If there’s been a hornets division race at South Boston Speedway, Kevin Currin has been in it.
The Southern Virginia racetrack started the hornets division in 2014, and in that time Currin has strapped in for each race, winning four times, including a championship in the inaugural season.
Currin finished in the top 5 of every hornets race last season, coming in second in the final standings. So far this year, he has a second-place finish in the opening week, and a win in the second race, and is leading in the points.
Currin grew up going to races at South Boston, a .400-mile asphalt oval about 60 miles east of Martinsville Speedway. He’s from about 45 minutes northeast of the track in Chase City, Virginia.
“My family has been into racing for years,” he said. “My grandfather raced, my uncle raced. Once I got old enough to drive I was helping a guy locally running a late model. I’d go help them on weekends at the track and during the week.”
In 2001, he started running demolition derby, and did that more for than a decade before the wear and tear on his body became too much. That’s when he heard South Boston would be starting the new hornets division. At the time, he was helping on the crew of a friend who was running limited late models at the track.
“I said, ‘well, if we’re going to be at the race track every weekend helping my buddy we might as well do something like that.’ so that’s what we’ve done,” he said.
During the day, Currin works as a rural mail carrier in his home town, and also helps coach his 6-year-old son’s baseball and soccer teams. Being that busy doesn’t leave much time to put in a ton of work on a race car. That’s why Currin said he’s stuck with the hornet division, and what he likes best about it.
“The biggest thing I like is if you don’t have any trouble you can load it up on the trailer and you really don’t have to do anything until the next race,” he said. “The set up we run on it is pretty much what I keep on it. If you don’t wreck or anything there’s nothing to do to it. Just check it over and make sure everything safety wise is OK and keep going back.
“There’s just a whole lot going on, so it really works for me right now as busy as we are… You can go one night a week, piddle with it, hang out with your buddies, and just go racing on the weekend and have a little fun.”
While Currin just races for the fun of it, he’s also seen plenty of success. He won two races in 2014, the year of his championship, had one victory last year and one so far this season. He said the highlight of his career so far has been in 2017 when the team finished 77th overall in the nation in the division.
“To finish in the top 100 in Division 4 in NASCAR, I thought that was pretty cool,” he said.
The plan this season for Currin is to run another full season at South Boston with sponsors Billy’s Paint and Body and Matthew’s Towing out of Chase City. He said he thanks his wife, Jessica, his son, Scott, his mom and dad, and everybody on his crew for helping get the car on the track every week.
Getting behind the wheel every day has helped Currin gain some fans, none bigger than his young son, who may have a future in the sport too.
“He loves it,” Currin said of his son. “We went camping this past weekend and we were sitting there fishing and I said, ‘Bud, do you want to do more racing, or do more fishing and camping and stuff like that? And he said, ‘Let’s stick to the racing.’ He loves it. He just enjoys it.
“That’s the thing about this. You can still race and still do the family thing, it doesn’t take too much away from either one.”
The goal this season is to hopefully win a couple of races and hopefully be in contention for a championship at the end of the summer.
And have some fun along the way.
“It’s an adrenaline rush that you can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s been in my family and the blood for years. It’s just something about the competition. When you’re running for the lead, and you’re bumper to bumper with the other guy, there’s no other feeling. You can’t go down the road and do that to somebody and get that same feeling. There’s nothing like it.
“To look back and see the people who have come and gone in this class, and to think I’m on the only one whose started every race, that to me is an accomplishment, but I really don’t look at it like that. I’m just doing it for fun. Once you sit back and look at the stats there is something to it, but I don’t’ really look at it that way.”
Currin and South Boston’s hornets division will race alongside the NASCAR K&N East series this Saturday for the WhosYourDriver.org, featuring K&N T-100, pure stocks and hornets. Qualifying for races begins at 5 p.m.