Danny Willis Jr.

Danny Willis Jr. tapes up the opening on the front grill of his car as he prepares for the start of qualifying during the July 13 race at South Boston Speedway. Willis holds the Limited Sportsman Division points lead for the second time this season.

Danny Willis Jr. looks to be turning the tables in his bid for the South Boston Speedway Limited Sportsman Division championship.

Willis broke a five-race victory drought with a win in the second race of a pair of 25-lap NASCAR Limited Sportsman Division races at South Boston Speedway on July 13. The win increased Willis’ lead over Daniel Moss of Danville to 32 points heading into Saturday night’s Italian Delight Family Restaurant Presents “National Night Out” NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program at South Boston Speedway.

Willis regained the lead in the division points chase with a third-place finish in the 75-lap Limited Sportsman Division race on June 29 at South Boston. Moss held the points lead heading into that race, but he could not start the race due to engine issues with his car.

That circumstance gave Willis a 12-point lead heading into the Limited Sportsman Division twinbill on July 13. A second-place finish and a win allowed Willis to add another 20 points to his margin.

Obviously, Willis is happy to be in the position he enjoys now.

“I’m tickled to death,” Willis said in the wake of his win.

“It feels good to be back in Victory Lane. It’s been right many races since I’ve been in Victory Lane. We started off the year great. It looked like we got off a little bit as the track changed us during the first part of the summer.”

Willis said the tide started to turn with the third-place finish on June 29.

“My thanks go to H.C. Sellers, Jeremy Ratliff, Jeb Burton and all of my guys for their help in the big race on June 29,” Willis said.

“I wasn’t here for practice or qualifying, and Jeb drove the car for me and got it pretty good. It was like a rocket that night. Things just didn’t work out for us to win that race.”

Willis noted that he returned to South Boston Speedway on July 13 with the car’s chassis setup much like it was for the June 29 race.

“We came back with the same (chassis) setup, tweaked on it a little bit for the track temperatures and things, and the car was pretty good,” he pointed out.

“We had a good car the first race. I went to the rear (of the field) for passing points, because I’m in a title battle with Moss for the division championship. He went to the rear, and I went with him. I got back to second place. I thought we had something for Eversole (race winner J.D. Eversole), but we ran out of laps.

“We showed in the second race we had a good car,” added Willis.

“It started off a little too free, but it got better as we ran.”

Willis knows he has a decent working margin on the battle for the division championship, but he says he may continue to start at the rear of the field to collect passing points as opposed to starting near the front of the field and putting himself in a better position to earn wins.

“Wins are awesome, but we’re looking at the big picture too,” explained Willis.

“You can never get too comfortable. I had the (points) lead at the beginning of the year, and we wound up losing it. Moss had bad luck the last race and ended up losing the lead. It (the battle for the points championship) is going to come down to the end of the year, so you’ve just got to keep fighting.

“We’ll play it by ear,” added Willis.

“If we need to go to the rear to keep the points up, we will have to do that. If not, we’ll try to stay up front and battle for wins.”

Saturday night’s Italian Delight Family Restaurant Presents “National Night Out” NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program starts at 7 p.m. and will be headlined by a 100-lap race for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Cars and a 50-lap NASCAR Limited Sportsman Division race.

Twin 15-lap races for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division will round out the night’s action.

There will be $5 admission for all emergency services personnel showing proper ID. Admission is $10 for adults. Kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com