Monthly Archives: September 2018

Field Set for the 2018 ValleyStar Credit 300 at Martinsville Speedway

Caution Car heading down pit road before the start of the LCQ at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, September 29, 2018. (Andy Newsome/Loose In Tight Off)

Ridgeway, VA – The field for the richest Late Model Stock Car race in the country has been set. Over seventy cars took to the half-mile speedway earlier this afternoon to narrow the field down to forty-two. The only two cars that were safe – Stacy Puryear and Tommy Lemons, Jr.

Philip Morris, Josh Berry, and Brandon Pierce were the three winners in their respective heat races has the sun began its descent over the famous Paperclip shaped track. Ten cars from each heat race transferred into the main feature making up the first thirty-two starters. Everyone else, that could answer the bell, were sent to the 25-lap Last Chance Qualifier.

Justin Carroll took the checkered flag in that feature earning him the thirty-third starting position once the green flag waves later this evening. The race is set to roll off at 8:00 PM EDT. The feature is set to run in three segments. The first scheduled break will come at lap 100 where teams will have a five minutes to change up to four tires and add up to ten gallons of fuel. After some pushback earlier this afternoon, teams are also allowed to make minor adjustments on the car, no hard parts. The second planned break will come at lap 180 where again, teams will have five minutes to change up to four tires, add ten gallons of fuel, and minor adjustments – no hard parts.

Race fans are able to watch LIVE on Fanschoice TV where MRN radio broadcast will be piped in. For a lap-by-lap coverage, scoring and NASCAR insight you can follow along with us as we will have you covered throughout the night.

 

Follow Live Coverage >> https://bit.ly/2OhHPHr

 

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Starting Lineup

1      17    Stacy Puryear

2      27    Tommy Lemons, Jr.

3      01    Phillip Morris

4      88    Josh Berry

5      42    Brandon Pierce

6      15    Kres VanDyke

7      6      Lee Pulliam

8      99    Layne Riggs

9      11    Jeff Oakley

10    14    Ryan Repko

11    02    CE Falk III

12    97    Trevor Ward

13    71    Kyle Benjamin

14    82    Timothy Peters

15    2      Trevor Noles

16    23    Myatt Snider

17    26    Peyton Sellers

18    31    Mike Darne

19    5      Dexter Canipe, Jr.

20    41    Woody Howard

21    20    Grayson Cullather

22    08    Tyler Hughes

23    24    Mason Diaz

24    84    Collin Garrett

25    18    Ty Gibbs

26    86    Bubba Pollard

27    0      Matt Leicht

28    07    Kevin Neal

29    22    Bobby McCarty

30    78    Corey Heim

31    54    Jeremy Burns

32    8s    Thomas Scott

33    57    Justin Carroll

34    77    Blake Stallings

35    25    Derrick Lancaster

36    16    RD Smith

37    04    Jonathan Findley

38    87    Mike Looney

39    12    Austin Thaxton

40    75    Ryan Millington

41    61    Justin Hicks

42    73    Bruce Anderson

Three Cars From Top Ten Times Were Disallowed After Failing Post Qualifying Inspection; Will Start from the Rear of Their Respective Heat Races

Ridgeway, VA – Post qualifying tech has officially wrapped up here at Martinsville Speedway. Once again the “Room of Doom” has shaken things up on the eve of arguably the best race of the year in the Late Model Stock Car community.

Bobby McCarty (22), Todd Gilliland (45), and Matt Bowling (83) were all found to have issues with the rear ends of their machines. NASCAR officials have stated that all three teams will have the opportunity to fix the issues in the morning, roll back through tech and should they fix all the issues, they have the chance to start their respective heat races from the rear. The speedway also clarified that the no. 70 of Dylan Ward and no. 44 Kyle Dudley both completed engine swaps and will start behind the three cars mentioned above.

