Category Archives: Late Model

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Staff Picks & Schedule: Who Should You Be Watching?

Lee Pulliam

Pulliam, looking for his fourth national title, after dominating at tracks that did not follow suit with the SPEC motor that some Virginia tracks opted to allow. Martinsville is one of the hold outs for the motor so Pulliam might have an edge in the motor game and won’t have to swap in a different motor.

 

Timothy Peters

After the sudden closing of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team the Danville, VA driver wasted no time coming back to the late model scene. With trips to multiple tracks in the region to get back up to speed Peters will be ready to get his first grandfather clock.

 

Bobby McCarty

With a sixth-place finish in the first leg of the triple crown at South Boston and a win in his first trip to Langley Speedway for the second leg Bobby McCarty has set himself up well for a strong run at the Virginia Triple Crown title and a win at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Josh Berry

A fan favorite in the region and always a strong competitor will be another driver hungry for the checkers and grandfather clock. Sitting just four points out of first place in the CARS Tour Berry can continue a great season with a win in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

 

 

Ryan Repko

Qualifying third in his Martinsville debut and put on a racing clinic in his heat race, opening up almost an entire straightaway lead. He would ultimately finish the 25-lap heat race in the fifth position and transfer to the feature. Working to pass cars and save tires, Repko eventually ran into issues that took him out of contention. With another year of Late Models under his belt we think you should keep a close eye on this driver under the lights.

 

Tommy Lemons Jr:

The two time ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner can never be counted out at the biggest late model race in the country. Tommy knows what it takes to wheel it around the paperclip and will be in position by the end to try and get his third grandfather clock.

 

Kres VanDyke:

With a forty starts this season, VanDyke was able to collect twenty-five wins, the most of any drivers in the top fifty in the nation. Thirty-four top fives, thirty-eight top ten finishes along with the Tennessee state champion. VanDyke has run well in previous ValleyStar Credit Union and proved he was quick during the Thursday night test.

 

Dark Horse

Brenden Queen – After a track championship in 2016 at East Carolina Motor Speedway Butterbean finished with a solid 5th place in points at Langley, finished second in the Hampton Heat, and finished fourth in the W.O. Grubbs 150 at Dominion. Riding that momentum can set this driver up for a huge win at Martinsville.

Nick Smith – After dominating the 2016 season at Dominion Raceway and winning the track championship, Nick Smith returned to his home track of Langley Speedway this season and earned two wins after dealing with more bad luck than anyone can shake a stick at. Smith had an incredible run earlier in the season at South Boston Speedway and followed that up with top-five finish during the Hampton Heat, proving to everyone the Hampton, VA driver knows how to be there at the end of a long race.

 

 

 

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Schedule

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Campground opens

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

9:00 AM                               Ticket Office Opens

10:00 AM                             Haulers Enter

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM              Registration

10:00 AM                             Garage Opens

2:30 PM                                Inspection

4:00 PM                                Fan Gates Open

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM                 Practice

8:00 PM                                Pole Qualifying

9:00 PM                                Ticket Office Closes

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

11:00 AM                             Registration and Ticket Office Opens

12:00 PM                              Garage Opens

1:30 PM                                Drivers’ Meeting (Media Center)

2:00 PM                                Fan Gates Open

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM                Autograph Session on the Frontstretch

4:00 PM                                Qualifying Races (4 x 25 Laps)

8:00 PM                                Feature Race (200 Laps)

Nick Smith and Bobby McCarty Tied Going Into Final Segment of the 2017 Virginia Triple Crown Series

Nick Smith celebrates in victory lane after winning the second of two races this past year at Langley Speedway.

A lot will be on the line this weekend when over eighty Late Model Stock cars make the return trip to Ridgeway, Virginia for the largest race of the season for these weekend worries. Take away the $25,000 check to the winner, take away the chance to bring home a famous grandfather clock to your shop, throw out the fact that this will be the first event under the permanent LED lights. Well okay, don’t really throw that out because it is almost everything that anyone is talking about. With all of that going on this weekend we do not want to forget that one driver will leave The Paperclip as the 2017 Virginia Triple Crown Champion and net no less than $10,000.

