Justin’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Top Picks
Mike Looney quite possibly has had the best season of his career as we enter the 2019 post season. Looney has earned 12 wins and a track championship at Motor Mile Speedway. Most of Looney’s loses would come at the hands of Philip Morris – a name you will notice is left out of this list. Looney, however, was not a one track poney as some like to say on social media. The very first time he saw Langley Speedway he went out and picked up a win in a dominating fashion. Currently sitting fourth in the Triple Crown standings we fully expect Looney to not only qualify in the top five but to stay there most of the night.
I could finish this pick by one simple sentence; It’s Lee Pulliam. The Alton, VA driver posted the fourth fastest time of the evening a week ago during the Thursday night test session and has always been fast at the flat halfmile. How can we not remember the epic fight to the finish he and our very first pick had two years ago. Pulliam may have stepped back from “full time” – I put quotes around full time because in our eyes hes just not title hunting like he was a year or so ago – racing this year but he has already proven that he can win once he straps into his race car. Look for Pulliam to hang out within the top five until it is time to go.
Finished the 2019 sixth in South Boston Speedway’s points standings. Crews has also showed strength in two of the largest Late Model Stock Car races so far this year with his third place finish in the South Boston 200 and had a strong run in the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway until late race issues regulated him to an eighttenth place finish. If Crews can keep his nose clean, have a little luck on his side, and qualify just a bit faster than he practiced last week he has a solid shot to win.
Clocking in twelth fastest in last Thursday’s night test session Pierce has been super consistence in recent years and showing he knows how to drive. Though he spends most of his time on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, Pierce is currently sitting fourth in their points with one pole, one win, and four top fives. Why is this important to us when we are talking about Martinsville, a track that the tour does not race at? That is because Pierce races with some of the best Late Model drivers in the region in some of the biggest races of the year.
Peyton Sellers, like Mike Looney, spent most of 2019 running around the Mid-Atlantic hunting NWAAS National Points in hopes for another natioanl title. A former NASCAR Xfinity driver, NWAAS National Champion, and even VA Triple Crown winner, however Sellers has yet to bring home a Grandfather clock to Danville. Laying down the third fastest time of the night last week it reminds us that Sellers is a force not to be reckon with and if you sleep on him and his crew it will burn you in the long run.
Pollard had a stound out debut in last years race until contact between him and Layne Riggs ended his night and honestly a shot at the win. Pollard has come back this year and teamed up with the likes of JR Motorsports and Josh Berry. Thought he did not show the times in practice last week that we all thought he would we have learned he and the team were chasing issues with the car and by the time they were ironed out the tires were to far gone to lay down a fast lap. Given his finishing position last year and test times it is hard to pick him statistically, however, its Bubba freaking Pollard!
Tommy Lemons Jr. has had, in our opinion, a pretty mediocure year. Lemons has started six CARS Tour races and has not one this year on the tour. Lemons does have two wins and sits fourth in the points standing at Myrtle Beach. Lemons did not help his stock from us here at TWR when he posted a lap tap that landed himself outside of the top thirty last Thursday. However, this is Tommy Lemons Jr., not only has he started this race on the front row he has won this race. I have a feeling Lemons was just holding some of his cards last week. If we can see him qualifying in the top fifteen Friday night I think he is someone you need to keep an eye out for!