Mike Looney Writes Story Book Ending in First Ever Martinsville Speedway Victory

looney-victory-lane

Mike Looney is $25,000 richer this weekend and gets to take home a legendary Martinsville Grandfather clock. (Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Ridgeway, VA – It was like a fairy tail ending to a storybook weekend. Mike Looney, not really a household name in the Late Model Stock Car community, grabbed the pole Saturday afternoon locking in his front row starting position and a guaranteed twenty-five laps less on the tires.

From the drop of the green flag Looney showed his qualifying time was not a fluke and stay up front most of the day running with some of the biggest names the Mid-Atlantic has to offer. Two breaks and an invert later, Mike Looney found himself doing donuts down in turn one, celebrating his first Martinsville Speedway victory.

“If I wake up and this didn’t happen I am going to be so mad,” Looney said about the win. Yesterday after qualifying Mike jokingly stated he feels like his alarm clock was going to go off and it was actually going to be time to get the car to Martinsville and get through tech. Well Mike, this is not a dream. “Someone pinched me pretty good down there so I know I am awake. What a blessed weekend we had. Testing went great, the car was pretty much spot on.”

With a new format this year, running essentially a three segment race, Looney had to not only work through thirteen cautions throughout the race but two breaks, a six car invert and a 25-lap final shoot out where the entire field took four brand new Hoosier racing slicks.

“The crew worked their guts out,” said Looney. “We are not like some of these teams with salary employees. Our guys pay to come out here and work on this car. They are all friends and they are all here because they want to be here. Means a lot to get them a win and my car owner Billy the win. Words cannot describe the improbability of what we just did,” Looney said. “If we were in Vegas I cannot even imagine what the odds would have been for a little team like us to come down here and beat the big dogs.”

As the laps dwindled down and the drivers had to battle through restart after restart, Looney kept electing the outside line. The outside line had proven to be a major benefit throughout the afternoon allowing your car to carry the momentum through the corners. Despite a few scary moments from drivers, Mike Looney included, sailing the car off into one with the hopes she will stick, he was able to make the outside groove work to his advantage and hold off Lee Pulliam.

A scary moment for both drivers however with just about five laps to go Looney explained he got into three and left the door open a little to wide for Pulliam, who is not going to wait to capitalize, and eventually made contact. Enough to have Pulliam looking into the sky and Looney worried he wasn’t going to save the car. Somehow the two were able to keep the cars straight and not lose a whole lot of ground.

“We have been coming battling with Lee Pulliam all year long up at Motor Mile,” Looney went on to explain. “Probably the best driver I have faced off against, just unbelievable talent. He had blood in his eyes – $25,000 and a grandfather clock you would do anything for that, I would wreck my momma for this thing. Its just unbelievable. Got to thank God he protected us all this week and we just felt like this was meant to be from the start.”

Looney went on to explain the closing laps and what he was doing to take his mind of things. Said he was just picturing that he was running back at Motor Mile Speedway and not trying to think at all that he could end up winning at Martinsville Speedway. The cards played out and good ole Mike Looney gets to go home with a Grandfather clock this weekend.

 

 

1.#87 Mike Looney
2. #5 Lee Pulliam
3. #15 Kres VanDyke
4. #04 CE Falk, III
5. #12A Austin Thaxton
6. #21 Mike Darne
7. #83 Matt Bowling
8. #57 Justin Carroll
9. #14 Ryan Repko
10. #03 Brenden Queen
11. #08 Deac McCaskill
12. #12 Nick Smith
13. #20 Sam Yarbourgh
14. #2A Myatt Snider
15. #4 Dylan Hall
16. #18 Bradley McCaskill
17. #9 Brad Kurth
18. #26A Danny Edwards Jr.
19. #57A Jimmy Mullins
20. #02 Brandon Butler
21. #22 Trevor Noles
22. #01 Phillip Morris
23. #4C Annabeth Barnes-Crum
24. #12B Bobby McCarty
25. #90 Terry Carroll
26. #50 Ross Dalton
27. #1 Jamie Sweeny
28. #01A GR Waldrop
29. #88 Josh Berry
30. #17A Stacey Puryear
31. #81 Justin Johnson
32. #16 R.D. Smith
33. #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
34. #50A Garrett Bunch
35. #1A Christian Eckes
36. #98 Stefan Parson
37. #26 Peyton Sellers
38. #41 Haley Moody
39. #33 Macy Causey
40. #63 Tyler Matthews
41. #55 Mark Wertz
42.#51 Chris Chapman.

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