For those who may not know, the Virginia Triple Crown is a three-race, three track series, where the winner is the one driver who competes in all three races and accumulates the highest average finish. The series is kicked off at South Boston Speedway with their annual running of the Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200, the speedways riches race of the year. Followed very closely by The Hampton Heat 200 hosted by Langley Speedway, all to come to a head in the fall at Martinsville Speedway.

Two drivers will unload Friday afternoon deadlocked at the top of the leaderboard so to speak with an average finish of 3.5. Give the nod to Bobby McCarty, the most recent winner of the Hampton Heat, as he has the better finishing position between him and Hampton’s own, Nick Smith. McCarty, who failed to make the show in 2013 & 2015, looks to improve on his 24th place finish from last year after replacing teammate Timothy Peters, as well as notch another accomplishment off his belt as well as become the 2017 Virginia Triple Crown champ. McCarty felt good this past week at the Thursday night test expressing his plan his to save the car and his breaks and go all out at the end.

Nick Smith took the more consistent approach to earn his position tied at the top of the standings. Not discrediting McCarty’s runs in both races but a third-place finish at South Boston and a fourth-place finish at his home track for the Hampton Heat should go to show that Nick Smith is a force to be reckoned with in these long distance races. Smith is coming off of one of the most dominating seasons in his Late Model career picking up twelve wins and the track championship at the newly opened Dominion Speedway in 2016. Smith elected to return to his home track this season running the new Chevy Spec motor where he collected two wins on the season. Bad luck and bad timing appeared to be what kept him out of the points battle. Smith will make the trek this weekend sans the Chevy Spec motor using the same Chevy built motor he had success with last season.

Brenden Queen, another driver who calls Langley Speedway home, is not out of the hunt with his eighth and second place finishes. Queen comes into the weekend sitting in third place with an average finish of fifth place. Fourteen drivers will be eligible this weekend for the extra bonus money should they make the trip out. With the craziness that is Martinsville, anything can happen at the end of 200 laps. All fourteen drivers and their average finishes are listed here.

 

Front gates will open to fans at 4:00 PM Friday afternoon for practice that will run until 7:00 PM. Pole Qualifying will start approx. 8:00 PM. Registration and the ticket office will open Saturday morning at 11:00 AM with the garage opening at noon. General Admission gates will open at 2:00 PM with an hour-long autograph session scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 PM. The 25-lap qualifying races will roll off at 4:00 PM with the 200-lap feature race starting approx. 8:00 PM.

Make sure you follow The Weekly Racer on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with everything going on trackside this weekend.

 

2017 Virginia Triple Crown Eligible Drivers – Avg. Finish

  1. #22 Bobby McCarty – 3.5
  2. #12 Nick Smith – 3.5
  3. #03 Brenden Queen – 5
  4. #17 Stacy Puryear – 7.5
  5. #01 Philip Morris – 8.5
  6. #26 Peyton Sellers – 8.5
  7. #12 Timothy Peters – 9
  8. #90 Terry Carroll – 12
  9. #12 Austin Thaxton – 12
  10. #91 Justin Carroll – 13.5
  11. #55 Mark Wertz – 15.5
  12. #57 Eddie Johnson – 18
  13. #19 Cameron Bowen – 19
  14. #07 Dean Ward – 19.5

Pulliam Looking Forward to Martinsville Speedway Under the Lights While On the Heels of Possible Fourth National Title

With the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series officially completed, it is time for Late Model Stock Car drivers to focus on the “postseason.” A handful of big races that are held in the fall months once drivers in the Mid-Atlantic have completed their regular season at their local home tracks. There is no bigger race on any driver’s or race fan’s calendar than the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. There may also be no bigger name this year going into the prestigious event than Lee Pulliam.

Pulliam had yet another impressive regular season earning nineteen wins in forty-three starts over four different states. The Alton, Virginia driver also won championships at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina as well as winning the South Carolina state championship by over two hundred points. With Pulliam winning his fourth national title in the past six years it ties him with “The King” of Late Model Stock Car Racing. Raising the question, is there a new king rising to power?

