Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ it Short – The chase for the Triple Crown starts this weekend

Valentine’s Day was for racing lovers this year too. On that day, Martinsville Speedway, South Boston Speedway and Langley Speedway came together to announce the creation of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown Series. The three-race series encompasses three of the biggest Late Model races in the state of Virginia with South Boston’s Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota kicking it off this weekend. Hampton Heat, which takes place at Langley Speedway on July 28th is the second leg of the triple crown, while the Virginia is for Racing Lovers’ 300 at Martinsville Speedway will not only crown the champion in the biggest Late Model race of the season but it will now also enshrine the winner of the first Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.

The Triple Crown is going to add some additional financial incentive for drivers to participate in the three big events in 2012. The driver who performs the best over the three race schedule will receive a $5,000 bonus at the end of the Martinsville race. The second best performing driver will take home an additional $3,000 while the third place driver will pocket $2,000. These events are already some of the biggest races of the entire season but the additional money will most certainly entice even more drivers to make a run at all three of these events.

Virginia is a hotbed for racing and especially Late Model racing. In 2011, the state not only had Philip Morris, the Whelen All-American National Champion, but it also had Lee Pulliam who finished third in the point standings and C.E. Falk, III who was fourth at the end of the year. Add in Frank Deiny, Jr., who ended the season ninth in points, and you have four of the top 10 drivers in the country residing in the commonwealth of Virginia. With the addition of the prize money for the Triple Crown, the already intense racing will only be ramped up even further in 2012.

This weekend’s race at South Boston will go a long way in setting the table for who is going to have the best shots at winning the big money in Martinsville. Obviously Philip Morris is a favorite heading into SoBo thanks to his dominant performance at the historic track last season. Morris won almost all of the Late Model races on their schedule last year and was crowned the track champion. Falk will be another driver to watch Saturday because he gave Morris a run for his money more than once last season at the 4/10th-mile oval. Add in Deiny, who always steps up when big money is on the line, and Greg Edwards, who battles Falk every week at Langley, and you have a good idea of who everyone will be chasing when the event gets to Martinsville.

Falk and Edwards are going to have an upper hand at Langley because Morris and Deiny do not race there very often. If they are able to put the rest of the pack behind them in July, they could be the two battling it out in October at the finale. Barring mechanical failures, Morris is going to be tough to beat in this series, but that is why they run the races. Morris had a dominant car at Martinsville last year and a fuel pickup issue kept him from running away with the race, eventually sidelining him.

Short Track racing is alive and well in the Virginia area, and the people who run South Boston, Martinsville and Langley should be commended for ponying up some extra cash to reward the drivers who put in so much effort to race around the state every year. Fans in the Southeast need to respond by attending these events as a way to say thank you to the promoters and racers. They can start this Saturday with the 300 lap, $10,000 to win race at South Boston. What better way is there to start off the Late Model season in the Southeast?

This Weekend’s Racing Schedule:

Fri : Mar 9th – Cocopah Speedway ; Yuma : AZ – Lucas Oil ASCS Sprints
Fri : Mar 9th – Orlando SpeedWorld ; Orlando : FL – Brighthouse Challenge 100 Super Late Models
Fri : Mar 9th – ArkLaTex Speedway ; Vivian : LA – Pelican 100 Late Models Qualifying
Fri : Mar 9th – ArkLaTex Speedway ; Vivian : LA – Pelican 100 Limited Modifieds Qualifying
Fri : Mar 9th – ArkLaTex Speedway ; Vivian : LA – Pelican 100 Factory Stocks Qualifying
Fri : Mar 9th – Carolina Speedway ; Gastonia : NC – 12th Annual Skyler Trull Memorial Carolina Clash Late Models
Fri : Mar 9th – Heart O’ Texas Speedway ; Elm Mott : TX – USMTS National Championship Series Modifieds
Fri : Mar 9th – Heart O’ Texas Speedway ; Elm Mott : TX – USMTS National Championship Series Sport Modifieds
Fri : Mar 9th – Richmond Coliseum ; Richmond : VA – Arena Racing
Sat : Mar 10th – Mobile International Speedway ; Irvington : AL – ARCA Racing Series
Sat : Mar 10th – Cocopah Speedway ; Yuma : AZ – Lucas Oil ASCS Sprints
Sat : Mar 10th – Havasu 95 Speedway ; Lake Havasu City : AZ – Modifieds
Sat : Mar 10th – Havasu 95 Speedway ; Lake Havasu City : AZ – Street Stocks
Sat : Mar 10th – Havasu 95 Speedway ; Lake Havasu City : AZ – Factory Stocks
Sat : Mar 10th – Perris Auto Speedway ; Perris : CA – World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 10th – Perris Auto Speedway ; Perris : CA – California Lightning Sprints
Sat : Mar 10th – Desoto Speedway ; Bradenton : FL – Sportsman
Sat : Mar 10th – Punta Gorda Speedway ; Punta Gorda : FL – Open Wheel Modifieds
Sat : Mar 10th – ArkLaTex Speedway ; Vivian : LA – Pelican 100 Late Models
Sat : Mar 10th – ArkLaTex Speedway ; Vivian : LA – Pelican 100 Limited Modifieds
Sat : Mar 10th – ArkLaTex Speedway ; Vivian : LA – Pelican 100 Factory Stocks
Sat : Mar 10th – Wall Speedway ; Wall : New Jersey – North East Enduro Tour
Sat : Mar 10th – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – Farewell to Frost 200 Modifieds x2
Sat : Mar 10th – Carolina Speedway ; Gastonia : NC – 12th Annual Skyler Trull Memorial Carolina Clash Late Models
Sat : Mar 10th – Lincoln Speedway ; Abbottstown : PA – 410 Sprints
Sat : Mar 10th – Lincoln Speedway ; Abbottstown : PA – 358 Sprints
Sat : Mar 10th – Dunkin Donuts Center ; Providence : RI – TQ Midgets
Sat : Mar 10th – Dillon Motor Speedway ; Dillon : SC – PASS South
Sat : Mar 10th – Dillon Motor Speedway ; Dillon : SC – Allison Legacy Series
Sat : Mar 10th – Cowtown Speedway ; Kennedale : TX – USMTS National Championship Series Modifieds
*Sat : Mar 10th – South Boston Speedway ; South Boston : VA – Late Models*
Sun : Mar 11th – Speedrome ; Indianapolis : IN – Spring Fling Roadrunners
Sun : Mar 11th – Speedrome ; Indianapolis : IN – Spring Fling Hornets
Sun : Mar 11th – Speedrome ; Indianapolis : IN – Spring Fling Legends
Sun : Mar 11th – Dunkin Donuts Center ; Providence : RI – TQ Midgets
Wed : Mar 14th – Millbridge Speedway ; Salisbury : NC – Kannapolis Intimidators Night Mini Outlaws

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share this article

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com