Berry, Byron Split SBS Late Model Wins
SOUTH BOSTON — South Boston Speedway’s twin 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division races that shared the spotlight with Saturday night’s PASS (Pro All Stars Series) Super Late Model 150 produced a pair of first-time South Boston Speedway winners.
JR Motorsports team drivers Josh Berry and William Byron split wins in Saturday night’s twinbill in races that saw several of the track’s top competitors either sidelined or taken out of contention in mishaps.
Two-time NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion Lee Pulliam and Matt Bowling made contact as they were battling for the lead late in the opening race, with Pulliam’s car crashing into the inside wall on the frontstretch on lap 67.
Austin Thaxton grabbed the lead from Bowling on the restart. Berry, who restarted the race in third, jumped to the inside of Bowling and Thaxton and took the lead on lap 70, opening the door for Bobby McCarty and Byron to get past Bowling and Thaxton, as both slid up the track. Once in front, Berry opened up a good lead over McCarty, and Bowling rallied past Byron to finish third, leaving Byron in fourth and Thaxton to round out the top five finishers. Berry’s margin of victory over McCarty was .619 seconds.
In the nightcap, Berry, Bowling, Pulliam, who had to start the race in a backup car, Ronald Hill and Taylor Stricklin were involved in a mishap on the frontstretch that sidelined Berry, Pulliam and Stricklin.
Both Hill and Bowling were able to resume the race, with Hill going on to finish third, and Bowling finishing 10th after having to retire the car after 59 circuits.
After a lengthy delay that resulted when the crankshaft snapped in two on Stacy Puryear’s car on lap 5 causing Puryear’s to lay down a lengthy coating of oil and parts on the track, racing resumed with Thaxton holding the top spot. Thaxton held the lead until Byron sped past him on lap 65 to take the top spot. Once in front, there was no catching Byron, as Byron raced to a 2.183-second win over Thaxton.
Hill, from Rougemont, North Carolina, finished third with Tommy Peregoy of Clarksville, and G.R. Waldrop of Moseley, rounding out the top five finishers.
Grala Takes PASS South
Super Late Model Win
Kaz Grala, of Westborough, Massachusetts, driving a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry, took the lead from Jared Fryar, of Greensboro, North Carolina, on lap 118 and held on the rest of the way to win Saturday night’s 150-lap PASS South Super Late Model race.
Clay Rogers, driving for Coulter Motorsports, finished second 3.315 seconds behind Grala, with series point leader Zane Smith, of Mooresville, North Carolina, finishing third and Fryar who faded in the late stages of the race, taking fourth place. Brandon Ward, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, rounded out the top five finishers.
The win was Grala’s first career victory at South Boston Speedway and it was his first career PASS Super Late Model series win.
Grala led twice in the race for a total of 130 laps, with Fryar, who started on the pole, leading twice for a total of 20 laps.
Bean Takes USAC
Eastern Midgets Race Win
Jessica Bean of Farmland, Indiana, won the 35-lap race for the USAC Eastern Midgets Series. Bean took the lead from Chris Lamb, of Greensboro, North Carolina, on lap 29 and held on to edge Lamb for the win. Scott Hunter, of Walled Lake, Michigan, finished third.
Spain Wins Legends Cars Race
Dillon Spain, of Clayton, North Carolina, won the 25-lap Legends Cars race that rounded out the night’s action. Will Bristle, of Angier, North Carolina, finished second with Chris Hildebrand rounding out the top three finishers in the seven-car field.
Next Race At South Boston Speedway
NASCAR racing will return to South Boston Speedway on Saturday, June 20, for the 7 p.m. running of the Whelen Night NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program.
All five of South Boston Speedway’s racing divisions will be featured, with a 100-lap race for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division headlining the night’s action. The Limited Sportsman Division drivers and the competitors in the Modified Division will be featured in 50-lap races with the Budweiser Pure Stock Division competitors doing battle in twin 15-lap races and the competitors in the Budweiser Hornets Division taking the track for a 15-lap race.
Registration and pit gates will open at 2 p.m., with practice going from 3:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5 p.m. and qualifying time trials will get underway at 5:30 p.m. The first of the night’s six races will get the green flag at 7 p.m.