BY JOE CHANDLER
South Boston Motor Speedway
Mason Bailey admitted to being nervous when he started competing in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway this season.
This nervousness did not last long.
“I was really nervous coming here,” Bailey remarked.
“I have a ton of confidence in my team manager Tyler Hughes. I felt really good, but I was very nervous, it would take me a minute to adjust to the circuit. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long at all.
Bailey performed well right out of the box, earning a ninth-place and third-place finish in South Boston Speedway’s season-opening twinbill.
“To come out on opening day and get a third-place finish for Layne Riggs and Mike Looney was huge,” Bailey said.
“These are guys I watch on the internet, guys who run the CARS Tour, win Martinsville and all those things. Next thing you know, I’m on their bumper, following them everywhere. It was like wow, that’s kinda cute. Watching these guys race here I saw how tough it was. I did not expect that.
The 2022 season marks Bailey’s sixth season racing Late Model Stock Cars. The Richmond resident raced regularly at the old Southside Speedway in Richmond, before it closed and scored several wins there. This season is Bailey’s third season racing at Dominion Raceway where he posted two wins and finished second to track champion Peyton Sellers in the final points standings last season.
This is Bailey’s first season racing at South Boston Speedway and he’s quickly become a top contender at the 0.4 mile oval. Bailey sits fourth in the points standings at South Boston Speedway at the God’s Pit Crew Presents First Responders Night event on Saturday night, May 14 at South Boston Speedway, just five points behind Sellers who sits in third place in the points standings. .
He posted three top-five finishes in his first five starts at South Boston Speedway and finished in the top 10 in each of his seven starts heading into the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division 100-lap race that will headline Saturday night’s action at South Boston Speedway.
Bailey is improving every week and feels he is getting closer to the possibility of a win.
“Tyler (Hughes) is a hell of a team leader, and he gives me some really fast race cars,” Bailey said.
“I think we are really close. We picked up every week. We’re almost matching times with sellers and those guys on old tires. I think our pure speed might be a bit behind them, but our race pace is there.”
Bailey said it was a good experience racing at South Boston Speedway.
“It’s really cool because there’s a whole new group of fans here and I’ve started meeting them, getting messages online and seeing them on the track. It’s really humbling and really cool. because not so long ago I was one of those people.
A big night is planned for the God’s Pit Crew Presents First Responders Night event on Saturday, May 14 at South Boston Speedway. South Boston Speedway offers free entry to first responders with ID.
A 100-lap race for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division will highlight the event’s five-race map. Two 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 Hornets division will round out the night’s racing action.
Saturday’s event schedule calls for registration and pit doors to open at 2 p.m. Practice begins at 4 p.m., grandstand doors open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying begins at 6 p.m. and the first race of the night will be green-flagged at 7 p.m.
Advance adult general admission tickets for the event are priced at $10 each plus a $1.50 processing fee and can be purchased online at the South Boston Speedway website, www. southbostonspeedway.com, through Friday, May 13. Advance tickets can also be purchased by calling the highway office at (434) 572-4947 or toll-free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Tickets at the door on race night will cost $15 each. Seniors 65 and older, military, healthcare workers and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $10 each at the door on race night.
The latest South Boston Speedway news and updates are available on the speedway’s website, southbostonspeedway.com, and through the track’s social media channels. Information can also be obtained by calling the highway at (434) 572-4947 or toll-free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.