The trip to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway was his first in over two years after he won the prestigious Hampton Heat in 2015 and, of course, could not make a trip if he wanted to in 2016 because of issues with the track. With the final weekend to earn National points he figured he would give the twins a go.

“We were just looking for a place to race,” Pulliam said at the end of the evening. “My guys and I have raced hard all years at different places and we hadn’t raced here in two years. Just trying to do something different.”

Pulliam would struggle as the afternoon progressed, qualifying towards the back of the field. Things didn’t get any better for him either; he would only make it up to the seventh position and lose a lap to the eventual race winner, Greg Edwards.

“We struggled all day today,” Pulliam told The Weekly Racer. “We were pretty fast here about a month ago but got rained out. Today we were just off. We didn’t test good, didn’t qualify good, and we didn’t race well the first race. We made some changes for that second race and we thought we were going to win it, just couldn’t hold off the No. 77 with the fresher tires, all-in-all we had a decent weekend.

Pulliam, like most drivers hunting a national title, has certainly not had the easiest summers. Traveling throughout the Mid-Atlantic is no task for the faint of heart.

“We have been blessed,” Pulliam went on to say. “I got a great family and a great crew. Just great people surrounding us. Our business, Lee Pulliam Performance, is doing good, customers are racing good and winning races, I’m really excited about the future and proud of everyone’s hard work and determination to not stop and not give up”

With just a few days till the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 or Christmas as some of my fellow colleagues call it, Pulliam thought he had a good piece under him and was truly excited to race under the lights. Citing that it’s already a prestigious event but to throw in the new lights, it is going to be a good show.

“We had a good piece at the test the other day,” Pulliam said. “We were pretty good and had a top-five car. Need to make just a couple little changes to be better I think, but everyone needs to be better. As a racer you are never satisfied, you can win a million races but it is very, very, rare that I have ever had a perfect racecar and I think anyone who has won a lot of races will tell you that. I am chasing my third grandfather clock, I think it would be really cool to win and tie Philip Morris with that. It’s going to be a stout field and a tough race to win as always. I just hope we can get the job done.”

The race will be the first at Martinsville under the new permanent LED fixtures; however, it will not be the first ever. In years past a Modified race was held at the paperclip where the track used temporary lights. We asked Lee how he felt being the first event there and what it meant to him.

“I am definitely excited to be under the lights,” Pulliam said. “It’s a special event already, a big event, you add the element of that, and it makes it really fun. I think it’s prestigious to win that deal and then you add that, everyone wants to be the first person to win under them. It’s going to be a great show, the fans are going to get to see breaks glowing, sparks flying, everything. It’s going to be fun for everybody involved.”

 Front gates will open to fans at 4:00 PM Friday afternoon for practice that will run until 7:00 PM. Pole Qualifying will start approx. 8:00 PM. Registration and the ticket office will open Saturday morning at 11:00 AM with the garage opening at noon. General Admission gates will open at 2:00 PM with an hour-long autograph session scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 PM. The 25-lap qualifying races will roll off at 4:00 PM with the 200-lap feature race starting approx. 8:00 PM.

Make sure you follow The Weekly Racer on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with everything going on trackside this weekend.

 

Greg Edwards Earns Sixth Win of Season; Connor Hall Picks Up First Career Langley Speedway Victory in Second Twin

Greg Edwards celebrates his sixth victory of 2017 at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway Saturday, September 16, 2017. (Photo: Langley Speedway Press Release)

Hampton, VA – With an eight-point deficit, two races, and one night left in the 2017 race season at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway, Greg Edwards as crew entered the weekend with one goal in mind – win. Things would look promising for the defending division champion earlier in qualifying time trials as the Poquoson, Va, driver, set quick time with a 16.041 (88.648 MPH) second lap time. Matt Waltz would start the first of two twin features just to Edwards outside with the second fastest time during the late afternoon’s session. Connor Hall, Mark Wertz, and Brenden Queen were the fastest five cars while Lee Pulliam would qualify just ninth on the thirteen-car field.

