Bailey emerges among top late model contenders
Published 9:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2022
By Joe Chandler
South Boston Speedway
Mason Bailey admitted to being nervous when he began competing in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway this season.
That nervousness didn’t last long.
“I was real nervous coming out here,” Bailey remarked.
“I have a ton of confidence in my crew chief Tyler Hughes. I was feeling really good, but I was real nervous it would take me a minute to adapt to the racetrack. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long at all.”
Bailey fared well right out of the box, earning a ninth-place finish and a third-place finish in South Boston Speedway’s season-opening twinbill.
“To come out on opening day and get a third-place finish to Layne Riggs and Mike Looney was big,” Bailey said.
“These are guys I watch on the internet, guys that run the CARS Tour, win Martinsville, and all of those things. The next thing you know I’m on their bumper following them around. It was like wow, this is pretty sweet. Watching those guys out here race, I saw just how tough it was. I never expected it.”
The 2022 season marks Bailey’s sixth season racing Late Model Stock Cars. The Richmond, resident raced regularly at the former Southside Speedway in Richmond, before it was closed and scored several wins there. This season is Bailey’s third season racing at Dominion Raceway where he scored two wins and finished second to track champion Peyton Sellers in the final point standings last season.
This is Bailey’s first season racing at South Boston Speedway and he has quickly become one of the top contenders at the 0.4-mile oval. Bailey sits in fourth place in the South Boston Speedway point standings entering 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 occupies third place in the point standings.
He posted three top-five finishes in his first five starts at South Boston Speedway and has finished in the top 10 in each of his seven starts heading into the 100-lap NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division race that will headline Saturday night’s action at South Boston Speedway.
Bailey has been making progress every week and feels he is getting closer to being able to pick up a win.
“Tyler (Hughes) is a heck of a crew chief, and he gives me really fast racecars,” Bailey pointed out.
“I think we’re really close. We’ve picked up every week. We’re almost matching times with Sellers and these guys on old tires. I think our pure speed might be a little bit behind them, but our race pace has been there.”
Bailey said it has been a good experience racing at South Boston Speedway.
“It’s really cool because there is a whole new demographic of fans out here and I’ve gotten to begin meeting them, getting messages online and seeing them at the track. It’s really humbling and really neat because not too 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 is offering free admission for 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 card. Twin 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 has registration and pit gates opening at 2 p.m. Practice starts at 4 p.m., grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying begins at 6 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.
Advance adult general admission tickets for the event are priced at $10 each plus a $1.50 processing fee and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, through Friday, May 13. Advance tickets may also be purchased by calling the speedway office at (434) 572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Tickets at the gate on race night will be $15 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, health care workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $10 each at the gate on race night.
The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway are available on the speedway’s website, southbostonspeedway.com, and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at (434) 572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.