Fan gates open at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the driver autograph session scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. on the front stretch. Three 25-lap qualifying races, followed by the 25 lap LCQ to set the field will start at 3 p.m. The 200-lap feature race will begin at 8:00 p.m.Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of the race and the free online stream of the race, on FansChoice.tv, will begin at 7:30.

Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of the race and the free online stream of the race, on FansChoice.tv, will begin at 7:30.

Tickets to the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 are $30 for adults and $5 for children 12-and-under. Tickets can be purchased at the Speedway ticket office or online at http://www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

 

Stacy Puryear Officially Wins the Pole for the 2018 ValleyStar Credit Union 300

Stacy Puryear addresses the media for the second year in a row after earning an even better front row starting position for the 2018 ValleyStar Credit Union 300. (Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Ridgeway, VA – It is that time of the year again! When the best Late Model Stock Car drivers, and this year one of the best Super Late Model drivers, converge on to the half-mile paper clip that is Martinsville Speedway.

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is one of the richest races of the year and also brings some of the largest car counts any track has seen. It was also this time last year just about everyone in the media center had their stories ready to go… Jeff Oakley and Deac McCaskill Start on the Front Row Under the Lights… or something along those lines. However, that was all thrown out the window when both cars, something that is a little unheard of in these big races, were found to be illegal post qualifying, handing the front row over to Jake Crum and Stacy Puryear. This year, however, was not the case.

Fast forward a year later and Puryear has found himself once again on the front row, this time it was solely based on his time, and one position better. Seventy-two cars took to the speedway in groups of five, grouped from slowest to fastest, for five timed laps under the lights. Puryear went out for his five timed laps about midway through the session and laid down a 20.100 (89.552 MPH), Tommy Lemons Jr. clocked in right behind him, the two are locked into the front row and will not have to run any of the heat races tomorrow afternoon.

“Last year we learned that the dew fell and the track got slicker,” Puryear said. “We thrashed on that thing and didn’t put tires on it at the end of practice last year. We learned a lot last year when the sun went down and took that with us tonight.”

Tommy Lemons pretty much echoed his comments verbatim.

“I honestly did not think I would be coming in here tonight,” Lemons explained. “I was hoping for a top ten or something. The car felt really good though off the truck, I told the guys not to really touch a whole lot.”

Official qualifying results were not made available to us at the time this article was posted as cars are still working through tech. Keep an eye out here and our social media pages and we will post them as they are confirmed to us.

Things will get started tomorrow morning at 10 AM when the garage opens. Fan gates will open at 1:00 PM same time the on-track autograph session kicks off. Heat races will roll off approx. 3:00 PM with a target green flag of 8:00 PM for 200-laps.

 

**This is an unofficial posting of the qualifying order from today, will update when positions are finalized**

Carteret County Speedway Season to Resume October 27th

A field of Late Models takes the green flag for a restart at the Labor Day Classic at Carteret County Speedway in September 2018. (Andy Marquis photo

A field of Late Models takes the green flag for a restart at the Labor Day Classic at Carteret County Speedway in September 2018. (Andy Marquis photo

 

 

SWANSBORO, NC – The show will go on at Carteret County Speedway and the track will resume racing with events on October 27th and November 17th to close out the 2018 season.

Track owner Bobby Watson remains stable and is home after being hospitalized earlier in September and repairs are underway to facilities at the track damaged by Hurricane Florence.  Carteret County Speedway will be ready to race on Saturday, October 27th with the Solid Rock Carriers Race for Recovery presented by C&S Paint Center and Sportsman’s Wholesale.

“This has been a challenging time for both Carteret County Speedway and for the Carteret County, Craven County, and Onslow County communities,” Carteret County Speedway public relations director Andy Marquis said.  “We have seen both the racing community and the Eastern North Carolina community come together.  The outpouring of support for the track and for Bobby Watson has been astonishing and greatly appreciated.”

The Race for Recovery will not just be about racing but also helping to give back the community.  Proceeds from each ticket will go to help benefit local hurricane recovery, while also producing a night of family fun for the community.

