Tonight’s racing at the Southampton Motor Speedway

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 30, 2003

Staff report

CAPRON (May 26) – The frontstretch wall is back up and Southampton Motor Speedway plans to go racing tonight!

Defying skeptics, who were predicting weeks of downtime, track owner Dave Atkinson personally maneuvered the final concrete slab into place at about 8 p.m. on Monday evening.

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In analyzing the situation, Atkinson and General Manager Brad Skelding pointed to the way the wall was anchored when it was originally installed and to drainage issues on the back side of the wall (both dating back to 1991) as the chief culprits in the wall’s collapse.

Both Skelding and Atkinson wish to extend their heartfelt thanks to those who came out to help with the rebuilding project, to those who called to offer their services and to those who offered an encouraging word in a difficult time.

Pit gates open at 3 p.m.

Front gates open and practice begins at 4:30. Qualifying starts at 6:40 and the first feature race goes green at 8. Topping the five-race slate is a 200-lapper for the RaceWorld.-com Late Model Stocks – Round Two of SMS’s Late Model Super Series.

Also included in Friday’s lineup are: Mike Duman Auto Sales Limited Late Models (50 laps); Rick’s Rock Cafe Pure Stocks (25 laps); INEX Little Race Cars Legends (25 laps); and, the Mid-Atlantic Toys For Tots Pro Cup Challenge for Scale Racing League Arena-Cup cars (25 laps).

Tickets are $12 for adults and $4 for youths (6-12). Children under 6 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Active-duty military (with ID), senior citizens (65+) and teens (13-19) receive a $2 discount off the adult admission price.

The last three races in the Super Series are slated for July 3 (a Thursday), Aug. 29 and Sept. 19.

Twin 50-lap features for the Late Model Stock Car division have been scheduled for Friday, June 6. To be eligible for NASCAR regional and national honors, Late Model drivers must compete in a minimum of 18 races before the Sept. 21 cutoff date.

With the Scale Racing League Arena-Cup cars appearing at SMS this Friday, representatives from the South Hampton Roads Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots campaign will also be on hand to collect for their cause. Fans who donate a new, unwrapped toy will be entered for a door prize drawing later in the evening.

Complete the new WordSearch puzzle, &uot;Coca-Cola 600 Winners, 1960-2002,&uot; write the requested info on the back of the page and drop it in the specially-marked box at the Souvenir Trailer and you could win a ride in the SMS Pace Car during one of Friday evening’s feature races.

Just like Jean Turlington of Richmond, Va., who got to ride along with pace car driver Dave Watkins on May 16.

In its fourth season under the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series banner, Southampton Motor Speedway is a 4/10-mile, paved tri-oval, similar in configuration to Richmond International Raceway. The track is located on U.S. Highway 58, one mile west of Capron and 17 miles east of I-95 (Emporia exit).

To learn more about SMS and its schedule of upcoming events, fans may call the Speedway office at (434) 658-RACE or visit the track’s Web site at