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Back-to-Back South Boston Speedway Championships Was Tougher Than Layne Expected

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (October 30, 2017) – Johnny Layne coasted to his first track championship in 2016 behind a whopping seven wins. His second championship … well it was a little more difficult.

Layne claimed the 2017 South Boston Speedway Budweiser Pure Stock championship for back-to-back titles. This season’s win total? One. Last year’s point margin? Ninety points. This year’s championship margin? Seven. But in the end, the margin means little. What means a lot to Layne is that he captured back-to-back championships”

“That was my thing this year, to go for the championship again,” said Layne. “I wanted to win back-to-back.”

He admits, though, he thought it would be a little easier.

“We were surprised that last year didn’t help us this year,” Layne said, referring to the seven wins in 2016. “The competition was different this year. It was better. Last year was easier. This year we only had one win. But it meant more this year because of the competition.”

Layne said he and his team had a difficult time adapting to the new racing surface at South Boston Speedway this season.

“It was a surprise how tough it was for us this season. Everybody picked up a lot (of speed) on the new pavement and us not much,” said Layne.

“It was like the new track came to them and not to us. It definitely had us scratching our heads and finally we figured out the car was tight with the new track. Once we figured that, then we took off.”

Layne was also hampered by early-season engine issues.

“I had some motor problems that put us behind. It was a new motor, but we still had problems with it,” said Layne.

Once the motor issues were solved, Layne knew the only way he would be able to race his way back into the championship picture was to make the most of South Boston’s passing points system, which allows drivers to drop to the rear of the field at the start of a race and pick up additional points for each car passed.

“I went to the rear in a lot of the races to get extra points to catch up. It was tough at times,” he said.

In the final race of the season Layne was trying to get his second win of the year when he was involved in a final-lap wreck on the front stretch.

“In the last race when we figured that I had enough points to win (the championship) I tried to pass for the lead on the last lap and it didn’t come out my way,” said Layne, whose sponsors include Mills Tree Service, McBride’s Designs, Liberty Mini-Market, Hershberger Home Improvement and Wilborn Brothers Auto Repair. “I spun and backed it into the retaining wall. I had about 20 feet to go (to the start-finish line. I just made it go that far before it stopped.”

Layne isn’t exactly sure what he’s going to be doing in 2018, but don’t be surprised by another repeat performance.

“We actually have some sponsors that say they want me to go for a third championship in a row,” Layne said. “I don’t know that anyone has ever done that in Pure Stock before.”

South Boston’s 61st season will open on Saturday, March 24 with twin 100-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Division, a 50-lap Limited Sportsman event, a 30-lap Pure Stock race and a 15-lap Hornets race.

For the full 2018 South Boston Speedway schedule, click here.

Media Contact:
Mike Smith
Relevant Public Relations



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