Pre-race festivities for the Race for Recovery will include a concert by James Carothers, a Nashville recording artist who vocally resembles country music legend George Jones, as well as a Trunk-or-Treat.  During an intermission period, the track will host a Halloween costume contest for kids and adults as well.

The Race for Recovery on October 27th will feature racing for Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini-Stocks and U-CARs will all race for their respective division championships.  The Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club and the East Coast Flathead Ford Racing Association will be on hand to bring a blast from racing’s past to the track as well.

The November 17th race will be headlined by the finale for the Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge.  Other classes for the Carolina Mini-Stock Championship will be Mini Cups, Legends and Champ Karts.  Pre-race festivities will begin at 5pm and racing will begin around 6pm.

Sunday evening, Carteret County Speedway track owner Bobby Watson returned home and was greeted by a congregation of racers and fans alike who gathered for a prayer and support rally.  Watson has shown signs of improvement in the past week and remains in stable condition.

For more information about Carteret County Speedway, visit the track’s official website at www.carteretspeedway.com, “like” Carteret County Speedway on Facebook or follow @carteretcoswy on Twitter.

CARS Response Energy Tour Releases 2019 Season Schedule

Mooresville, NC —The 2019 calendar year will mark the fifth anniversary for the CARS Tour, and its second season with tour title sponsor Response Energy Drink on board. Over the four previous seasons the CARS Tour has hosted 85 different races between both the Super Late Model and Late Model Stock divisions.

Throughout those events, 353 different drivers have made a start in CARS Tour competition, with over $2.1 million dollars in purse money being paid out during that period.

With the 2018 season championships still to be decided for both the Late Model Stock and the Super Late Model divisions at South Boston Speedway on November 3rd, the tour is proud to announce the 2019 season schedule.

The schedule consists of 11 points races and 1 non-points race for Late Model Stock Cars and 8 championship points races for Super Late Models. The CARS Response Energy Tour will once again host events in North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. For the first time in series history the tour will not visit the Palmetto State, however, the series will make much anticipated returns to familiar tracks in Southern National, Motor Mile, and Dominion Raceway. Another stellar edition to the tour, will be the series debut at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, to go along with the previously announced non-points Late Model Stock Car race on the Dominion Raceway two mile road course.

“We are proud of this schedule and we are happy to get it out early so our competitors, fans, and our partner tracks can plan appropriately for the 2019 season. While we are sad to see awesome events at tracks like Wake County and Myrtle Beach go away, there’s no doubt that they’ll be back with the CARS Tour in the future. We’ve always made it a priority to mix things up on our schedule to prevent it from becoming stale,” explained CARS Tour Series Director, Chris Ragle. “With that said I think we have great 2019 schedule at some phenomenal facilities.

With the return of the Touring 12 program, the $500 bonus for running three races in a row, The Old North State Nationals for Late Model Stocks, 40% of the Super Late Model races paying $10,000 to win, two co-sanctioned Super Late Model events, and the 3rd Annual Mid Atlantic Classic we should have a great fifth anniversary season ahead of us.”

For additional information on the CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Response Energy Super Late Model Tour visit http://www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.

2019 Late Model Stock Car Schedule Highlights

-2019 season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park increased overall purse and paying $10,000 to the winner

-Inaugural “Old North State Nationals” at Orange County Speedway April 6-7, 2019 will be the largest paying LMSC race in history with a minimum of $30,000 going to the winner and a minimum of $1,250 awarded to start the six tire feature event. An announcement of a “Stimulus Program” for competitors to pay for their race expense via supporters and grow the race purse leading up to the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

-CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour debut at the beautiful Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia on June 8.

-The third annual Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway continues on its traditional date of August 3rd.

-For the third consecutive season the 2019 LMSC champion will be crowned at South Boston Speedway.

2019 Super Late Model Schedule Highlights

-2019 season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park paying $10,000 to the winner.

