Updated: Jul 8, 2021
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (June 30, 2021) – Saturday’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort at South Boston Speedway is not only South Boston Speedway’s showcase Late Model Stock Car Division event each season, it is annually an event the region’s top NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division drivers circle on their calendar.
Two-time South Boston Speedway winner Mike Looney of Catawba, Virginia says winning the race that will pay $10,000 to the winner would be a big feather in his cap.
“To us, winning that race would be second only to winning at Martinsville,” Looney said with a big smile. “A lot of greats have won that 200-lapper on and near the Fourth of July. It’s a crown jewel Late Model race, not only in Virginia, but for everywhere on the east coast. This race is definitely our top priority for the summertime.”
When asked how special it would be to win Saturday’s race, Looney replied “you will probably see a burnout. If I can find somewhere big enough to spin this car around four or five times, I’m going to burn it down.”
Looney has established an impressive record at South Boston Speedway this season, logging two wins and four top-five finishes in his six starts. He has some momentum entering Saturday night’s 200-lap race, having landed a win on June 12, the last event held at “America’s Hometown Track.”
“The momentum can’t hurt,” Looney pointed out. “We work really hard to get a win anytime we come down here.”
Extra prize money is on the line in Saturday night’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort. The winner will take home a $10,000 prize. Also on the line is the R&S Race Cars $1,000 Halfway Leader Award and the $500 Sunoco/Sparks Oil Company Pole Award.
Beyond that, Saturday night’s race is the first race in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown series. The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown is based upon the best average finish in the three Triple Crown races, which includes Saturday’s race at South Boston Speedway, the July 24 Hampton Heat 200 at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Sept. 25. The Triple Crown winner will receive $7,000, with $2,000 going to the runner-up and $1,000 going to the third-place winner.
Looney says he and his team will be doing its usual good job in preparing for Saturday’s 200-lap marathon event.
“My crew approaches every race 100 percent,” Looney pointed out. “We don’t leave anything on the table any week. I don’t know how we can give any more than we’ve been giving every week to be the best we can.”
The veteran driver says the 200-lap race on the .4-mile South Boston Speedway oval will be a tough one.
“It’s a pretty grueling event,” Looney remarked. “This track in general, with the grip level and the banking, it puts a lot of G-forces on you for a long time. The Fourth of July is usually hot. You’ve got to do a lot hydrating and be mentally and physically prepared for that race.”
There will likely be as many different approaches to Saturday’s 200-lap race as there are drivers in the starting field. Looney says he will likely just deal with situations as they arise during the race.
“I feel like we will just try to play it by ear,” he remarked. “It kind of depends on how your car is. Obviously, if you have a really good car, you can save a lot more. I think there will be a whole lot of saving going on. Everybody will probably be running about 90 percent the whole time. We’ll kind of take it how it comes.”
Four races are scheduled for Saturday night’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort racing program. In addition to the 200-lap NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division race there will be a 50-lap race for the Limited Sportsman Division, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division.
South Boston Speedway will wrap up its Celebrate America Campaign Saturday night. Patriotic pre-race ceremonies are planned for the event and fans will be treated to a colorful Fourth of July fireworks show following the conclusion of the night’s final race.
A pre-race driver autograph session on the track is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., giving fans the opportunity to meet the drivers and get an up-close look at the cars that will be in action during the event.
Grandstand gates will open Saturday at 4 p.m. and qualifying will begin at 4:30 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies will start at 6:35 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.
Advance adult general admission tickets for Saturday’s event are priced at $15 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, through Friday night, July 2.
Adult general admission tickets at the gate on race day are priced at $20 each. Kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Seniors ages 65 and older, military personnel, first responders, healthcare workers and students, with ID, will be admitted for $15 on race day.
The latest news and updates about South Boston Speedway and its racing events can be found on the South Boston Speedway website and through the speedway’s social media channels.