 

Once the green flag was displayed and Edwards took the field into turn one, he was able to secure the top spot all to himself and start to put some distance between him and the rest of the field. Waltz would fall in into the second position keeping Edwards and the point’s championship at the end of the night in site. Mark Wertz, who had a bit of a hiccup down the backstretch on the opening lap was able to get the car back under him and drive up to the third position. Behind the leaders, fans would witness a great showing by some of the up and coming talents that Langley has to offer in the coming years within the Late Model division.

 

Twenty laps into the sixty-six-lap feature, the five-time winner and defending track champ, Greg Edwards, had built himself a full two-second lead over Matt Waltz and started to take care some of the slower traffic. Waltz, being the smart racecar driver that he is just settled in and clicked off laps, no need to burn up the tires. Edwards would in fact lap up to the fifth position, to include 2017 NWAAS National Champion contender Lee Pulliam, just to give you a true idea of how ‘on’ that car was in race one. Connor Hall, who we will mention more about here in a little bit, ran into what looked to be night ending issues on lap twenty-six after breaking a track bar. Matt Waltz would finish race one in the second position followed by Mark Wertz, Brenden Queen, and Cameron Bowen – earning a second top-five finish in a row for the young Chesapeake native. Throckmorton, Pulliam, and Brock would complete the top eight.

 

Edwards in victory lane thanked his car builder Bobby Creech for giving him a great piece. He also went on to explain it was probably one of the older cars in the field. He went on to mention that the inverts helped keep the competition honest so to speak but it puts you in a better position for a crash but he and his team were there to have fun and that’s what they were trying to do. Edwards would roll off race number two no better than eighth because of that invert.

 

Alex Brock, of Richmond, Virginia, would inherit the pole position for race number two on the evening due to NASCAR’s rule when it comes to twin races. Joining him on the front row was none other than defending Late Model national champion, Lee Pulliam. Chris Throckmorton, Cameron Bowen, and Brenden Queen would make up the rest of the top five starters when the race got underway.

 

In pretty typical fashion for 2017, race number two saw the cautions, torn up race cars and things that just make you say, dang. Brock would spin the tires at the drop of the green flag allowing Pulliam to use the outside groove to take the race lead out of turn number two. The rest of the field, for the most part, took the hint and took Brock’s outside, freight training him and Chris Throckmorton well outside the top five. Have to admit, this was the first time we have ever seen a single car lose that many spots in a row running the inside line like that.

 

Pulliam, however, did not even think about looking back as the veteran driver opened up about a full second lead over the field. All eyes, however, were on the No. 77 machine of Connor Hall after starting shotgun on the field with forty-lap fresher tires, had made his way up to second just ten laps in. Once to Pulliam’s back bumper, the fresher rubber proved to be the advantage and Hall was able to make the pass and take the lead.

 

The evenings two and only cautions both came on lap twenty-two after Thomas Marks, who would clinch Rookie of the Year honors, went for a spin between turns three and four. This would bunch the field up and allow drivers to pick their restart line as Langley Speedway has the “Cone Rule.” Edwards would pull down pit road during the caution from the second position and ultimately end up nose first in his stall. Motor issues plaguing the 97.3 The Eagle crew and instead of running and causing more issues, decided to call it a night.

 

On what we thought was going to be the ensuing restart, Connor Hall would elect to stay on the bottom line while Pulliam would pull up even with the Hampton, Virginia driver. Once the green flag was displayed things took a turn for the worse as Hall could not get going causing a huge pile up on the inside line. Points leader Matt Waltz was turned on the front stretch, Mark Wertz and Cameron Bowen ending up with heavy front-end damage and out of the race. Thomas Marks night also went from not that great to even worse as he got a piece of the wreck. Due to the fact, the caution was displayed almost immediately after the green and the field was frozen, Hall was still scored your leader. However, he would pit multiple times and even climb out of the car thinking is night was over again will fuel pickup issues. Due to the lengthy caution for clean up, his crew was able to get the problem resolved and their driver back on the track.

