SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (October 4, 2022) -- Call Scott Phillips “Mr. Consistency.”
The Halifax, Virginia resident did not win a race this season, but his high level of consistency allowed him to win the 2022 South Boston Speedway Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division championship and capture his first career stock car racing division title.
“It takes consistency to win championships, and I guess I’m proof of that,” Phillips remarked with a smile.
“I didn’t win a race and won the championship. I’m lucky it (the championship) just fell in my direction. We had been consistent with our finishes. I’m not going to say it was a whole lot of skill. It was just that I had my equipment in a lot better shape this year and drove my race.”
Winning the 2022 South Boston Speedway Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division championship means a lot to Phillips who has been racing for many years.
“I cannot tell you in words how much this means to me,” Phillips said.
“After racing all these years to get up there, having run up front, having finished third, fourth, and fifth a bunch of times when we had car counts of 20 cars or better, and having built back up after having started racing again a few years back it means a lot.”
“This is special,” Phillips continued.
“This is my first championship. When I used to race on dirt in Danville, Virginia back in the 1990s, I had some third places in the championship standings. Around 2002, 2003 or 2004 here at South Boston Speedway I finished third, fourth and fifth for the year a few times. I had some (race) wins on-and-off. This was my best year of finishing off a season.”
The statistics Phillips posted in his championship run leave no doubt as to how important his consistency was in producing the championship. Phillips logged 11 top-five finishes and never finished outside of the top 10 in his 12 starts this season. Notably, Phillips scored six second-place finishes in his 12 starts with all six of his runner-up finishes coming in the season’s first nine races.
That was a major turnaround from the previous season when a pair of third-place finishes were his best finishes in the 10 races he started. He started only 10 of the division’s 13 races in 2021and finished seventh in the division point standings.
“I wasn’t really trying anything much different with the car, just trying a few changes,” explained Phillips.
“I was driving the car as hard as I could most of the time. A few times I pushed it too hard, and it bit me. I just had some good engines, some good help, and some good luck this year.”
Phillips attributed solid qualifying runs as being one of the key parts to his success this season.
“Qualifying in the top three every race gave me good track position,” Phillips pointed out.
“If you fall behind here it is hard to catch back up. We had the top few cars in the division within thousandths of a second of each other in qualifying most of the time. If you mess up and start in the back you’ve got a challenge on your hands.”
There was good competition in the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division this season, something that brought a nice sense of satisfaction to Phillips.
“We had some new guys showing up this season,” Phillips noted.
“B.J. Reaves, when he first started racing, he was asking advice from people. I gave him some advice and he finished in front of me a couple of times and won a race. A bunch of good guys are starting to race in the division now, and we’ve got people that were asking questions about next year. I believe we will have three or four more new cars next year, and that will make it more interesting. The guys who started racing this year were learning and getting faster every race.”
While Phillips enjoys the satisfaction that has come with winning his first career division championship, he knows he cannot rest on his laurels when the 2023 season starts in early March.
“It’s very satisfying to win the Pure Stock Division championship, and also a little nerve-wracking because I know I’ve got to do even better next year,” explained Phillips.
“I’ve got to come out next year and do the same thing or better. I already know the other guys are going to be doing what they can to get their cars better and improve. I already know if Johnny Layne races and if Nathan Crews races, they have the consistency and speed to win races where I just have the consistency to run up front. I know I’ve got to get a little better next year.”