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Early points battles taking shape at South Boston Speedway

The opening week of racing at South Boston Speedway set the stage for some early-season points battles.

Those battles will renew themselves Saturday afternoon when NASCAR racing returns to South Boston Speedway with the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 150 racing program.

Saturday’s racing action will start at 2 p.m.

A 150-lap race for the drivers in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division headlines Saturday’s program, with races for the Limited Sportsman Division, Budweiser Pure Stock Division and the Modified Division also slated.

Defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C. enters Saturday’s 150-lap race as the leader in South Boston Speedway’s NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division.

Pulliam finished first and second respectively in South Boston Speedway’s season-opening twin-100-lap races, and leads C.E. Falk III of Virginia Beach by two points entering Saturday’s action.

Last year’s South Boston Speedway NASCAR Limited Sportsman Division Champion, Bobby McCarty of Summerfield, N.C., won the pole in qualifying for the season-opener, and sits in third place in the standings, 13 points behind Falk. Cluster Springs resident Austin Thaxton, who also had a good day in the season-opener, is in fourth place in the standings, with Dennis Holdren of Roanoke rounding out the top five.

Danny Willis Jr. of Cluster Springs is on top of the Limited Sportsman Division standings as a result of his win in the season-opening race. Joey Throckmorton of South Boston, the runner-up in the opener, is in second place, seven points back.

After having narrowly lost the championship in the Budweiser Pure Stock Division last season, Joe Allred III of Scottsburg got his season off to a good start by winning the division’s season-opening race on March 9. As a result, Allred holds a seven-point lead over Randy Hupp of Halifax entering this weekend’s action.

The Modified Division will return to action at South Boston Speedway this season, with the Modified Division competitors getting their first taste of action on the .4-mile oval Saturday afternoon.

Pit gates will open Saturday at 8 a.m. and practice for all divisions will be held from 10:30 a.m. until noon.

Grandstand gates will open Saturday at noon and a mandatory drivers’ meeting is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m.

Qualifying time trials to set the starting grids for the four racing divisions will start at 12:45 p.m. The first race of the afternoon will get the green flag at 2 p.m.