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Ellington Hopes Streak Of Bad Luck In His Rear View Mirror At South Boston

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (May 9, 2016) – Just when Dusty Ellington thought his run of bad luck was over, Mother Nature decided differently.

Ellington, who has experienced an amazing streak of bad luck this season at South Boston Speedway, turned in his best effort of the year last Saturday night when he qualified eighth for the Late Model race. But then rains came, the race was washed out and so was Ellington’s qualifying effort.

“We started out pretty decent and then we took a turn for the worse,” Ellington said of the 2016 season.

He notched matching 13th-place finishes in the season-opening doubleheader, and then the black cloud moved over his Chevrolet. A rear end broke during a qualifying lap and he spun into the wall, ending up with substantial damage.

A week later, after hours and hours of hard work, he was back on track. Again, the night ended early, this time with a blown motor.

“Bad luck has been more of our season than anything else,” said Ellington.

Ellington probably is being a little too hard on himself. In the five starts he has made this season, four have been in the top 15 and one was a 10th.

Ellington’s racing career begin six or seven years ago when a friend, Travis Patterson, asked him if he’d like to drive one of his dad’s old cars. His dad was the late Wayne Patterson, one of the most iconic Late Model drivers ever.

“Travis is a good friend and we were sitting around talking and he asked me if I’d like to try it. He knew how much I loved racing. So we ran Limited Late Models at Orange County (Speedway) in one of Wayne’s old cars. What an honor that was. I’m thankful to have good friends to believe in me and give me a chance.”

After the recent blown engine another friend extended a helping hand. Brian Pembleton, a longtime South Boston competitor, made Ellington an offer that was hard to refuse.

“Brian’s known me since I was a little boy and after we blew that motor, I was sitting there, all down and he started texting me and then called me and said ‘I’ve got an offer for you. I think a lot of you and know you have the talent’.” recalled Ellington. “He loaned me an engine. I don’t know how to thank him.”

And that, Ellington said, helped turn his season around, and led to last Saturday night’s strong qualifying effort.

“We’ve got some momentum now. We were really good last week. I think we’ve got something really close now to work on it,” said Ellington, who lives in Burkeville and works in Farmville for the immigration service.

Ellington said he’s also gotten a lot of chassis help from Craig Oliver this year and also praised South Boston Speedway’s management.

“The biggest thing this year is how South Boston has helped racers so much,” said the 28-year-old Ellington, referring to an increased purse structure and a new two-tire rule. “With all the bad luck we’ve had, they’ve been calling and checking on me. That’s a big help. That’s what makes South Boston so special, the people you race with and the people that run the track.”

Ellington says his dad, Al, is a driving force in his racing career and has strong support from his crew along with sponsors Jenkins Blue and Gray, Ellington Mini Storage, Farmer’s Daughter Landscaping, Runstrom Auto Repair and Thurston Spring Service.

NASCAR racing returns to South Boston Speedway Saturday, June 18 with the Halifax Insurance presents Whelen Night NASCAR Late Model Twin 75 racing program

There will be a pair of 75-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock car division, a 50-lap Limited Sportsman race, twin 25-lap Modified races, twin 15-lap Budweiser Pure Stock races and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets.

Registration opens at 2:30 p.m., pit gates open at 3 p.m. and practice will start at 4 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 6 p.m. and the first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.

Adults general admission tickets are $10 each, with youth ages 7-12 admitted for $5 and kids ages six and under admitted free with a paying adult.

Tickets from the June 4 race will be honored at the June 18 event.

Media Contacts:
Mike Smith
Relevant Public Relations



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