Hill mansion.

“It’s definitely a big accomplishment for us,” Bowling said of winning his first career NASCAR track championship.

“I was very fortunate. It’s good to have this South Boston Speedway championship under my belt. It’s something will be great on my resume’, and it’s something I will never forget.”

Bowling received $10,567 in NASCAR and South Boston Speedway prize monies and a wide array of track and NASCAR awards for winning South Boston Speedway’s top NASCAR racing division.

He won only one of South Boston Speedway’s 19 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division races in 2012, but his consistency with 13 top-five finishes and a finish of no worse than eighth place in any of the 19 races was good enough to earn the championship.

The new South Boston Speedway champion said he felt he had the right pieces in place for a title run when the season started.

“I felt like we were going in the right direction with everything,” he pointed out.

“Our consistency is what won it for us. We had a good car. Sellers Racing prepared a good car for us every week. I didn’t take any unnecessary risks and we didn’t have anything crazy happen to take us out of races.”

It was a gala night for Bowling and South Boston Speedway’s three other 2012 NASCAR track champions as South Boston Speedway officials presented more than $45,000 in cash awards and other prizes at the historical mansion.

In addition to Bowling, Limited Sportsman Division Champion Bobby McCarty of Summerfield, N.C., Pure Stock Division title winner Trey Crews of Halifax and MAD Modified Division Champion Hunter Slayton of Richmond were honored for their accomplishments of last season.

For McCarty, the 2012 South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Sportsman Division title marked the first NASCAR track championship of his career.

On the strength of seven wins, he edged Danny Willis Jr. of Cluster Springs, who won his first career South Boston Speedway Limited Sportsman Division title in 2011, for the championship.

“Winning the championship means a lot, especially being here at South Boston,” McCarty said of his first championship in racing on asphalt.

“It’s a lot to take in, especially when you look at the drivers that have won championships at South Boston Speedway. I love it. It’s something else to be called a champion at South Boston Speedway.

Crews, who won the 2012 South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Budweiser Pure Stock Division championship, was another driver who earned his first career championship at the legendary speedway.

The Halifax resident had come close to winning the 2011 season championship, falling eight points shy of Scottsburg resident Joe Allred III, who made the 2011 championship his second in a row.

“This is an unbelievable accomplishment,” Crews said.

“To start of winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2010 and coming in in my third year of racing and winning the division championship means a lot to me. It took a lot of hard work and some good people to help me get there.

“I worked hard during the off-season,” Crews added, “and learned from my mistakes.”

Crews said he knew going into the season that Allred was the driver he would have to beat for the championship.

“He was the only person I was really racing on the track the last two races,” Crews pointed out. 

“He’s a good competitor and he’s tough to beat. I was just fortunate to come out on top.”

Slayton, whose father is a South Boston native, won South Boston Speedway’s first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series MAD Modified Division title in 2012. He won six of the eight races contested in the division last season.

“Winning the championship means a whole lot to me just from the fact that my family is from South Boston,” Slayton said.

“I really don’t know how to describe how it makes me feel. I wish my grandmother (the late Louise Slayton) was still alive so she could have seen me win races and be a champion at South Boston Speedway. That means a lot to me.”

 

SBS 2012 season award winners

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division

Champion: Matt Bowling, Ridgeway – $10,567 in NASCAR & South Boston Speedway Prize Monies, NASCAR Champion Plaque, South Boston Speedway Championship Cup, South Boston Speedway Championship Ring, NASCAR Track Championship Commemorative Helmet, NASCAR & SBS Championship Awards,

2: Peyton Sellers, Danville – Second-Place NASCAR Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, Most Poles Award (Tie) 

3: Lee Pulliam, Semora, N.C. – Third-Place NASCAR Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, Most Poles Award (Tie), Lap Leader Award, Most Wins Award

Austin Thaxton, South Boston -  Rookie of the Year Award, Most Poles Award (Tie)

NOTE: $28,398 in NASCAR/South Boston Speedway cash and prize awards were presented in the division.

 

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Sportsman Division

Champion: Bobby McCarty, Summerfield, N.C. – $2,425 in NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, NASCAR Champion Award Plaque, South Boston Speedway Championship Cup, South Boston Speedway Championship Ring and other NASCAR & SBS Championship Awards, Most Wins Award

2: Danny Willis Jr., Cluster Springs – Second-Place NASCAR Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, Most Poles Award, Lap Leader Award

3: Blake Stallings, Danville – Third-Place NASCAR Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies

Michael Maresca, Hannawa Falls, N.Y.  – Rookie of the Year Award

NOTE: $8, 930 in NASCAR/South Boston Speedway cash and prize awards were presented in the division.

 

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Budweiser Pure Stock Division

Champion: Trey Crews, Halifax – $875 in NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, NASCAR Champion Award Plaque, South Boston Speedway Champion Cup, South Boston Speedway Champion Ring, NASCAR & SBS Championship Awards, Overall Most Popular Driver Award

2: Joe Allred III, Scottsburg – Second-Place Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, Most Wins Award, Lap Leader Award, Most Poles Award (Tie)

3: Randy Hupp, Halifax – Third-Place Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies

Nathan Crews, Long Island – Most Poles Award (Tie)

Brandon Bomar, South Boston – Rookie of the Year Award

NOTE: $4,598 in NASCAR/South Boston Speedway cash and prize awards were presented in the division.

 

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series MAD Modified Division

Champion: Hunter Slayton, Richmond – $550 in NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies, NASCAR Champion Award Plaque, South Boston Speedway Championship Cup, South Boston Speedway Championship Ring and NASCAR & SBS Championship Awards, 

2: Jimmie Humblet, Shiloh, N.C. – NASCAR Second-Place Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies

3: Kyle Wood, Powhatan – NASCAR Third-Place Award Plaque, NASCAR & SBS Prize Monies

NOTE: $3,281 in NASCAR/South Boston Speedway cash and prize awards were presented in the division.