Tuesday, Jul 22nd

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Teams gear up for SBS opener

After several months of cold wintry weather, the new season will crank up Saturday at South Boston Speedway.

South Boston Speedway will open its 2014 season Saturday afternoon with the Danville Toyota NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 100 racing program. The green flag will drop for the start of the first race at 2 p.m.

If the level of activity at the track this week is any indicator, fans should see a great day of racing, with twin 100-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division and races for the Limited Sportsman Division and Pure Stock Division set for the four-race program.

Several racing teams took advantage of this week’s good weather to get in some testing time at the .4-mile oval. Peyton Sellers, Jeb Burton, Bobby McCarty, Dennis Holdren, Blake Stallings, Kenny Forbes, Brian Pembelton, Mark Simpson and Jeb Burton were among the drivers at the track Tuesday testing Late Model Stock Cars.

Burton was behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry out of the Sellers Racing stable. The Halifax resident said he was looking at the possibility of competing in Saturday’s season-opener.

“The only reason I’m looking at running this race is to get ready for the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown,” Burton explained.

“We’ve still got some work we need to do on the car to make sure we are going to race this weekend. It’s a brand new car and hopefully we can get it a little bit better. We’ve got some speed in the car. We just need to be a little better. If we’re going to race, we want to do it right.”

Burton said he is looking forward to the opportunity to possibly competing this weekend.

“It’s fun just to be back here and have some fun,” he remarked.

“There’s no pressure, just racing.”

There will be some interesting young drivers to watch in the Late Model Stock Car Division this season. Among them are Stallings and Mike Maresca, who will be driving a car out of the Sellers Racing stable. Both are moving up to the Late Model Model Stock Car Division ranks this season after successful stints in the Limited Sportsman Division. 

Several Limited Sportsman Division competitors have been at the track this week getting an early start on dialing their cars in for Saturday’s opener.

Local drivers Joey Throckmorton, Trey Crews and Libby Privette have been on the track this week. Daryn Cochram of Blacksburg, who has competed in the Limited division at Motor Mile Speedway and is expected to compete for the division title this season, was at the track Tuesday as was Caleb Davis and J.D. Eversole.

Two local Pure Stock Division teams were at the track Tuesday, as was a driver looking to compete in the track’s new Hornets Division, which will make its debut on Saturday, March 22.

Pit gates will open at South Boston Speedway Saturday at 9 a.m. and practice for all divisions will be held from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. A mandatory meeting for drivers will be held at 11:45 p.m. and qualifying time trials will roll off at 12:30 p.m.  

Grandstand gates will open for the first event of the campaign at noon. The first race will start at 2 p.m.