SoBo's 2007 Late Model Rookie of the Year winner set for run in Hooters Pro Cup Series event on April 19
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. - When the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series visited South Boston Speedway last April, Roxboro, N.C. driver Matt Lofton was preparing for his third Late Model Stock Car Division start of the season at America's Hometown Track.
This year when the series makes the first of its two visits to the four-tenths mile asphalt oval for the running of the Miller Lite 250 on Saturday, April 19 at 7 p.m., Lofton will be behind the wheel of the Strutmasters.com-sponsored Hooters Pro Cup Series.
The Miller Lite 250 will mark the third USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series race of the 2008 season for Lofton. He's hoping his third appearance will have similar results to his third qualifying effort behind the wheel of his Late Model Stock Car ride last season.
"Last year, I got my first pole position when the Hooters guys were there at South Boston," Lofton said. "I would like to think that is something that I could do this time. I would like for a little fate to be involved."
Rain washed out the running of the Late Model Stock Car race when the Hooters Pro Cup Series made their first trip to South Boston last year, however, that didn't dampen Lofton's hopes for the season.
"We had a good year," Lofton said. "We won the Late Model Rookie of the Year title at South Boston Speedway and Orange County Speedway, so I think that was a pretty good season for us."
Indeed. The twin rookie of the year crowns claimed by Lofton came on the heels of a Limited Sportsman Division championship at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C. in 2006.
Despite having knowledge of South Boston Speedway, Lofton does not believe he will have a home track advantage for the running of the Miller Lite 250.
"Some of these guys who will be racing out there Saturday have had 100 times more laps around that track in a Hooters car than I have," Lofton said. "I definitely think it will be a little more of an even playing field for me because I have unloaded at two tracks that I knew nothing about for the first two races."
The Miller Lite 250 will mark the first event of the season for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Northern Division competitors. The Southern Division has already competed in two events and Lofton was in the field for each of those races.
Lofton placed 24th out of 32 competitors at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. on March 15, and secured a 21st place finish in the 28-car field at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cecil, Ga. on March 29.
Pennsylvania veteran driver Benny Gordon claimed the victory at USA International Speedway, while Michael Ritch of High Point, N.C. was the winner at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
Among the names Lofton views as contenders for the victory at South Boston Speedway in the Miller Lite 250 are veteran USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series drivers Gary St. Amant, the defending USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Northern Division champion, Gordon, a three-time Northern Division champion, Jeff Agnew and Bobby Gill, the defending USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series national champion and winner of last year's spring race at America's Hometown Track.
"You look at some of those names and you know they have a lot of experience on that track," Lofton said. "We just want to go out and have a good qualifying run and wind up with a good finish.
"We're playing this thing by ear right now," Lofton added. "We're week-to-week. We only have one car and, if things work out, maybe we will be around at the end of the season."
The touring Allison Legacy Series is also on tap prior to the 250-lap race for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series.
The next visit to South Boston Speedway for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series in 2008 is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9.
Grandstand gates will open on Saturday, April 19 at 3 p.m. A Fan Appreciation session will be held on the racetrack prior to the 7 p.m. start of the Miller Lite 250.
For more information, phone the track at (434) 572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540.
South Boston Speedway
Director of Media Operations
Office Phone: (336) 599-0162, extension 111
Speedway Office Phone: (434) 572-4947