SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (March 9, 2023) -- Winning the 2022 South Boston Speedway Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division championship brought a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction to Jason DeCarlo.
It was DeCarlo’s first career stock car racing title, and with it he accomplished a milestone a lot of drivers never accomplish.
Yet, there was something big missing – a race win.
“It was great to win the championship, and I am happy to have won it,” the Chase City, Virginia resident remarked.
“I’m more overjoyed for the members of my crew that help and support me. We all got to enjoy it together. That was the big thing. The only disappointing part is we didn’t get a win.”
DeCarlo will return to competition in the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division at South Boston Speedway in 2023 with only one goal in mind – securing his first career race win.
“That’s all we’re worried about this year,” DeCarlo pointed out.
“We want to get into Victory Lane at South Boston Speedway and have a good time doing it. I’m not worried about the championship, points, or anything else. I’m not even going to think about it this year. I already know I am going to miss one race, so I’m not even going to try for the division championship.”
DeCarlo has plans for something a little extra he hopes will help him accomplish his goal of winning a race this season.
“We have something in the works that’s cooking at the house that we hope will be ready by mid-season,” DeCarlo hinted with a grin.
Last season was DeCarlo’s second season of competition in the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division. His outstanding level of consistency put him on the road to the division title and ultimately led him to winning the championship.
DeCarlo had seven Top-Five finishes last season, and he never finished outside of the Top 10 in any of his 10 starts. His record included two runner-up finishes, two third-place finishes, two fourth-place finishes, a fifth-place finish, and a trio of sixth-place finishes, which were his worst finishes of the season.
“The key was starting and finishing every race,” DeCarlo explained.
“Even when we had a bad night and got into a wreck or tore something up the guys in the pits, Kevin Currin’s pit crew, Steven Layne’s pit crew, everybody threw in and helped and we finished every race. Instead of parking the car and being done with it, we were able to fix it.”
While DeCarlo was stringing together a series of consistent finishes, the championship points chase became very close during the second half of the season. Currin, who missed starting an early-season race due to a mechanical failure, began putting up wins and climbed into title contention during the second half of the season. He finished the season with a division-high four wins in nine starts.
When the season ended DeCarlo edged his best friend by eight points and was 11 points ahead of third-place driver Dillon Davis.
“It was fun and exciting, but I don’t want to do it again,” DeCarlo said of competing for the division championship.
“That’s all we thought about last year, and it (the championship battle) got so tight with Kevin and Steven (Layne) over the last three races that it became a little stressful. I don’t want to deal with that again. I want to come here, race, have a good time and wherever we finish is where we finish.”
The start of the 2023 racing season at South Boston Speedway is right around the corner.
South Boston Speedway’s season-opening event, the Danville Toyota ’23 Opener, is set for Saturday afternoon, March 18, featuring twin 75-lap races for the Sentara Healthcare Late Model Stock Car Division. The season-opening event 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.
The March 18 Danville Toyota ’23 Opener event day schedule has competitor registration and 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 is set to get the green flag at 2 p.m.
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.
Fans and competitors can 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.