-The co-sanctioned race between the CARS Tour, Southern Super Series, and CRA at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee moves to May 4th.

-The 3rd Annual Mid Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway, that will once again pay $10,000 to win and an overall increased purse, moves to August 24th.

-The third annual Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway continues on its traditional date of August 3rd.

-The return of Super Late Models to the ultra-fast and beautiful Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia happens on May 18th. This will be the first time SLM have graced the track since the 2015 inaugural season.

-Nearly 40% of the Super Late Model scheduled races in 2019 will pay $10,000 to win.

2019 CARS Response Energy Tour Schedule

March 9 Southern National Motorsport Park – Kenly, NC SLM-$10,000/LMSC-$10,000

March 23 Hickory Motor Speedway – Hickory, NC SLM/LMSC

April 6-7 Orange County Speedway (Old North State Nationals) – Rougemont, NC LMSC-$30,000

May 3 Ace Speedway – Elon, NC LMSC

May 4 Fairgrounds Speedway – Nashville, TN SLM*

May 18 Motor Mile Speedway – Radford, VA SLM/LMSC

June 1 TBA SLM*

June 8 Langley Speedway – Hampton, VA LMSC

June 22 Dominion Raceway – Thornburg, VA LMSC

July 13 Carteret County Speedway – Swansboro, NC LMSC

August 2-3 Hickory Motor Speedway (Throwback 276) – Hickory, NC SLM/LMSC

August 24 Orange County Speedway (Mid Atlantic Classic) – Rougemont, NC SLM-$10,000/LMSC

Nov. 2 South Boston Speedway – South Boston, VA SLM/LMSC

Nov. 16 Dominion Raceway Road Course – Thornburg, VA LMSC**

*Co-sanctioned race with CRA, SSS, and CARS Tour

**Non-points race

***Additional $10,000 to win SLM race at already schedule event TBD

Philip Morris Wins Historic Fifth NASCAR National Title

You’d think Philip Morris would be used to this by now.

After all, the 53-year-old from Ruckersville, Virginia, has carved out a résumé nearly unmatched in NASCAR short-track racing history. And yet, when it was made official Wednesday afternoon with a congratulatory phone call from NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell, a reflective Morris was still awed by the moment.

“It means that much,” Morris said. “It’s as if we were winning our first national championship.”

It isn’t Morris’ first. It’s his fifth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national championship. And that puts him in rare company, matching NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, the late Larry Phillips, for the most national weekly series championships in NASCAR history. Morris won his titles in 2006, 2008-09 and 2011 before taking a semi-retirement hiatus. He returned in 2016 and finished sixth in the points last year.

“I just have a much bigger appreciation for what was accomplished,” said Morris after his time away from chasing the national crown. “Plus, I get to be mentioned in the same sentence as Larry Philips. That’s always a good thing.

“I don’t think I deserve it, but I think it’s amazing. That guy is a legend. I’m just glad to be in his company.”

Morris accomplished the feat this year with remarkable dominance and consistency. He rolled off nine wins in his first 12 starts and led the national championship points standings wire-to-wire. He finished with 23 wins, 28 top fives and 31 top 10s in 35 Late Model Stock Car starts at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway and Dominion Raceway, North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway and Southern National Raceway Park, and South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway.

Morris also claimed his sixth Virginia championship.

RELATED: PHILIP MORRIS 2018 RACE-BY-RACE

Morris finished with 670 points, easily outdistancing fellow short-track stalwarts Steve Carlson (623) and Keith Rocco (621).

Carlson, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, had nine wins, 15 top fives and 19 top 10s in 22 starts racing primarily at Wisconsin’s LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. He also raced at Wisconsin’s Madison International Speedway.

RELATED: STEVE CARLSON 2018 RACE-BY-RACEKEITH ROCCO 2018 RACE-BY-RACE

Like Morris, Carlson and Rocco have made their name as one of the best short-track racers in NASCAR history.

