Terry Dease

Terry Dease of Oxford, North Carolina, poses with the Late Model Stock Car he will compete in during the 2021 season at South Boston Speedway. South Boston Speedway will open its 2021 season on Saturday, March 20.

It has been four years since Terry Dease has raced a full season at any speedway. That will change this year.

Dease broke the long silence of winter at South Boston Speedway last Thursday when he arrived at “America’s Hometown Track” to do some testing with his Late Model Stock Car. He is the first driver to test at South Boston Speedway in 2021.

The Oxford, North Carolina, resident was preparing to compete at South Boston Speedway in 2021, starting with the track’s season-opening NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s racing program on Saturday afternoon, March 20.

“I plan to run every race up here this year, if we can,” Dease remarked.

“We haven’t raced a full season anywhere since 2017 when I won the track championship at Orange County Speedway. I really want to do that again.”

The last race Dease competed in at South Boston Speedway was South Boston Speedway’s big pre-July Fourth 200-lap race in 2019.

“I miss this place,” Dease said of South Boston Speedway.

“I’ve always wanted to come back and race here some more, but finances wouldn’t let us. We run longer races here, and still do. Now, South Boston Speedway has gone to the two-tire rule. I like that, and that is kind of what brought us back.”

Dease has been racing for 35 years and is no stranger to followers of racing at South Boston Speedway. He has won three South Boston Speedway Limited Sportsman Division championships and has raced in the Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway from time-to-time after that. The desire to compete and be competitive remains very much alive for Dease.

“I’m 57-and-a-half years-old and still have the passion for racing,” he remarked with a smile.

“I still love to get behind the wheel, and I like to turn wrenches on this thing. I still enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to running with the guys up here this year.”

One of the things that excites Dease about returning to competition at South Boston Speedway this season is that he has family ties in Halifax County where South Boston Speedway is located.

“My dad (Pete Dease, a former racer who once won more than 30 races in one season) is originally from Halifax County,” he pointed out.

“We’ve got a lot of family up this way. They’re excited we’re going to race up here.”

Dease was pleased with the progress he made with his car during the testing session.

“We’re picking up a little more speed than this car had in it last year,” he pointed out.

“I’ve done a bunch of things on the car and we’re picking up speed here and there. There’s no rubber on the track but I’m getting comfortable with the car. I just wanted to make sure that what I put on the car didn’t fall off and that there are no leaks or anything like that going on.”

Dease has set modest goals as he looks ahead to the 2021 South Boston Speedway racing season.

“I just want to come out here and run in the top 10 the first couple of races and get used to the track and the people that are racing here,” he explained.

“I want to be competitive. I want to be in the hunt. I want to be in the top five at the end of the year. I’m not looking to win the championship. It’s not out of the question, but you’ve got to be consistent, and you’ve got to outrun a lot of good people. We’ll just see what plays out.”

The first action on South Boston Speedway’s 2021 season calendar is the track’s annual Open Practice Day on Saturday, March 13. Practice begins at 10 a.m. and will conclude at 4 p.m.

South Boston Speedway will kick off its 64th season of racing on Saturday, March 20 with the 2 p.m. running of the NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s racing program. Twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division highlight the afternoon’s six-race card.