Commentary by: Rob Staley/Contributor to

Danville, VA(June 26, 2009) — Next week’s “Night before the Fourth” race Friday night July 3 at South Boston is shaping up to be a good one.

This has become one of the most popular events at the four-tenths mile speedplant the past few years with huge car counts and some of the biggest crowds seen at the track. The Late Models will run 200 laps while the Limited Late Models will go for 100 laps. With Ace off that Friday night, it will be interesting to see if any of their regulars make the trip northward.

The other big Independence Day week LMSC contest is the Rusty Harpe Memorial at Asheboro’s Caraway Speedway on Wednesday night, July 1st. Last year a couple of drivers ran both Caraway and Sobo and it will probably happen again this year with guys like Tommy Lemons and Frank Deiny pulling double duty.

Bowman Gray’s Sportsman series drivers get their second shot at double file restarts this Saturday night with a 60-lap feature. There is talk that all races at BGS may go to that format next year. One wonders if the move may run some drivers to other tracks. But, it certainly makes it more exciting for the fans.

Speaking of the Sportsman class, a salute goes out this week to Caraway Sportsman driver Ross Dalton who has already had one win and a second place finish this year in his first season of asphalt racing. Last year the teenager ran dirt at 311 Speedway in an UCAR!

With economic woes continuing, the local track class that seems to have suffered the most is the Limited Late Models with single digit fields nearly everywhere. One of the South Boston Limited standouts, Brian Cole will return to the track for the July 3rd race after missing the last two racing programs because of repairs being made to his car following a big accident in the month of May.

I’m still trying to decide where to go this weekend, but make sure you sit yourself down somewhere at a local track either Friday or Saturday night!