Crews Proves That The Underdog Can Still Drive Their Way To Victory Lane At South Boston Speedway

Crews Proves That The Underdog Can Still Drive Their Way To Victory Lane At South Boston Speedway

by May 23, 2019 0 comments

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – Anybody that likes an underdog story is going to love this one.

Trey Crews is a throwback racer. He has zero full-time employees on his Late Model Stock team that competes at South Boston Speedway. It’s all volunteer labor from folks who have 40-hour-a-week jobs away from racing. In fact, Crews’ work keeps him out of town most weeks, so he isn’t even around to work on the car himself most nights.

But there he was Saturday night, his bright orange, blue and white racer parked in Victory Lane, celebrating a win with his team. Oh, did we mention … he’s also a Late Model rookie. This, his first win, came in just his sixth career Late Model start.

“There were a lot of emotions Saturday night. After all that hard work to win a Late Model race at one of the best short tracks and some of the best competition in the country,” said Crews. “There was a lot of happiness, a lot of emotion.”

It’s not like he backed into the victory. The 18-car field included two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champions, Lee Pulliam and Peyton Sellers. He started the 100-lapper on the outside pole, took the lead on the first lap and quickly built up almost a straight-away margin. After a competition caution, he stayed out front, holding off four-time national champ Pulliam over the final 37 laps.

“A lot of hard work and tears went into this. A lot of people didn’t believe with the way we do this that we could win,” said Crews, who was the track’s Limited Sportsman champion last year. “We’re a smaller team. People do this for a living now. We’re the little guys … we work on it when we get off from our day jobs.”

It’s a small, core group of volunteers that keeps Crews running. There’s Crews, Steve Stallings, a long-time backer who also turns wrenches, Luke Covington, Brian Tanner and his dad, H.E. Crews. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series crew chief Marcus Richmond helps via phone when he can.

“It’s volunteers, people who love racing the way I love racing,” Crews said of his team.

What makes Saturday’s win even more unlikely is that until late Friday, the team had no intention of racing. That small circle of teammates had too much other going on to get the car ready. Crews had to work Saturday morning. Covington was in a wedding. The rear end was out of the car.

“We got the rear end back in the car Friday and managed to get 20 minutes of practice,” said Crews. “We knew we had speed then and decided to race Saturday.

“The only person that could be there Saturday was my dad. Other folks, family and friends, came out and got things ready for when Luke and I got there,” explained Crews, who is sponsored by Stallings Collision Centers, Owen Farms, Mincey’s Graphis, Team Industrial, Red Ball Oxygen and BST Shocks. “I missed the first practice because I was working. All I had to do was jump in when I got there. It was unbelievable everything that had to fall into place.”

Crews was fast from the drop of the green, but the night wasn’t without challenges. Mike Jones challenged him early as did Daniel Silvestri. Then after the final caution, Pulliam was on his bumper.

“Pulliam pushed me. He definitely was there after that last caution. He gave me a good run for my money. I had to find speed somewhere else, so I moved up the track and the last 20 laps I was back in the comfort zone.”

Crews says it has been an amazing few days since the victory.

“The support after this win has been phenomenal. Everyone has called and congratulated me and told me how happy they were,” Crews said. “You know, a lot of people have said smaller teams couldn’t do this, that it’s hard in this day and time to compete like we do. It just makes me want to do it that much more.”

Action returns to South Boston Speedway June 1 with the NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s, a six-race program featuring twin 75-lap races for the Late Model Stock Division. There will also be a 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race, a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race and a 25-lap for the regional touring Southern Ground Pounders.

Grandstands open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race set for 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and children 12-and-under are admitted free with a paying adult.

Source/Photo Credit: South Boston Speedway

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