Tony Stewart knows what it feels like to win a race at South Boston Speedway.
The former NASCAR champion won a USAC national midget series race at South Boston Speedway in 2002, topping Bobby East for the win.
Saturday night Stewart topped a field of legendary racing stars in the 100-lap feature race that headlined the SRX (Superstar Racing Experience) event at South Boston Speedway in front of a packed house of fans and a national television audience.
Stewart successfully fended off a challenge from fellow NASCAR star Greg Biffle, finishing .440-second ahead of Biffle to score his third career SRX series feature race win. NASCAR stars Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman finished third and fourth respectively, with four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, the winner of the series opener, rounding out the top five finishers.
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“The USAC midget series was tough when I was here,” Stewart pointed out. “It was an honor to win that race. You look at the field of drivers we race with (in SRX), it’s the best of the best from different forms of motorsports. Anytime you can beat those guys there is a lot of pride in it.”
Stewart said he knew Biffle was behind him and trying to make a bid for the lead and the win.
“Greg is smart,” noted Stewart. “He knows how to run these long races. He knows how to take care of his tires. At the end when it counted the most, he was coming.”
Biffle said he did all he could to try to get to Stewart’s rear bumper.
“I wanted to try to make it exciting,” Biffle remarked. “I just couldn’t get there. Tony just took care of his stuff a little better. He just had a little better tire than I did. I was doing all I could, overdriving the corner.”
Labonte described his night as an “okay” night.
“I was probably a little better in the heat races,” Labonte said. “We made one adjustment and were too tight in the center (of the corner). It wouldn’t turn the center of the corner at all. Other than that, it was pretty good.”
Tony Kanaan, Ernie Francis Jr., Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, two-time NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion and six-time South Boston Speedway NASCAR track champion Peyton Sellers, of Danville, Michael Waltrip and Paul Tracy rounded out the finishing order.
“It wasn’t the night we wanted,” Sellers remarked. “They (the SRX personnel) prepared me a really nice car. I think the sway bar was unhooked late in the race. In the heat race, I was kind of saving my tires. I said, ‘you know what, I think we’ve got something to race with.’ But, in the feature race, it just wasn’t there. Something just wasn’t quite right. It was a great experience.”
Tracy, Castroneves and Waltrip took the top three spots in the first heat race, with Sellers finishing seventh. Castroneves, Andretti and Newman claimed the top three spots in the second heat race. Sellers finished 10th in that heat race.
Kyle Barnes started on the pole, took the lead on the opening lap and scored a flag-to-flag victory in Saturday night’s 50-lap Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division race.
The win was Barnes’ fifth win in eight starts and was his sixth top-five finish of the season at the .4-mile oval.
Jason Myers, of Hurt, finished second, 3.364 seconds behind Barnes, with Chris Donnelly, of Montross, finishing third. Donnelly was the final driver to finish on the lead lap.
Adam Murray and Brian Obiedzenski, of Franklinton, North Carolina, rounded out the top five finishers.
South Boston Speedway will host its showcase NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division event, the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort on Saturday.
A 200-lap race for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division race paying $10,000 to win, the first race in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown series, headlines the July 2 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort racing program.
The four-race program also includes a 50-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
South Boston Speedway will honor America by capping the night with a Fourth of July fireworks displays.