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Jones Moving To The Front Stretch At South Boston Speedway With Jump Up To Late Model Stock Division

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (February 1, 2018) – Mike Jones likes his new front-stretch address at South Boston Speedway.

For the better part of a decade, the 27-year-old has been parked on the back stretch on race night with his Limited Sportsman foes. When the historic track swings open its gates on March 24 to begin its 61st season, Jones and his Halifax Insurance Dodge Charger will have a new home on the front stretch as he makes the move up to the Late Model Stock division.

“We’ve been trying to make this move for a long time,” said Jones. “With the new motor rules this year, it made it more affordable. It seemed like the right time.”

Jones will be running the new Harrington Enforcer engine, recently approved by NASCAR for Late Model Stock racing, an engine he describes as “affordable but very competitive.”

Jones recorded eight wins in his Limited career, the bulk of them coming the past two years when he was a threat to win every night.

His lone Late Model start came in the CARS Tour Late Model event last October, the final race of the year at South Boston. Even though he didn’t have a great finish that night, it had a huge impact on making the choice to move up for 2018.

“The CARS Tour race was big in the decision,” said Jones. “I wish it could have gone better for us. We had motor issues in practice and lost a lot of practice time. We were running around 10th in the race and cut a tire down and lost laps on green-flag stops. But we showed enough speed to warrant this move.”

His performance that night also went a long way in convincing his car owner … his father Dean Jones … to sign off on the move to Late Models full time.

“Dad is all in,” the younger Jones said of his dad, who is owner of Halifax Insurance, the primary sponsor on the car. He also gets backing from S&D Machine and Tool and Love Shop Mini Storage.

“He’s extremely excited. I’ve been trying to convince him for three years and now to finally do it, we’re both excited. The CARS Tour race on national TV, being show several times, and him seeing the Halifax Insurance car on TV was a big deal.”

Jones knows there will be adjustments and a learning curve for him, but he believes a decade of experience at South Boston will help.”

“I’ve been running here for a long time. I think I’m still young, but I feel like an old veteran. I have a lot of experience,” said Jones. “The lap count is going to be the biggest difference. These races are going to be longer, but I’ve been trying hard to get in shape, running and lifting every day.”

Jones is also well-aware that his neighbors on the new front-stretch address offer the biggest challenge in the move. The South Boston Late Model field is consistently filled with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champions, former track champions and drivers with dozens of wins. But he understands that’s all part of being successful.

“If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” said Jones. “Between Peyton (Sellers, reigning track champion and former national champion), Bobby McCarty, Lee (Pulliam, reigning and four-time national champion), Philip (Morris, four-time national champion) and with Timothy (Peters, 10-time NASCAR truck series winner) back running, there’s going to be a lot of competition for me to play up to.”

Racing returns to South Boston Speedway on March 24, 2018 with the Danville Toyota NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 100s featuring twin 100-lap races for Late Models, a 50-lap race for the Limited Sportsman Division, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stocks and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets.

Media Contacts:
Mike Smith
Relevant Public Relations



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