- Last Updated on 08:24 AM 06/19/13
- BY Joe Chandler
South Boston Speedway’s NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200 on July 3 will serve as the kickoff event for this year’s Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown was created last year by South Boston Speedway, Langley Speedway in Hampton and Martinsville Speedway to provide an opportunity for the region’s NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division competitors to earn bonus prize money at the end of the season.
Last week the three tracks renewed the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, with this season’s Triple Crown races being the July 3 NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200 at South Boston Speedway, the July 27 Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway and the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 on October 6 at Martinsville Speedway.
Each of the three races will offer big-money purses, but drivers competing in those three events will be racing for additional bonus money while creating an additional dose of excitement for the region’s NASCAR short track racing fans.
The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown rewards the top finishers in the three-race series. Points will be awarded to drivers based upon their finish in each of the three races, with points being awarded on the basis of the point structure NASCAR utlilizes for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series.
The driver with the highest point total over the course of the three races will win the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown and it’s $5,000 first prize. A $3,000 payout will go to the runner-up and the third-place driver will receive $1,500.
“We are excited to continue to be a part of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown,” said South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice.
“The July 3 NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200 is always a big event here at South Boston Speedway with the spectacular post-race fireworks show and everything that goes along with it. We know this race will attract a strong field of drivers and having this race serve as the opening race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown will only add to the excitement for the race teams and fans alike.”
Langley Speedway owner Bill Mullis says it’s an honor to have his track be a part of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
“I thank Cathy Rice and Clay Campbell for inviting us to be a part of this,” Mullis said.
“South Boston Speedway is the long-time hotbed for Late Model racing, and we all know Martinsville Speedway is the crown jewel for racing in Virginia and is still hosting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
“It’s a big honor to be a part of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown,” added Mullis.
“The Triple Crown race is important to our Late Model series, and it’s a real privilege to have Langley Speedway involved in it. The competition in Late Models in this area is so on-point now, and it really creates a lot of interest to see who might be the guy that will win the Triple Crown.”
Martinsville Speedway’s October 6 Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 has been long noted as being the country’s premier event for NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division competitors. The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown only adds to the excitement of the event.
“Last year’s Triple Crown was a tremendous success,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell.
“When our race (the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300) rolled around there was a lot of excitement over it. There were several drivers that had a chance to win it and there was quite a buzz among fans. I have no doubt that the first two races this year will create even more buzz for this fall.”
C.E. Falk III of Virginia Beach, Va. won last year’s inaugural Virginia Late Model Triple Crown and received his $5,000 prize following last October’s Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
“It’s a great program and I’m glad it’s back,” Falk said of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
“It’s great for us Late Model Stock Car drivers to see that people are still interested in growing our sport. We have a lot going on with national points and trying to win races and track championships, but when three tracks collectively get together and say these guys need something more, it’s great for us as competitors, it’s great for the fans and it’s great for the sport.”
Falk said the great thing about this program is that there will be a winner.
“It’s not something that is a long shot or out of the dark,” Falk noted of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
“These guys are going to race for it. Somebody is going to win it.”
Defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C. is another driver that is glad to see the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown return for this season.
“The Triple Crown helps add excitement for all three tracks,” Pulliam remarked.
“It really makes for more excitement when you get to Martinsville Speedway at the end of the season. If the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway isn’t already exciting enough, you have the added excitement of another champion being crowned the same day.”