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Willis celebrates second Limited points title

The 2013 Limited Sportsman Division season at South Boston Speedway ended Saturday just as it started in March, with Danny Willis Jr. qualifying on the pole and leading all 50 laps to cap off his second Limited Sportsman Division championship.

Willis, of Cluster Springs beat Danville driver Blake Stallings to the finish line by 1.581 seconds in a caution-free race that took only 14 minutes to complete.

Michael Maresca of Hannawa Falls, N.Y., finished third, Caleb Davis of Thaxton, Va., finished fourth and Garrett Bunch of Front Royal, Va., finished in fifth place in a 10-car field in the season finale.

“We had a pretty good car,” said Willis.  “It kind of got tight halfway through and picked up a bad vibration, and it kind of scared me.

“Luckily we held on and led the whole 50 laps.

“We were able to get out and get a good lead and just rode out the last 10 laps.”

Only a second-place finish in points to Bobby McCarty last year prevented Willis from winning three Limited points titles in a row.

“It means the world to us, Willis said regarding his second title in three years.

“It would have been awesome to have a repeat, but Bobby was a good competitor and a hard racer.

“We’ve been working hard the last 10-15 years, however long I’ve been racing, and to get two right here together is pretty awesome.”

Stallings capped a solid night of racing by finishing second in the Limited Division race after a fourth-place finish in the Late Model Stock Car race earlier in the program.

“We’d been planning to run in this race and the Late Model race,” said Stallings.

“The cars were awesome today, and both of them were really strong.

“I feel like if we had run a few more laps or gotten a caution in this race, I could have given Danny a run for his money.”

“It was a good way to end,” said Maresca.  “I’d rather have finished on the podium, but there’s nothing wrong with third place,’

“We raced hard, and congrats to Danny, he ran an awesome race, and Blake did, too.”

Willis won the pole with a time of 16.204 (88.867).


Crews wins Pure Stock race, Allred wins title

Long Island driver Stuart Crews won his first pole and first Budweiser Pure Stock race of the season, but Scottsburg driver Joe Allred III celebrated his third Budweiser Pure Stock Division title after the 30-lap finale on Saturday.

Crews qualified on the pole with a time of 18.145 (79.361 MPH) and led a race-high 23 laps.

Eric Crews of Long Island finished second, followed by Johnny Layne of Crystal Hill, Greg Autry of South Boston and Randy Hupp of Halifax, while Allred, who experienced mechanical problems during the race, parked his car on lap 18 and finished in 11th-place.

Autry led for seven laps and was contending for the win before spinning on lap 22 to bring out the only caution of the race.

Crews took the lead and never lost it, finishing 0.458 seconds ahead of Eric Crews.

Crews, who had six wins at Orange County Speedway to his credit, won his first-ever race at South Boston.

“It sure is a good feeling,” he said.  “That was a hard race.  The car was loose on the throttle.  We put on a show, but I got it done eventually in the end.

“I really didn’t think we had anything for the No. 21 or the No. 3 at the beginning,” said Eric Crews, “but after that last caution, we were hanging pretty good with the No. 3.”

“I got pulled in for some gas coming out, and I got pulled in for something else,” said Allred, who sounded a note of frustration for not finishing the last race of the year.

“I had it locked up anyway, and I shouldn’t have showed myself like that, but everybody comes here to race, and if you can’t race, you get upset.”

“South Boston is definitely a whole different track to race on,” he added.  “We have the best competition in the country with national champions all the time.”

Allred wrecked in the first of twin races during championship night two years ago and had to watch nervously from the pits the rest of the night before clinching his second championship.

“It’s a whole lot better this time, the last time all I had here was a door, joked Allred in Victory Lane.”


Slye wins Modified race, Rumburg clinches title

Matt Slye of Lanexa, Va., won his first Modified Division race of the year, but Beaverdam, Va., driver Tanner Rumburg won the division points title with his fifth-place finish in the 50-lap event on Saturday.

Jimmy Humblet of Shiloh, N.C., finished second, 0.053 seconds behind Slye, Joe Scarborough of Charles City, Va., was third, and Chris Johnson of Mechanicsville, Va., finished in fourth place ahead of Rumburg in a race that was delayed twice by cautions and took 20 minutes to complete.

Humblet, who won his second pole award of the season (16.375 seconds, 87.939 MPH), led the first two laps before Slye passed for the lead and led the remainder of the race.

Slye became the fifth winner in five Modified races this season.

“This is the second time I’ve ever seen this place,” said Slye.

“I was here earlier this year.  I decided to come back, and I was glad I did.”

Rumburg, leading fellow championship contenders Johnson and Humblet by 10 and 12 points respectively entering the race, stayed within striking distance during the race.

A spinout by Johnson while running in second-place behind Slye opened the door for Rumburg to claim the points title.

“I really appreciate the hard work my crew put into this. We’ve worked hard all year long to keep this championship in our hands,” said Rumburg.

I’m very happy right now,” added Rumburg, one of the youngest division champions ever at South Boston Speedway at the age of 16.


Ricketts wins Legendary Flathads race

South Boston driver Garland Ricketts passed pole sitter Bill Blair of Thomasville, N.C., on the opening lap and emerged with a win in the 20-lap Legendary Flatheads race Saturday night. 

Ricketts claimed the Modified Division trophy with his win, while Harry Hale, who finished third behind Blair, claimed the Sportsman Division trophy.