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Dominion Raceway's Dickie Boswell Memorial keeps getting better as a celebration of life and Virginia short-track racing

A new season of racing at at Dominion Raceway is set to kick off with one of its newest but most cherished events in the Dickie Boswell Memorial.

Organized in honor of Boswell, a veteran short-track competitor who passed away in 2021, the event includes a full itinerary of racing Saturday evening. Dickie‘s son Richard Boswell will be a special guest alongside Chase Briscoe, the NASCAR Cup Series driver for whom he crew chiefs.

Dominion Raceway communications director Brandon Fuller is helping staff put the finishing touches on the track before Saturday‘s opener. He looks forward to a night of great racing along with celebrating the life of a competitor that meant so much to the track and its predecessor Old Dominion Speedway.

“We‘re excited,” Fuller said. “We‘ve been making a few improvements to the facility by painting the walls and getting some new signs up on the backstretch. There‘s going to be a few folks from the Old Dominion [Speedway] days chatting it up and sharing stories, so everyone is chomping at the bit to get back into racing.”

Fuller added Dickie perfectly encompassed everything that has made Virginia short-track racing so venerable to fans around the country.

Along with accumulating numerous victories in the region, Dickie ventured into national competition during the 1980s. He scored four top fives in 57 appearances with the modern NASCAR Xfinity Series and entered the Daytona 500 back in 1981, failing to qualify for his lone Cup Series attempt.

Even after he retired from full-time competition, Dickie maintained an active presence within the Virginia short-track community, passing down advice to the current generation of drivers. Fuller said the generosity Dickie displayed to others has made him an endearing figure to everyone at Dominion.

Dickie Boswell
Dickie Boswell

“[Dickie] was a winner, but he was also a people person,” Fuller said. “Everybody called him ‘Honey‘ or ‘Boz‘ in the pits. He was a racer‘s racer and helped other guys in the pits as much as he could, and that goes a long way.

“A very funny guy, and wild, but he could always put a smile on your face.”

Dickie‘s passion and hands-on attitude for racing helped shape the identity and tagline of his tribute event, “A race for the racers, by the racers.”

Headlining the festivities is a 200-lap Late Model Stock event that will pay $7,500 to the winner. More than $7,000 in specialty awards for the Dickie Boswell Memorial was raised through donations and sponsorship from the community at Dominion.

Fuller anticipates a strong crowd of competitors for the Late Model Stock race and is optimistic the entry list will include names like Peyton Sellers and defending winner Doug Barnes Jr.

Also on the docket is a 28-lap Legends feature that pays tribute to Jason Theriault, the father of Dominion regular Petr Theriault, who passed away over the offseason. Fuller said Jason was embedded into Dominion‘s culture just like Dickie and considers it fitting that both are being honored in the same race.

Rounding out the rest of the Dickie Boswell Memorial schedule are races for Midgets and Bandoleros.

Fuller believes everything is lining up for the Dickie Boswell Memorial to be successful in its sophomore iteration after rain forced Dominion to split the event across two days last year. Regarding the on-track product, Fuller anticipates drivers to be equal parts aggressive but respectful.

“This is the first race of the season, so everyone is likely going to be taking care of their equipment,” Fuller said. “[The winning paycheck of] $7,500 is a decent chunk of change, but it‘s not anything crazy. I don‘t think these guys will be too wild, but I do expect good racing all around.”

Dominion Raceway
Dominion Raceway

No matter how Saturday‘s racing action unfolds, Fuller is already brainstorming with the rest of Dominion‘s staff on how to make the Dickie Boswell Memorial more special than it already is.

The ideas range from more pre-race entertainment to having an expanded roundtable session with people who were close with Dickie. Fuller is also hoping a scenario can be formulated in which Cup Series competitors can make the one-hour trip from Richmond Raceway to participate in the event.

“I want us to continue aligning [the Dickie Boswell Memorial] with the Richmond [Cup Series] race,” Fuller said. “We coordinated to get Richard Boswell at [Dominion] with his family, so maybe we can get a few more Cup drivers for an autograph session or in the actual race.”

For now, Fuller is focused on making the second edition of the Dickie Boswell Memorial a rewarding experience for everyone involved. He plans to listen intently alongside fans to the stories about Dickie and what made him so revered amongst the Virginia short track faithful.

Dominion Raceway will open their gates to fans at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon for the Dickie Boswell Memorial. The first green flag is set to wave at 5 p.m. ET.