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Raymond Pittman III Facing David vs. Goliath-Like Battle Heading into June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200

By Joe Chandler

Director, Public Relations

South Boston Speedway

SOUTH BOSTON, VA (June 19, 2024) – Each time Raymond Pittman III puts his car on the starting line for a Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division race at South Boston Speedway he faces a David versus Goliath-like battle.

The Amelia, Virginia resident lines up his eight-year-old car among cars fielded by well-financed teams with the latest and greatest components and technology with the hope that in one race, on one night, he could be lucky enough to experience the joy and satisfaction of a Top-10 finish, a Top-5 finish, or perhaps, even a win.

For Pittman, who has been racing for 38 years and is the second-oldest driver that regularly races in the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway, racing is a tough battle.

“That’s why my retirement is coming soon,” Pittman remarked. “The money took it (racing) over. The technology coming down from the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series makes it tougher. We don’t have the resources and equipment that some of the other teams have, and I don’t have anyone working on the car. At the track I have my dad, Raymond Pittman Jr. who is 73, my mom, Sharon Pittman who is 70, and my uncle, Tim Pittman, who is my spotter and he’s 61. I also have Bernie Nuckols, who is not family but is like my family, who is 85, my wife’s grandson, Tyler Curry, who is 22, and my brother, Jason Pittman, who races in the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division helping at the track.

“At the house, it’s just me,” Pittman continued. “I do all of my work on the car at the house by myself. This is a small family team.”

Pittman, who has four career Late Model wins and a Top-5 finish in track points at the now-shuttered Southside Speedway in Richmond, Virginia, has led the track point standings at both Southside Speedway and South Boston Speedway at some point in his career, but has never won a division championship. His only victory at South Boston Speedway came years ago when he raced in the track’s Limited Sportsman Division.

Many people facing the tough struggles like he does each week would have thrown in the towel. Not Raymond Pittman III.

“I love racing, but it’s a lot of work,” he pointed out. “I do it for the fun. If I’m racing against somebody, I don’t care if I’m racing for last place. I like the challenge, and I like racing with all of my family there.”

Pittman has been competitive at South Boston Speedway this season. He has three Top-10 finishes in his seven starts. Entering the June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway Pittman is coming off finishes of 11th and seventh in the track’s twin-race event on June 8, with the seventh-place finish being his best outing of the season. He stands ninth in the division point standings, just six points out of eighth place.

“We’re not doing terrible, and we’re hanging in there,” Pittman pointed out. “We’re finally going in the right direction with the car. We made some changes on the car for the second race that night, and the car was definitely a lot better. We’re going the right direction.

“I know I will have to be extremely lucky to win a race,” he added. “If I’m competitive, that’s all that matters.”

The June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200, South Boston Speedway’s showcase race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and the opening race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, will bring together the best-of-the best in Late Model Stock Car Division racing for a 200-lap race paying $10,000 to win.

Pittman has never competed in South Boston Speedway’s annual 200-lap event but is stepping up to compete in this year’s event on June 29.

“This is something that is on my bucket list,” Pittman remarked. “I’ve always wanted to run this race, and I would like to run the Martinsville race. I know there will be a lot of top teams there for that race. If I can get a Top-10 finish I’d be very, very happy. Even a Top-20 finish, staying out of trouble, and taking the car home in one piece so I can finish out the season would be great.”

Pittman pointed out anything is possible in the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200.

“You never know in that race, the way they crash them up, I might be up front with a Top-5 finish,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m hoping we can qualify well, make it into the race, and have a decent run. If we have a decent run my family, my sponsors and everyone will be happy.”

Pittman said his sponsors, APS Brokerage & Consulting, Alliance Machine & Engraving, and H&M Metal Works have made it possible for him to race this season and are making it possible for him to compete in the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200.

“I have a lot of sponsors coming into town from Florida, Kansas, a lot of people are coming in to watch me,” Pittman noted. “Hopefully it will all work out.”

The excitement surrounding the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 continues to mount with 27 drivers having already filed entries for the 200-lap Virginia Late Model Triple Crown opener that pays $10,000 to win.

South Boston Speedway’s three other NASCAR racing divisions will also be featured that night with a 40-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 20-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division rounding out the four-race card.

There will be plenty of color and pageantry as a dazzling Fourth of July fireworks show will be held immediately following the final race of the night and special patriotic festivities are slated during pre-race ceremonies. Fans will also be treated to a driver autograph session that is scheduled as part of the event’s festivities.

Fans can watch the on-track action free from the track’s spectator areas on Friday, June 28 during Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 Practice Day.

Advance adult general admission tickets are priced at $20 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, or by calling the speedway office at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.

Tickets at the gate on race day will be $25 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $20 each at the gate on race day.

The June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 event schedule has frontstretch grandstand gates and competitor registration and pit gates opening at 10 a.m.

Rotating practice sessions for the four racing divisions will run from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division group qualifying will begin at 4:15 p.m. A driver autograph session will be held from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.

Fans and competitors can find the latest updates and information about the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 and all South Boston Speedway events on the speedway’s website and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.

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