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Rookie Dawson Takes Different Route To South Boston’s Victory Lane

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (July 21, 2016) – No one takes Justin Dawson’s route to Victory Lane these days except, well, Justin Dawson.

He’s won four races this season in the Budweiser Hornet Division at South Boston Speedway in a car he hooked a tractor to and pulled from behind the barn three weeks before the season began. On opening night, he finished second in his first race of any kind in a car … two weeks after surgery.

“This is my first year in anything on four wheels. I’ve always been active with things on wheels, but it’s always been 4-wheelers and dirt bikes,” said Dawson, who has finished in the top five in eight out of 10 starts this season. “I guess it sort of comes natural. But still, for me to climb into a car for the first time and do this, yeah, it has shocked me.”

Dawson’s brother Drew “showed up out of the blue” with a Hornet Division car two years ago and Justin decided he needed one, too.

“I had some extra money and found one on the Internet down in Greensboro,” the 23-year-old Dawson said. “I didn’t go to the track with it last year at all because there was so much wrong with the car. I worked and worked on it, and to be honest, gave up and put it behind the barn.”

Three weeks before this season began, he went with his brother to a practice session at South Boston. That was all it took to reinvigorate his interest in racing.

“I went home and hooked that car up to the tractor and pulled it in the barn and went back to work on it,” said Dawson.

He still had a minor hurdle to get over: hernia surgery the next week.

“I was out of work a week and then went back so I could race. I knew if I missed work and then raced that Saturday night, my boss would be upset,” said Dawson, who finished second that first time out.

The Hornet Division was introduced at South Boston a couple years ago as an affordable way to enter the sport. Dawson will testify that it works.

“It’s really not that expensive once you get all your stuff … your uniform, things like that,” said Dawson, who gets help from Jerry’s Auto Shop and everyone at the Dawson Motorsports Team. “We can go to the junkyard and pick up parts for $5. You can’t do that in other divisions.”

He recently blew the motor he had won three races with. He was able to find another one, swap it out with the old one and be back at the track the next week. That, he says, just can’t be done affordably in other classes.

Dawson will be gunning for his fifth win of the season on Saturday, July 30 with the 7 p.m. running of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program.

A 100-lap Late Model race will headline the seven-race card. Also on the night’s schedule are twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman races, twin 15-lap races for the Budweiser Pure Stocks, a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets and a 20-lapper for the legendary Ford Flatheads touring series.

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 paid adult.

Media Contacts:
Mike Smith
Relevant Public Relations



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