 

One the track was clear and the green was displayed, Lee Pulliam would find himself in control with Brenden Queen in tow, looking for that first win at home as well. The race would see no more cautions and a very hungry and very fast Connor Hall move up through the field picking off one car at a time. The lap of record was fifty-one when Hall took the lead from Pulliam and never looked back to pick up his third career Late Model Stock victory and first at home.

 

“We were fast in practice all day,” Connor told The Weekly Racer after the races. “We had a pretty good mock run there in final practice which gave us a pretty good indicator where we would be for qualifying. Matt only got us by about two-hundredths of a second and Greg laid down a lap like he always does. We were just running there in that first race following Matt and Greg and the next thing I know the car is trying to spin out. We found out the track bar broke in half.”

 

Hall was able to drive back to pit road and give his crew a car to at least work on for the second race. The only downfall to when Connor retired from the race was that he did not make it to the halfway portion of the race which made him ineligible for the cone and free pass in the second race. However, that would end up being the least of his worries.

 

“We started dead last there in that second race and made it up to the lead by lap thirteen or so and to make a long story short the car just cut off on me there on the restart,” Hall went on to explain. “I jammed up my teammate Mark Wertz, he ran right into the back of me. I feel really bad because it busted his radiator but on the bright side, we did get the monkey off our backs finally. I just have to thank all my sponsors and my team for really working hard.”

 

With the regular season at Langley wrapping up along with the NWAAS national and state points, everyone will look forward to next weekend when teams converge on Martinsville Speedway for a chance at $25,000 and Grandfather clock. We asked Hall if he would be there running for that opportunity, it seemed that plans might still be up in the air.

 

“You might see me at Martinsville without my car,” Hall said. “I have really been focusing on college here lately. Racing hard in the summer. School is my job outside of racing, it is really important to me to get my education and race a lot later. We have a new Hedgecock car that’s almost done so we will probably be testing that a lot this off-season. You might see us at the Thanksgiving Classic as we have run really well there and maybe at the beach race. Hopefully, we can just continue with this momentum and get us a win at one of these big races this year.”

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results – Race 1

  1. #97 Greg Edwards; 66
  2. #2 Matt Waltz; 66
  3. #55 Mark Wertz; 66
  4. #03 Brenden Queen; 66
  5. #19 Cameron Bowen; 65
  6. #63 Chris Throckmorton; 65
  7. #5 Lee Pulliam; 65
  8. #9 Alex Brock; 65
  9. #94 Cody Carlton; 65
  10. #88 Thomas Marks*; 55
  11. #4 Duane Shreeves; 47
  12. #77 Connor Hall; 26
  13. #71 Travis Wall; 9

 

Late Model Official Results – Race 2

  1. #77 Connor Hall; 66
  2. #5 Lee Pulliam; 66
  3. #03 Brenden Queen; 66
  4. #2 Matt Waltz; 66
  5. #63 Chris Throckmorton; 66
  6. #4 Duane Shreeves; 66
  7. #94 Cody Carlton; 65
  8. #9 Alex Brock; 64
  9. #88 Thomas Marks*; 29
  10. #97 Greg Edwards; 22
  11. #55 Mark Wertz; 22
  12. #19 Cameron Bowen; 22
  13. 13. #71 Travis Wall; 20

Grayson Cullather Earns First Career Late Model Victory at Southside; Looking to Take That Momentum to Martinsville

Trophy Presentation at Southside Speedway September 15, 2017 – Top 3 in Late Model points from left to right. #05 Mason Bailey (car owner Chris Philips to accept). #22 Grayson Cullather. #43 Eddie Johnson. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – It was Championship night this past Friday at “The Toughest Short Track in the South” located just south of Richmond, Virginia. Just one of the many tracks some of the current Monster Energy Cup Series drivers cut their teeth at during their young racing careers. With Mother Nature playing the spoiler for most of the season, track officials and management agreed to add another weekend to the schedule to allow drivers to settle their points on the track.

