Thunder Road returns for 2023 at South Boston Speedway

Published 8:16 am Friday, June 2, 2023

By Joe Chandler

South Boston Speedway

Patriotic festivities, the excitement and drama of one of the country’s top Late Model Stock Car races, and a dazzling Fourth of July fireworks show to end the night make South Boston Speedway’s July 1 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort event an All-American celebration.

The region’s top competitors will converge on the .4-mile oval for South Boston Speedway’s premier 200-lap Late Model Stock Car Division race which annually serves as the kickoff race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown. The winner will take home a $10,000 prize and each driver to start the race will earn at least $800.

“This event is our crown jewel race and one of the biggest Late Model Stock Car races in the region” said South Boston Speedway General Manager Chase Brashears. “We always enjoy putting on a spectacular show with the kickoff to the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, a ton of patriotic festivities and much more on tap.

“Fans were on their feet cheering loudly last year as Corey Heim and Jacob Borst were sideways across the finish line to take the checkered flag, with Heim getting the win by only a couple of feet,” Brashears added. “There is always excitement and drama in the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort, and we expect it to be true again this year.”

The July 1 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort will also feature a celebration of Independence Day. A dazzling Fourth of July fireworks show will light up the night sky immediately following the conclusion of the night’s racing activities. Plenty of patriotic festivities to honor America will be featured that evening.

In addition to the 200-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division, fans will see a 40-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 20-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.

The format for the 200-lap Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division race will be very similar to that of past years. Qualifying will take place via group qualifying with the fastest 30 cars being locked into the 200-lap race. All remaining cars will compete in a 20-lap Last Chance Qualifier Race to set the field up to a maximum of 40 cars. Two promotor’s provisional starting positions can be used to set starting positions 39 and 40.

This year’s race will be run in four stages with the first stage ending with a caution at lap 50. The second stage ends at lap 100 with a caution followed by a 10-minute halfway break. Stage three will end with a caution at lap 150 and the fourth stage concludes at lap 200 with the end of the race.

Caution laps will not count during the stage breaks at the end of stage one, stage two/halfway and stage three. In addition, caution laps will not count in the final 10 laps of the race.

The July 1 race day schedule has registration and pit gates opening at 10 a.m. Frontstretch spectator gates will open at 12:30 p.m. and practice will begin at 1 p.m. Backstretch and Turn 4 trackside tailgating gates will open at 3:30 p.m. Qualifying will begin at 4:15 p.m. An autograph session will be held on the frontstretch of the speedway at 5:15 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies will start at 6:35 p.m. and the first race of the night will start at 7 p.m.

Advance adult general admission tickets for the July 1 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort are priced at $20 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, or 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 day will be $25 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $20 each at the gate on race day.