Carlson won his sixth Wisconsin championship and holds a four-point lead with one race remaining in his quest for a seventh Late Model title at LaCrosse. In addition, the 61-year-old driver from West Salem, Wisconsin, has five NASCAR championships in the former Midwest Series to go with four from its predecessor, the ARTGO Midwest Seres, and was the 2009 ARCA Midwest Tour champion.

Rocco tallied 10 wins, 17 top fives and 21 top 10s in 27 starts in the SK Modified Division at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and the Sunoco Modified Division at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The 33-year-old Wallingford, Connecticut, driver claimed his 10th Connecticut championship. The 2010 national champion holds a 48-point lead heading into Thompson’s 56th annual Sunoco World Series in October as he looks to claim his 16th career NASCAR Division I track title. It would give him sole possession of second place all-time and put him one behind the record set by Nebraska’s Joe Kosiski (17 titles from 1985-2005).

It is also the 11th time in the last 12 seasons that Rocco has finished in the top five in the national standings, and marks the eighth time since 2009 that he’s finished in the top three.

RACING REFERENCE – NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES NATIONAL STANDINGS:

DIVISION I: National Top 500 Points | Division I: U.S. State & Canadian Province Points

NASCAR uses a driver’s best 18 finishes from any sanctioned track within the state to determine the State Champion and the best 18 finishes from any sanctioned track in North America to determine the National Champion.

The crowning of U.S. state and Canadian province champions is a tradition that dates back to the earliest days of NASCAR and carried on until the advent of the weekly series in 1982; It was resumed in 2007. Past champions include Ned Jarrett, Glen Wood, Ralph Earnhardt, Wendell Scott and Richie Evans.

The fact that it was Carlson and Rocco chasing him weighed on Morris’ mind, even has he held a sizable summer lead.

“We worked so hard for every point,” Morris said. “That’s just the veteran side of me, where I’ve been in tight battles where we had a lead before and saw it close up at the end. Maybe we worked harder because of what I learned in the past.”

Morris put together a stretch run from 2006-11 when he won 74 of 159 races (46.5%) and his four titles. But following the final one, he stepped away from full-time competition to focus on his business, Trailer Town USA in Virginia. Over the next four year, he ran just 25 races. He came back and finished 32nd in the nation in 2016 before moving up to sixth last year.

This season, he focused on reclaiming his former glory.

It hasn’t been an easy comeback.

“I didn’t realize the price I’d have to pay, not just on the national level, but just to be competitive at our local track,” Morris said. “It as so much more work to get back to being competitive physically and mentally and the equipment. Keeping up with the tires and track surfaces and engines — it was like I was starting over.

“I’m not going to say I took it for granted. But I didn’t realize how important it was for me to continue.”

Morris didn’t win his hometown track title. That went to Peyton Sellers, who claimed won his fourth track title at South Boston. The 2005 national championship finished fourth in the national standings with three wins, 18 top fives and 18 top 10s in 21 starts at South Boston and Langley. Nick Panitzke, who is chasing Carlson for the title at LaCrosse, finished fifth with five wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s in 20 starts at LaCrosse and Madison.

Ronnie Williams finished sixth in the national standings and has already clinched the SK Modified title at Stafford.

A quartet of Modified drivers from North Carlina’s Bowman Gray Stadium rounded out the top 10: Tim Brown, Burt Myers, Jonathan Brown and Jason Myers. While Burt Myers won his ninth track title at the historic Winston-Salem oval, Brown claimed the North Carolina title by five points.

Morris, Carlson and Rocco will be joined by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series U.S. state and Canadian province champions, track champions and other special award winners on Friday, Dec. 7, as part of NASCAR Awards Charlotte.

