SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (March 10, 2023) -- The last time Blake Stallings focused on competing at one or two tracks he won a championship. In 2021 Stallings won the dual-track showdown staged by Ace Speedway and Tri-County Speedway in North Carolina. Three years earlier, in 2018, he won the championship at Ace Speedway.
This season, Stallings plans to compete for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division title at South Boston Speedway. The chase for the 2023 title begins Saturday afternoon, March 18, when South Boston Speedway hosts the Danville Toyota ’23 Opener.
“We are planning to bring our Ford Mustang here to South Boston Speedway and try to compete for the points championship,” Stallings said while taking a break during a recent testing session at the .4-mile oval.
“We felt it would be a really good fit to come back here and try to compete for the track championship with the top-notch facility South Boston Speedway has as well as the amount of competition that is here. Hopefully we can be a championship contender.”
The Danville, Virginia resident is confident he and his team can be a title contender.
“We are more prepared this year than we have been in the past,” Stallings pointed out.
“We have raced a handful of races at a variety of tracks over the past few seasons and haven’t committed to running one or two tracks for a championship. Coming back to South Boston Speedway being better prepared and getting in some early-season testing is going to play a key role in having a successful season at South Boston Speedway.”
Stallings pointed out that improvements have been made to his car and his overall racing program during the offseason including bringing Trevor Ward on board to be his crew chief.
“It has been a tremendous help having Trevor and his friend, Corbin, helping us out,” noted Stallings. “Myself, my dad, Steve Stallings, and a friend of ours, Casey, and people that come to the track with us maintain the car. We don’t have any paid employees to maintain the car.
“Having Trevor help with the car and taking some of the load off of the decision-making that my dad and I had to do allows my dad time to enjoy being at the racetrack and allows me to focus more on my driving,” added Stallings.
“Being able to have the car better prepared at the house, having less stress worrying about making calls on the car and getting the huge help from Trevor Ward has boosted the team’s confidence.”
Stallings has competed in only eight regular-season Late Model Stock Car Division races at South Boston Speedway since the start of the 2019 season. He has two Top-Five finishes and four Top-10 finishes. He is optimistic that focusing on South Boston Speedway this season will produce much better results.
“Getting back into running a full season here at South Boston Speedway will be beneficial, and hopefully we can have some success,” Stallings remarked.
“The level of competition in Late Model Stock Car Division racing is at an all-time high. It is so competitive at South Boston Speedway. Everybody is so close that if you’re not committed to it full-time and are not all the way in it is really hard to be competitive with a lot of the guys here.”
Top-five finishes and wins are the goal Stallings has set for himself and his team at South Boston Speedway this season.
“I’m looking for Top-Five finishes all year and get a win or two along the way,” Stallings said.
“That would be a huge success in my mind. We would like to be a top-five car week-in and week-out throughout the season.
“To be able to get out here and have fun with my dad – that’s the biggest reason why I race,” Stallings continued. “I love the sport and I’m passionate about the sport, but being able to do it with my dad is the biggest thing. Having some enjoyment out of it and having some success at a racetrack such as South Boston Speedway would mean the world to me.”
South Boston Speedway’s March 18 season-opening event, the Danville Toyota ’23 Opener, will feature twin 75-lap races for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division. The six-race program will also include twin 30-lap races for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
Advance adult general admission tickets for the Danville Toyota ’23 Opener are priced at $12 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com 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 $15 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $12 each at the gate on race day.
The Danville Toyota ’23 Opener event day schedule has competitor registration and the infield opening at 9 a.m. Spectator gates will open at 12:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 1 p.m. and the first race of the afternoon is set to get the green flag at 2 p.m.
Fans and competitors will find the latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway on the speedway’s website and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway during regular business hours.