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Crews emerges as a frontrunner in Late Model class
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Crews emerges as a frontrunner in Late Model class

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SOUTH BOSTON — Some new faces are emerging among the frontrunners in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway this season.

Among them is Stuart Crews.

The Long Island, Va. resident has competed at track in past seasons but a surge in performance has put Crews among the frontrunners this season to date.

“So far, we’ve had the best start we have ever had here,” Crews said with a smile.

“It’s pretty special to come out here and run well against some of these guys like Peyton Sellers. He’s one of the best. If I can at least hang with him that says we’re doing pretty well. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

Crews has put together a solid early-season record. He sits in third place, only four points out of second place, in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division point standings entering the 100-lap division race that headlines Saturday night’s racing card.

In the first five Late Model Stock Car Division races this season, Crews has one pole win, three top-five finishes and has finished no worse than sixth.

Crews said he attributes his success to a combination of a good car, a new engine, good help with the car and more experience.

“I went around last year and got a little experience at Dominion Raceway and a few other places,” he said, “but you’ve also got to have the car running pretty well. This is a different car than I’ve been running here at South Boston Speedway. This is the first year I’ve run this car. It’s pretty sporty.

“We also have a brand-new Harrington engine in the car,” he said.

“I’m lucky to have some good people to help me like Forest Reynolds and H.C. Sellers, and I’ve gotten a lot of good parts from Stacy Puryear. We’ve got a pretty good piece here, so, hopefully, we can continue to have some good luck to go with it.”

While Crews is enjoying a good start to his 2021 season the potential has been there for better results.

“The car has been running better than we have finished,” Crews said.

“We’ve been finishing around fifth, but we’ve been running in the top three a lot of times. We’d like to at least finish in the top three and maybe get a win here sometime. That would be good.”

Saturday marks the first night event of the season.

Along with the 100-lap NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division race fans will see twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman Division races, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division.

Saturday’s race day schedule has registration and pit gates opening at 2 p.m. Practice starts at 4 p.m. and grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m.

Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. and the first race will get the green flag at 7 p.m.

Dawson is among the

Limited Sportsman contendersSOUTH BOSTON — Drew Dawson’s third year in the Limited Sportsman Division is on the way to being his best.

The Nathalie resident enters the twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman Division races that will be part of the May 1 card tied with Daniel Moss of Danville for the lead in the division point standings.

Dawson scored his first career Limited Sportsman Division win in a 50-lap race at South Boston Speedway on April 17.

“This win means a whole lot to me,” Dawson said.

“Words can’t explain how much this win means to me. I can’t thank my sponsors enough. I especially thank my dad. He puts a whole lot of work into this car to get it to where it is.”

The 2021 season has revealed much in the way of how Dawson has improved the performance of both his car and his driving. He has a win and three top-five finishes in his three starts this season – his best start to a season.

“It’s getting there,” Dawson said of his continuous improvement.

“Seat time means a whole lot. Every lap I feel like I’m getting better and better. I’m learning on every lap. Every lap is different. You’ve got to run the same line. You’ve got to hit your same marks. If not, the car will want to slide or push in the turns, and you won’t be as fast.”

Learning the car is also playing an important role for Dawson in his improvement.

“Working on the car and working with the car helps a whole lot,” Dawson said.

“It’s about learning changing adjustments on the shocks and learning where we can pick up speed. The car feels really good. It’s on a rail right now. If it will stay like that, I feel like we can pick up more wins this year.”

Editor’s Note: Joe Chandler is South Boston Speedway’s Director of Public Relations.

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