Chris Dodson Late Race Pass Earns Himself the Win and his Ninth Late Model Series Championship

Top three drivers and Rookie of the Year celebrate in victory lane at the conclusion of the 2018 season at Southside Speedway. Drivers from left to right: John Goin, Mason Bailey, Howie Disavino, Chris Dodson. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – Within the last 48-hours everyone here in the Mid-Atlantic area have had their eye on the weather. To be honest with you, Mother Nature has reared her ugly head plenty of time this season.

She tired to put a damper on this evenings championship evening, however, Southside was not going to be denied even after heavy rains rolled through the area ending practice early and ultimately nixing qualifying. During the drivers meeting, the top five in points pulled pills to create the invert and Eddie Johnson lucked out and got the right to lead the field to the green. Rookie of the Year contender John Goin would start to his outside followed by Mason Bailey, Chris Dodson, and Howie Disavino.

Eddie Johnson, the veteran Late Model Stock Car driver that he is, got a great start and led the field down into turn one. Goin, however, did not get going as fast as the rest of everyone else. Mason Bailey and Chris Dodson jumped on the hiccup faster than you could blink your eye, taking the second and third positions respectively. With Eddie Johnson sporting a two-second second lead over Dodson the battle was on for positions three through seven.

While Disavino, Bailey, Martz, Davis, and Hopkins were all fighting bumper-to-bumper and even door-to-door Chris Dodson caught the race leader the hard way – under green. Dodson was able to close the two-second gap from lap eleven down to just a couple of feet with just three laps left in the 2018 season. The pass for the lead actually came in turn four after Dodson looked to use the famous bump and run technique to get by. Johnson had to chase the car up the hill and Dodson down the front stretch looking to return the favor. However, it was not enough, Dodson would go on to take the race win by about two cars lengths. The win, though not needed to win the championship, just helped solidified Dodson’s dominance at the “toughest short track in the south.”

Behind the duo, Chris Hopkins was able to take the third position followed by Brad Davis, and Justin Martz. Though John Goin rounded out the field in the eleventh spot, he was able to earn the Rookie of the Year title.

“Oh man. You deal with time and it eventually runs out you know,” an emotional Chris Dodson in victory lane to accept his trophy. “I know a lot of people don’t like me but I just put everything I ever had. This place has always been very special to me. To have the twelve-year run that we have had when I started we were terrible, Sonny Hutchen told me I would never ever amount to anything if I didn’t stop wrecking. To win nine championships and seventy-two wins its very humbling. I am so blessed to do this, I really am. My guys just work so hard, and Williamsburg Honda, I feel like I am obligated to just race so hard. I know that might step on some people’s toes. But these parents of these of these kids coming up should be really proud.”

Dodson went on to thank more of the people that helped make the season happen. He also made mention that he did not know what 2019 held for him. He did hint that he would come back and make a run for a seventh win in a row from the JM Wilkinson Memorial race that is run on opening night.

Howie Disavino, who has worked his way up from the Arena Racing USA ranks, was able to finish second in the points after a handful of poles wins throughout the season.

“The redraw just wasn’t my friend this year,” Disavino said in victory lane. “We got up there [the front of the field] a couple times but the invert hurt us.” Disavino put up one heck of a fight this year finishing between two drivers that have been behind the wheel twice as long as he has been on this earth. “Congrats to Chris [Dodson] on that ninth championship. Got to thank TORP Chassis for the fast race cars. It was great to race with Chris and Eddie.”

Mason Bailey, who had a very impressive rookie season in 2017, was able to collect at least one win this season and put up solid runs to finish third in the final points standings.

“I wake up blessed to drive these cars every day,” Bailey said. “Shout out to all my guys and all of our business partners.”

 

Late Model Stock Car OFFICIAL Results; 

  1. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  2. #00 Eddie Johnson; 40
  3. #88 Chris Hopkins; 40
  4. #18 Brad Davis; 40
  5. #22 Justin Martz; 40
  6. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
  7. #55 Howie Disavino; 40
  8. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
  9. #20 Sonny Allen; 40
  10. #29 Andrew Dean; 40
  11. #90 John Goin; 39
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