Finances have always played a key role in racing, especially for the weekly short-track racers. That is why South Boston Speedway officials have worked hard over the years to make racing more affordable for competitors, and, at the same time, keep the competition on a level playing field and make racing fun for the competitors.

Steps taken by South Boston Speedway over the past several seasons have made “America’s Hometown Track” one of the more affordable places to race.

“We have continuously sought out ways to make racing more affordable for our drivers and teams,” said Cathy Rice, the track’s general manager, “and we have been successful in finding ways to help cut costs for the competitors.”

In 2016, South Boston Speedway implemented a two-tire rule in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division, limiting teams to the purchase of two tires per event. In addition to saving teams money, the rule helped make lower-budget teams more competitive.

Along with that, the track increased its purse for competitors, guaranteeing $500 to start in the Late Model Stock Car Division. That move helps make it more financially possible for teams to move up to competition in the top-tier division and to cover costs.

South Boston Speedway officials made a major change in in the speedway’s 2021 Limited Sportsman Division rules package to eliminate bump stopping and coil binding. There also will be a new limit on the sway bar size with a new maximum of an inch and three-quarters. The last change sets a new four-inch minimum on the car’s ride height.

“These changes will not only help make racing in the Limited Sportsman Division more affordable, but they will also simplify things in the long run,” noted South Boston Speedway Race Director and Head Tech Official Jeff Bomar.

Engine rules that include multiple engine options have resulted in cost savings for competitors. South Boston Speedway also has a one-tire rule for its Limited Sportsman Division. The rule limiting Limited Sportsman Division teams to being able to buy only one new tire per race has helped teams cut costs considerably.

In addition, South Boston Speedway’s Limited Sportsman Division purse is higher than most other tracks. Competitors finishing in the Top 10 receive enough purse money to cover their tire cost.

Offering cost-cutting measures along with good purses, South Boston Speedway officials have made racing in the division more affordable and have kept racing in the division competitive.

Rocky Mount resident Tony Housman competed in the Hornets Division at South Boston in 2019. He competed at Franklin County Speedway in 2020, starting in the track’s four-cylinder division, and later moving up to the Limited Sportsman Division. During a testing session at South Boston Speedway in December, Housman said the changes made to South Boston Speedway’s Limited Sportsman Division rules package led him to decide to compete at South Boston Speedway in 2021.

“When I saw the rules, I said this is where we’re going to try to run,” Housman said.

“You don’t have to have $7,000 or $8,000 shocks and bump stops and everything under the sun to make it (the car) work. That’s the reason I decided to come here.”

The cost-cutting measures also extend into the track’s Pure Stock Division, which, like the Limited Sportsman Division, has a one-tire rule that limits teams to being able to purchase one new tire per event.

In addition, there will be no increase in prices at the competitors’ registration window in 2021.

“The weekly racers are the backbone of our sport,” Rice pointed out.

“It is important that we try to do what we can to help keep costs down for our competitors and keep racing affordable for them.”

Rules for South Boston Speedway’s Late Model Stock Car, Pure Stock and Hornets divisions will remain the same in 2021.The 2021 season rules are available on the South Boston Speedway website at www.southbostonspeedway.com.