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Winning the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 One of the Top Goals Remaining for Mike Looney


By Joe Chandler

Director, Public Relations

South Boston Speedway


SOUTH BOSTON, VA (June 19, 2024) – Winning the June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200, South Boston Speedway’s showcase NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, is the goal of every driver entering the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown opener.


That is especially true for Mike Looney as he looks to score one of the biggest wins of his career in the 200-lap race that pays $10,000 to win.


“Winning that race is one of the biggest goals we’ve got left,” remarked the winner of the 2016 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. “Winning this race would be right up there with the grandfather clock sitting in the living room. We’re not going to do this much longer. I don’t have many more shots at this deal, so I’ve got to make my opportunities count. We’re going to work hard, do some testing, and give it our best shot.”


Looney may be onto something at South Boston Speedway. The 2019 NASCAR national runner-up and Virginia state champion put together a solid second-place finish and third-place finish in South Boston Speedway’s twin-race event on June 8. He was solidly in contention to win both races, and it was his strongest outing at the .4-mile oval since a second-place finish in the track’s season-opener.


“It was two spirited races,” Looney said of the twinbill. “It was intense. I just got up on the wheel, sawed on it, burned the brakes off, and did all I could do.”


Looney enters the June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway with six Top-5 finishes and eight Top-10 finishes in his eight starts. He is in third place in the track point standings, just 19 points down to two-time NASCAR national champion Peyton Sellers who leads the standings.


The veteran racer is looking forward to the 200-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division that headlines the night’s four-race card.


“It’s the biggest race of the year,” he pointed out. “The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown has turned into a really cool deal here at South Boston, at Langley and at Martinsville.”


While two-time NASCAR national champion Peyton Sellers leads the division with three wins, nobody is dominating the action on the .4-mile oval as there have been five different winners in the season’s eight races. With the outstanding level of competition that always revolves around the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200, anything and everything is possible.


“It’s anybody’s ballgame,” Looney said of the 200-lap race. “Nobody has stuck their head above the others here this year with all of the different winners. Peyton has won more than anybody. He’s just out-driving them. His car is not really up to what their standards are. Ours isn’t either. I predict that it could be somebody that hasn’t raced here this year to win it.”



Looney points out that patience and survival will be key to having a shot at the end to winning the race.


“Obviously, you’ve got to have a good car, but you’ve got to survive,” he explained. “It’s similar to Martinsville. You have to set your mind to try to win the race at the end. There is a lot of pushing and shoving that goes on and you can lose your temper pretty quick. You’ve got to stay out of that.


“You can’t let them walk all over you all night,” he continued, “but you can’t get into a shoving match. You need to decide whether you want to get this guy back or do you want to finish and have a chance to win this race.”


The June 29 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 is the biggest event of the 2024 season at South Boston Speedway. Along with the 200-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division fans will see 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.


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


Friday, June 28 will be Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 Practice Day, and fans can watch practice from the track’s frontstretch grandstand area free of charge.


Advance adult general admission tickets are priced at $20 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 $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 opening at 10 a.m. Practice is set from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division 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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