Only two races remain before an eventful and competitive 2022 Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour season ends, with the penultimate event set to take place this weekend at South Boston Speedway for the Commonwealth 225.
Built in 1957, South Boston serves as a focal point for short track racing on the East Coast. Along with hosting races for several different organizations, South Boston also boasts a healthy short track environment that features the prestigious Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200, which makes up the first leg of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
Although South Boston no longer serves as the CARS Tour finale compared to its four previous appearances on the schedule, there is no shortage of stakes on the line in the Commonwealth 225 as some drivers look to find momentum in their respective championships while others seek overdue victories.
Track: South Boston Speedway
Location: South Boston, Virginia
Length: .400 mile
Laps: 125 (LMSC) / 100 (PLM)
CARS LMSC Tour races: 4
CARS SLM Tour races: 4
LMSC South Boston winners: Deac McCaskill (2017), Craig Moore (2018), Josh Berry (2019), Bobby McCarty (2021)
SLM South Boston winners: Stephen Nasse (2017), Corey Heim (2018), Matt Craig (2019), Carson Kvapil (2021)
LMSC Entry List (34 cars): #08 Deac McCaskill, #0 Landon Pembelton, #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2R Braden Rogers, #2T Jason Turner, #4 Hayden Swank, #4E Parker Eatmon, #5 Carter Langley, #5R Jaiden Reyna, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8B Chase Burrow, #9 Ashton Higgins, #12 TBA, #16 Chad McCumbee, #19 Jessica Cann, #22 Bobby McCarty, #24 Mason Diaz, #28 Connor Zilisch, #28S Dustin Storm, #32 Zack Miracle, #44 Conner Jones, #55 Isabella Robusto, #71 Katie Hettinger, #74 Ronald Hill, #74M Craig Moore, #77 Connor Hall, #77S Blake Stallings, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #90 John Goin, #91 Jonathan Shafer, #95 Jacob Heafner, #97 Daniel Silvestri, #99 Layne Riggs
PLM Entry List (13 cars): #1 Kody King, #6 William Sawalich, #8 Rusty Skewes, #13 Austin MacDonald, #24 Penn Crim, #24B Brent Crews, #24K Buddy Kofoid, #29 Nick Loden, #35 Caden Kvapil, #49M Luke Morey, #74 Ryan Moore, #77 Logan Jones, #96 Luke Fenhaus
Layne Riggs returns to CARS Tour following Weekly Series title
After a grueling but successful championship season in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, Layne Riggs is set to make his first CARS LMSC Tour start since competing at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Apr. 9.
Riggs ended up finishing fourth that night following a hard-fought battle with NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender Josh Berry, but the Bahama, North Carolina native is confident that his Weekly Series experience will allow him to add a LMSC Tour victory to his stellar 2022 campaign.
“It’s good to come back and race with these guys again,” Riggs said. “I’ve learned so much racing at all these different tracks and hopefully we can show just how dominant we are right now. It’ll be a little odd since I’ve raced against the South Boston regulars all year, but I feel like we’re on top right now.”
With 10 victories and a track championship at South Boston to his name this year, Riggs said that he and his team have plenty of notes to utilize before Saturday’s Commonwealth 225.
Despite having plenty of confidence on his side, Riggs knows he will have to shake off the unfortunate luck that has surrounded him each time the CARS Tour has visited South Boston. Three of his four starts at the facility have ended prematurely due to mechanical issues.
Riggs is not concerned about his previous LMSC Tour starts at South Boston, as he determined to put together a complete race and build off the momentum from his victory in the Rodney Cook Classic at Ace Speedway last weekend.
“We beat the best in Peyton Sellers all season [at South Boston],” Riggs said. “These CARS Tour guys have a lot of laps and have run at a lot of different tracks all year, but they’re coming to my house now and I want to prove that we have the fastest car.”
Riggs was proud to represent the CARS Tour at the national level and wants nothing more than to end his brief time with the series this year in victory lane.
Ace Speedway co-owner Jason Turner set to make CARS Tour debut
With the 2022 season at Ace Speedway officially over, track co-owner Jason Turner is electing to get back into the driver’s seat by making his CARS LMSC Tour debut at South Boston.
Turner has been scrambling to make sure his car is ready for 125 laps on Saturday evening. While he does not know how competitive he will be, Turner is simply happy to race in a series with as much competitive depth as the LMSC Tour.
“I can’t race at my track, so this is the next best thing,” Turner said. “The CARS Tour is where the competition is and I want to know that I’m racing against the best.”
Before taking over ownership of Ace with his father Robert in 2017, Turner spent most of his racing career making laps around that facility, but he also branched out to compete at other tracks around the region that included Southern National Motorsports Park and the now defunct East Carolina Motor Speedway.
While Turner is happy with the current environment at Ace, he has been itching to test out his new Late Model Stock. He wanted the car to be ready in July, but issues with the engine and schedule conflicts forced Turner to patiently wait until this weekend for an opportunity to race.
Having not competed in a Late Model Stock event since 2020 at Tri-County Motor Speedway, Turner expects plenty of challenges in the Commonwealth 225 but remains optimistic that his car will be strong enough to at least compete for a Top 10.
“I have no expectations,” Turner said. “I want to go out there and see what we got. We’ve got a good piece, but the driver is rusty and green. I’m deciding what to try with the setup since this is a brand-new car and I’m going to [South Boston] for the first time, so hopefully we can just make the field.”
William Sawalich ready to rebound from tough finish at Tri-County
An impressive streak of success for William Sawalich in the CARS PLM Tour ended abruptly during his most recent start at Tri-County.
After leading 474 consecutive laps and tallying four straight wins, Sawalich ended up getting turned by Jake Garcia coming to the checkered flag. The outcome left Sawalich frustrated, but he has since moved on from Tri-County and is ready to tackle the Commonwealth 225 at South Boston.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Sawalich said. “Dennis and Brandon Setzer are going to bring me a good car like always, but it’s up to me to execute and do my job. The Setzers are good at South Boston, so I’m excited to race there.”
Sawalich’s efficiency in the PLM Tour only serves as one part of his successful 2022, having won two racess apiece in both the Southern Super Series and ARCA CRA Super Series. In his Winchester 400 debut on Sunday, Sawalich brought home an impressive third place finish.
The 2022 season has been about accumulating as much seat time as possible for Sawalich. He feels much more confident behind the wheel compared to the start of the year, which Sawalich considers an essential quality as he heads to South Boston for the first time.
With a PLM Tour championship now out of the question, Sawalich is only focused on winning as many races as possible moving forward and fully expects to be in victory lane at South Boston based off the speed his No. 6 Starkey/Audibel Ford has shown all year.
“I’ll know more about the track after practice, but I think this is going to be a fast-paced race,” Sawalich said. “There’s not much tire falloff with Pro Late Models, so I think we can qualify on the pole and lead every lap like we’ve been doing. If we can do that, we can win again.”
With the days becoming colder, Saturday’s Commonwealth 225 will take place during the daytime. The PLM Tour kicks off the on-track action at 3 p.m. ET with their 100-lap feature, which will be followed by the 125-lap LMSC Tour race.
For more information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Pro Late Model Tour, visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour.
Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in
Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.