Updated: Dec 27, 2021
PHOTO: South Boston, Virginia Mayor Ed Owens presents the resolution to Rice with town council members standing behind them. South Boston, Virginia Town Council members on the back row are from left to right Councilman William R. Snead, South Boston, Virginia Vice Mayor Robert B. Hughes, Councilman Winston W. Harrell, Councilman Joe B. Chandler, Councilwoman Sharon Harris and Councilman Thomas R. Elliott.
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (Dec. 14, 2021) -- South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice was honored by the South Boston, Virginia Town Council Monday night, with Town Council passing a Resolution of Commendation recognizing her for the many contributions she has made to the community and to the sport of auto racing.
Rice, who became only the second woman to serve as a general manager at a NASCAR-sanctioned speedway when she was named as South Boston Speedway’s general manager in 2000, is retiring at the end of the year. She has served 21 years in that post, helping make South Boston Speedway one of the true gems among NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series short tracks.
“This is a big surprise, and I sincerely thank South Boston Town Council for this honor,” Rice said. “The Town of South Boston has always supported our efforts at South Boston Speedway, and all of us at the speedway appreciate that support. It is a true pleasure to serve the community and its citizens, and I will continue to be involved in the community and at South Boston Speedway.”
South Boston, Virginia Mayor Ed Owens congratulated Rice on her many accomplishments and her service to the South Boston-Halifax County community.
“I congratulate Mrs. Rice for all of the accomplishments she has made during her 34-year career at South Boston Speedway,” Mayor Owens said. “Mrs. Rice holds a special place in NASCAR and has helped make South Boston Speedway one of the nation’s best NASCAR short tracks. Along with that, she has given her time and talents to serve our community in many ways. On behalf of the Town of South Boston we thank Mrs. Rice for her commitment and service to the people of South Boston and Halifax County and wish her much happiness and good health in her retirement.”
Incoming South Boston Speedway General Manager Chase Brashears noted his appreciation to South Boston Town Council for honoring Rice.
“It is great to see South Boston Town Council honor Cathy’s contributions during her tenure at the speedway,” said Brashears. “Cathy has served this community well during her time at South Boston Speedway. When she makes a decision for the speedway, she also considers its impact on the community at large. Cathy will remain an asset for us in the community as we take South Boston Speedway into the future.”
Rice has spent 33 years on the operational side of things at South Boston Speedway, serving in a variety of capacities ranging from secretary to scorer, to promotor, and her present post of general manager.
While Rice is stepping down from a full-time role at the historic speedway she will stay on in a part-time capacity of advisor and ambassador.
Rice has received many honors and awards during this, her final year as general manager of South Boston Speedway. The Halifax County, Virginia Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution during its September meeting recognizing Rice for her service to the community, her leadership at South Boston Speedway and her service to NASCAR.
Service to the South Boston-Halifax County, Virginia community has taken several forms for Rice.
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 significant contributions to her community.
Rice is a longtime member of the Halifax County, Virginia Chamber of Commerce and served three years on the organization’s Board of Directors. In addition, she has served on the Halifax County, Virginia Tourism Board for nine years, and served multiple terms on the former Halifax County, Virginia Motorsports Academy Advisory Board.
Rice has been an active member of the South Boston, Virginia Rotary Club for 17 years. She has served as secretary of the civic organization and is a recipient of the Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellow Award.
An active member of Second Baptist Church, Rice has served on church committees and as a member of the church’s board. In recognition of her many years of service to the community the Halifax County, Virginia Chamber of Commerce honored Rice in March by presenting her the chamber’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
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