An open letter to South Boston Speedway’s fans, partners & competitors on the day of its 65th anniversary celebration:
65 years ago this month, I opened as a very small dirt track on a large farm purchased by Buck Wilkins, Dave Blount and Louis Spencer in Halifax County, Virginia, just outside the Town of South Boston.
While I have changed – and times have changed – the constant has always been the racing. From some of the earliest stock cars sliding on the small 1/4-mile dirt track that once existed here, to the ground-pounding open-wheel modifieds to today’s Late Model Stock Cars that emerged as the dominant form of racing in the region in 1982 and including NASCAR’s now Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, the Superstar Racing Experience, among various other divisions and series. Each year, for 65 years, numerous types of race cars have rumbled across this hallowed ground.
The racing history is so deep here, it couldn’t possibly be contained. From NASCAR past champions to current champions, the accomplished drivers that have competed here are innumerable. Together with you, the impact we’ve made on stock car racing cannot be adequately described.
Thanks to your support, I’ve come a long way over six plus decades. Back in the late 1950s, no one could have imagined that the small dirt track that was illuminated by 16 small light poles flanked with bleacher seating for just about 1,000 people would turn into a modern 4/10-mile asphalt oval.
Only three different groups have owned the property on which I sit, and their passions for racing have kept cars going around for all 65 years, a feat few venues can claim. The Pocono Raceway family purchased this land in 2004 and have continued to invest in the growth of racing here in Southside Virginia ever since.
We’ve been through a lot together – witnessing some of the nation’s most historic events. 13 presidential administrations, the addition of two states into the union, the ratification of five Constitutional amendments, numerous wars, the first-ever moon landing, space shuttles, cell phones and so many other events that you can find in history books.
The stories from here are countless. It would take another 65 years to document the stories of the hundreds of thousands of fans and racers that have visited here.
And the best part is… I’m just getting started.
So, today, while we celebrate 65 years of racing here, we really celebrate your support for the last 23,741 days. We’ve stood the test of time together and for your support, I’m forever grateful.
The Historic South Boston Speedway