As a school bus driver, as an EMT with the Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department and the Halifax County Rescue Squad, as a member of community organizations and through her efforts in making South Boston Speedway a gem among NASCAR’s short tracks, Rice has made many contributions to her community.
The Halifax County (Virginia) Chamber of Commerce honored Rice Thursday night, March 18 for her many contributions to the community and her achievements by presenting her the chamber’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
“This is the first time we have given a Lifetime Achievement Award, and with Cathy’s pending retirement our nomination committee felt there was no better honor than to honor her with a Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Halifax County Chamber of Commerce President Mitzi McCormick.
“Cathy has done so much for our community, not just at South Boston Speedway, but by serving on our chamber board and the (county) tourism board. She has been a member of the South Boston Rotary Club for a number of years and has participated on subcommittees there and served on the executive committee. She has been involved in so many capacities.”
McCormick noted that when people think about South Boston Speedway, they also think about Rice.
“Cathy has been the mainstay there, and she needs to be honored for that,” McCormick remarked. “South Boston Speedway contributes to our quality of life. Cathy has done a great job to make sure that our speedway has remained viable through the years, through the pandemic and into years to come.”
The award came as a complete surprise to Rice, who watched the chamber’s annual awards ceremony online at the speedway with speedway staff members.
“I was shocked,” Rice said. “This is a great honor, and I thank the chamber’s nomination committee, chamber members and everyone involved for this honor.”
Rice, who will be stepping down as the speedway’s general manager at the end of the year, said one of the biggest things she has tried to create and foster throughout her 21 years as the speedway’s GM is a family atmosphere.
“I’ve always said from Day One when you walk through the gates at South Boston Speedway, I want you to feel like you’re at home,” Rice pointed out. “We’re from such a small county that everybody knows everybody. This is a family sport. We have worked hard over the years to create a family-friendly atmosphere for both our fans and the competitors that race here at South Boston Speedway. That family atmosphere is something we will always strive to have here at South Boston Speedway.”
South Boston Speedway and Pocono Raceway CEO Nick Igdalsky was among those that watched the Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards online. Igdalsky was happy to see Rice receive the award.
“Cathy absolutely deserves this honor, and I am so happy for her,” Igdalsky said. “I am so proud of Cathy and what she has accomplished through the years, and especially the 17 years I have worked with her! Everyone in racing knows that coming in first is the ultimate prize, so it makes it even more special knowing that she was the first person ever to receive this honor in Halifax County.”
The latest news and updates about South Boston Speedway and its racing events can be found on the new South Boston Speedway website at www.southbostonspeedway.com and on the speedway’s social media channels. Fans can also subscribe for e-mail updates on the speedway’s website.