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Passing Points Could Have Big Impact On South Boston Championship

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (July 7, 2016) – Matt Bowling has built a comfortable lead in the Late Model Stock series points midway through the season at South Boston Speedway but he shouldn’t get too comfortable. His competitors have a new, not-so-secret weapon that could help close that gap: passing points.

“I think it’s going to be huge,” said Mark Wertz, referring to the role of passing points the remainder of the season. “I’ve done it four times and I’m going to do it some more. It’s the only chance I have of catching Matt, if that is possible.”

The passing points system was instituted at the beginning of the 2016 season, and simply put, allows drivers to receive bonus points for each position gained during a race. And drivers have the option to put themselves in position to pass a lot of cars to pick up maximum points by dropping back in the field from their qualifying position.

Drivers will receive one bonus point for each position they improve after electing to drop back in the field. They must declare their intentions within five minutes after qualifying is completed.

Wertz has been rewarded by his decision to drop back in the field to gain more points. Twice he has earned more points than the race winner. On April 30 he fell back in the field, finished fourth and wound up garnering as many points as winner Bowling. The next race he did the same thing, this time finishing fourth and gaining even more points.

“We’ve felt like if we focused on getting back to the front, it would take care of itself,” said Wertz. “Risk to gain … it justifies itself.

Austin Thaxton is second in the South Boston points behind three wins this season, but trails Bowling by almost 50 points. He hasn’t moved back in the field to take advantage of the passing points yet, but he expects it will happen sooner than later.

“We’ve talked about it, we’re planning on doing it, but we haven’t just yet,” said Thaxton. “Right now it looks like it’s going to be the only way I’m going to be able to catch him. Matt’s had a good year like always.

“They are there when they need to be. They stay around top three or four all the time. Somebody is going to have to use the passing points to catch them.”

It’s a pretty good bet that somebody will be taking advantage of the passing points rules when the lights go on again at South Boston Speedway on July 16 for the NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 75s racing program.

The twin 75-lap races will headline the full night of racing, which will include a 50-lap Limited Sportsman race, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division, and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division.

Registration and pit gate opens at 2:30 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Qualifying will begin at 6 p.m. and the first race will take the green at 7 p.m.

Adult 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.

Media Contacts:
Mike Smith
Relevant Public Relations



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