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Big weekend of racing comes to SBS, VIR

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Morris, left, and Andretti
SoVaNow.com / April 26, 2018
Intense stretch of racing ahead at VIR, So Bo Speedway

The Pirelli World Challenge schedule boasts eight classes and 101 entries coming this weekend, presenting a full slate of full throttle sports car racing at Virginia International Raceway in Alton.

Also, this weekend marks the start of historic NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing at South Boston Speedway, Saturday night.
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SBS rolls out again May 12 and May 26 with a barrage of short track racing.

VIR also features two events in May - the return of the MotoAmerica Championship of Virginia May 4-6 for professional motorcycles.

VIR also has the return of the NASA Mid-Atlantic Hyperfest May 18-20.

South Boston Speedway welcomes the return of Philip Morris this weekend.

With four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship trophies adorning his house, Morris has been there, done there.

But even with his 53rd birthday looming on May 11, he wants to keep going, keep doing. That’s why he’ll be rolling south from his Ruckersville home to South Boston Speedway Saturday.

“We’ve started the season with that (national championship) mentality and it’s looking pretty good for us so far this year,” said Morris, who has five wins in nine starts throughout the region this spring. “If you have a great start without that mentality, it can be too late when it comes around and you realize you’re in a position to run for the title.”

South Boston Speedway has been in Morris’ sights since he began planning for the 2018 season.

“I think anybody that is national points minded has to be looking to where the best car count is,” said Morris, referring to NASCAR’s weekly-racing points structure that rewards drivers for competing in events with at least 18 cars. “No matter how good you are, how much you win, you have to have that car count.

“South Boston has always done a great job of having a strong car count. From everyone I’ve talked to, I believe that their car count is going to be up this week and for the season.”

In what may be the understatement of the year, Morris says “we feel like we can be competitive at South Boston.” He won six times at the historic Virginia track in 2017 to up his career South Boston win total to 63.

Morris’ first South Boston championship came in 2003, so understandably he believes he has experience on his side this weekend to offset his lack of testing at the track this spring.

“We tested that first test back in March but there were several blown engines that day and the track got slick and we could never get any good laps in,” said Morris. “Experience is invaluable, and things are different when you get in a race. When things change on the track, veterans shine through. We’ve got lots of laps at South Boston, so I think we have as good a shot as anyone.”

Any tickets purchased for earlier events which were postponed are good for Saturday night.

Saturday’s season-opener will feature twin 100-lap Late Model Stock races, twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman division races, a 30-lap Pure Stock race, a 15-lap Hornets race and a 30-lap Mod 4 Division race.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying is at 6 p.m. at the first race rolls off at 7 p.m.

VIR this weekend welcomes one of America’s most famous motorsports families.

The Andretti name is synonymous with all forms of auto racing.

Mario won the Indy 500, a Formula One title and the Daytona 500. Michael won 42 IndyCar races and John won IndyCar and NASCAR races as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race.

Now, another Andretti is making his mark in the racing world as Jarett Andretti, a North Carolina State graduate, climbs the racing ladder and will be competing this weened at VIR.

Andretti, son of John and grandson of Aldo Andretti, has been following in his uncle Mario and his father in dirt track racing including the USAC Sprint Car series around the United States.

Andretti has won features and track championships already and, at 26, enters the sports car racing world.






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