SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (March 1, 2018) – Quincy Adkins spent many Saturday nights as a youngster watching his Late Model Stock heroes from the grandstands at South Boston Speedway with his family.
When he left the Army with a medical retirement in 2015, he decided it was time to jump the fence into the infield and go racing. He spent the past two seasons racing Pure Stocks, but when the engines crank up for the Danville Toyota Twin 100s on March 24, he will buckle into a Late Model Stock.
“I didn’t come from a racing family. But I went every week as a kid with my family at South Boston and Orange County,” the 27-year-old Adkins said. “I grew up watching Barry Beggarly and guys like that.”
Adkins spent five years in the Army but was severely injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. With serious hand and leg injuries that required reconstructive surgeries, he was medically discharged in 2015 after several deployments in war zones.
“If you see me walking through the pits, I’m always a happy person. I consider myself extremely fortunate,” Adkins said of the explosion, the injuries he incurred and his recovery.
When he returned home in 2015 and recuperated from his injuries, the Danville native decided it was finally time to make the move from race fan to race driver. He spent the 2016 season driving a Pure Stock at Orange County Speedway and last season raced full time at South Boston in the Budweiser Pure Stock division.
He wound up with two wins, was a challenger every week “unless I blew an engine,” and finished fourth in the points standings. He was obviously pleased with the season, but he knew it wasn’t his dream come true.
“I had been running Pure Stocks pretty good. I got some wins. But as a kid, coming to South Boston and Orange County, I wanted to run a Late Model,” he said. “I knew that (Pure Stock) wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’m not one to lay back and watch, so I decided to get a Late Model.”
Adkins, who is an area supervisor at Champion Forest Products in Chatham, partnered with veteran Late Model and Limited driver Eric Winslow to field a car. Because he works 50 to 55 hours a week in his real job, Adkins doesn’t get to spend as much time as he would like in the shop, but when he can, he’s there turning wrenches with Winslow.
“Eric has taught me a lot. It’s him and I doing everything,” said Adkins, a Danville native who attended Danville Community College before joining the Army.
Adkins hopes to get plenty of testing under his belt before the season-opener, but with his work schedule it doesn’t look promising.
“Testing is going to be very important to us. It’s just hard finding the time to do it (test) with work … it’s just a matter of finding the time to do it,” said Adkins, who says his employer and all his co-workers are “extremely supportive.”
Adkins still has to find a crew chief. Winslow will be racing against him, so he won’t be available.
“Crew chief is still up in the air. It’s probably going to be my dad (Bill Adkins),” said Adkins, who has sponsorship from ValleyStar Credit Union, Midnight Performance, DT’s Smoke House BBQ, Mediterranean Restaurant and Grill and Amsoil. “He stepped in and helped me a lot with the Pure Stock.”
Adkins is savvy enough not to expect the immediate results he had in the Budweiser Pure Stock division. He knows the jump to Late Models is a giant one.
“I know there’s going to be a lot to learn, but I’m going in with an open mind,” said Adkins. “Hopefully we can sneak in a few good finishes and maybe win rookie of the year.”
Racing returns to South Boston Speedway on March 24, 2018 with the Danville Toyota NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 100s featuring twin 100-lap races for Late Models, a 50-lap race for the Limited Sportsman Division, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stocks and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets.
Tickets are $10 with children 12 and under admitted free.