Last November, Will Burns added his name to the Myrtle Beach Speedway history books by winning the prestigious Myrtle Beach 400. Little did he know at the time it would prove to be the final running of the event.
This Saturday, Myrtle Beach Speedway will host its final race, one last running of the Sun Fun 101. Burns hopes he can make one last imprint in the track’s records, with a win and a track championship on the line Saturday.
“I’m just optimistic, really. It’s definitely going to be a little bit sad, being the last one,” Burns told Speed51. “I’m two points back from the points leader. It’s a 101-lap race, so I’m confident.”
With the track title within arm’s reach, Burns has a chance to win the track’s last race and last championship to go along with his Myrtle Beach 400 triumph. Last year’s win is still a special one for the South Carolina native, and adding a track title to that list would be even more special.
“To be a Myrtle Beach 400 winner, period, is something special in and of itself. Figuring out that you’re the last one makes it that much more special. I hate it that other people won’t get a shot at that. I know there are guys who have been trying to win that thing for 10 years, 20 years. That’s really special.
“To be able to win the last championship is something that’s just as big, if not bigger. I’m honestly just thankful to be in a spot where we can do that. It’s been a good year. We’ve been blessed, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Win or lose, however, Saturday’s race will be the last at the historic venue. It is a bittersweet moment, just as much for the memories created by Burns with his family and team away from the track as on it.
“There’s a lot of memories there. Just going around, doing different fun things, bowling and playing mini golf with the team, going out to eat with the team the night before a big race. It’ll definitely be different not having that there.
The thing that makes the racetrack so special, I guess, is the thing that shut it down. It’s right smack-dab in the middle of everything, which is very unique. You don’t find that often with racetracks.”
Much of the Myrtle Beach Speedway family will be moving to Florence Motor Speedway (SC) following the venue’s closure, with Myrtle Beach General Manager Steve Zacharias being part of an ownership group which has agreed to purchase that track.
While that family will make new memories at its new home track, it is still difficult for Burns to process Myrtle Beach closing.
“Really, having fun with everybody there and everyone who runs the racetrack with Steve Zacharias and those guys. They’ll be moving over to Florence, so the family will still be there. It’ll just be a little bit different, being at a different racetrack.”
“It’s hard to comprehend it all right now and put it into words. So many memories down there. Standing in victory lane with my dad and everybody. I’m really going to miss it.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo