Battle

Kevin Currin (49) and Steven Layne (3) are in a fierce battle for the Hornets championship.

SOUTH BOSTON — There’s a lot of rear-view mirror watching in the track championship battles as the 2019 season edges past halfway at South Boston Speedway.

Heated contests rage in three of the track’s four divisions headed into Saturday night’s Southern Virginia Higher Education Center NASCAR Late Model Twin 75, and the leader in the fourth division cannot breathe too easily.

The combined point differential between first and second in three divisions — Limited Sportsman, Budweiser Pure Stock and Budweiser Hornets — is 20 points.

Kevin Currin holds a razor-thin, two-point, 256-254, margin over Steven Layne in the Hornets division, despite Layne’s series-leading three victories. Layne has a better average finish than Currin, his 2.5 compared to Currin’s 3. But Currin has used passing points (dropping to the rear at the start of a race to snag bonus points for cars passed) to erase Layne’s advantage. Currin has accumulated 29 passing points; Layne 15.

Nathan Crews and Jordan Pickrel have dominated the Pure Stock division through the first nine races and the result is another tense points race. Crews has a six-point, 327 to 321 lead over Pickrel.

Crews has won five times; Pickrel three. Each has experienced one poor finish all season. Pickrel was seventh in the season opener and Crews was seventh two weeks ago.

Daniel Moss leads the Limited Sportsman division in wins with four but finds himself 12 points in arrears of Danny Willis Jr., 324 to 312. Willis has a pair of wins, has finished in the top three all but once and has strategically amassed 28 passing points, 18 more than Moss.

There were more winners — five — in the featured Late Model Stock division than any other at South Boston in the first half of the season, but the Late Model points race has the widest margin of any.

Peyton Sellers, Lee Pulliam, Philip Morris, Trey Crews and Austin Thaxton have all visited victory lane this season. Sellers, of Danville, has four wins, Pulliam and Morris two each and Crews and Thaxton one apiece.

Sellers holds a 58-point, 376 to 318 margin over Thaxton, while Thomas Scott is another nine back in third. Pulliam is fourth with 297 points and Crews is fifth at 249.

The intensity ratchets up Saturday night with twin 75-lap Late Model races, twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman races, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race and a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race.

Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race taking the green at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults with children 12 and younger admitted free with a paying adult.

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