 

Grayson Cullather, 16 years old from Richmond, Virginia, entered the weekend second in the points standings just eight points behind local legend Eddie Johnson after Mason Bailey’s win was stripped from him the week before. Fresh off the Martinsville Speedway test, Cullather showed up to Southside with something to prove – and boy did he. Grayson was the fastest man in town during the afternoon’s group qualifying session posting a time of 14.976 seconds. In fact, Cullather was the only driver to hit a sub fifteen-second lap, Eddie Johnson, Lane Janosik, Chris Dodson, and Howie Disavino completed the fastest five qualifiers. With the pole point in hand, Cullather would draw a three inverting the top three qualifiers and handing the lead over the Janosik.

 

Once the sunset and the track lights were shining brightly it was time for the twelve-car field to go to work. Sailing off into turn one Eddie Johnson was able to make quick work of Janosik to assume the lead out of turn two. Chris Dodson and Cullather were right there to capitalize as well, setting up a thrilling three-way battle for the lead between two Late Model legends and a young teen in just his sophomore season.

 

Johnson would take the race lead from rookie Lane Janosik and hold onto it for the first five circuits around the .333-mile oval. Dodson ended up working his nose under Eddie’s machine to eventually take the race lead on lap six. However, the move also left the door open for Cullather who wasted zero time and took the second position away. The following lap Grayson would edge his nose under Dodson’s No. 0 Williamsburg Honda machine looking to take the lead. Dodson would do everything in his power to pinch him down out of four but it was not enough and Grayson Cullather was scored the new leader on lap seven.

 

Once in the lead and in clean air, it appeared that no one would have anything for Grayson who maintained a car or two-length lead over second as the laps clicked off. The evenings one and only caution for the Late Models came just one lap before halfway when Lane Janosik, who was in a pretty good battle with Brad Davis for fourth, went around out of turn four forcing officials to throw the yellow flag.

 

Once the filed was bunched up and everything was given the okay by race control the cone was set on the front stretch and we were ready to go back racing. Dodson was the first to take the cone, which would put him on the outside of Cullather. Eddie Johnson elected to keep his position in third, as did Brad Davis staying in fourth and lining up to Johnson’s outside.

 

Cullather would get what could arguably go down as the best restart of his young career when the green was displayed to the field because he was able to clear the field at the exit of turn two. This would leave Chris Dodson and Eddie Johnson to battle door to door and Cullather to get into a rhythm and check out and check out he did. Dodson would eventually prevail taking the second position from Johnson but it was too late as Cullather had built over a full second lead en route to his first career Late Model victory.

 

“When we got the pole I knew it was a good lap because the car felt good,” Culalther said in victory lane. “I was a little worried because Eddie [Johnson] and Chris [Dodson] was still on the track and they could bust a [good] lap. Once the race started I knew it would take a couple of laps for our tires to come in. I was riding behind Lane and saw Dodson pass him on the outside so I knew my shot to keep up with Eddie and Chris would be to go to the outside and try and get around Lane.”

 

Cullather then capitalized when Eddie and Chris started battling for the lead, which paid dividends for the first winner.

 

“I saw an opportunity to take it three wide out of four and keep the car under Dodson to clear him,” Cullather went on to explain. “Once I got clear I knew we had a winning car, I just wanted to keep the tires on it. This win means a lot to my family and crew. We have tried everything this year, lost a whole lot of races because of late race cautions. It just meant a lot to me and confidence level”

 

The win could not come at a better time for Cullather and his crew who will look to take this momentum into next weekends ValleyStar Credit Union 300. Having a decent test and learning the track to collecting his first Late Model win can do a ton for a race team and we asked Cullather how the test went and what he was looking for in the race.

 

“We had a really good test out at Martinsville,” Cullather explained. “We had good balance on the car, still room to improve but, we know what we have to do to get better.”

 

This year will be Grayson’s first attempt at making the prestigious Late Model event that pays $25,000 and a Grandfather clock. The great equalizer this year will be the lights. For years teams were used to starting in the middle of the day and running into the night as the track cools. With the feature not starting until 8:00 PM Saturday night, some of these rookies may have an even better chance than before.

 

“There are some nerves going into the race,” Cullather admitted. “I think we have a pretty good car for next week. [Our} times weren’t falling off like some others were. My main goal is to just make the race.”

 

With the third-place finish for Eddie Johnson was able to secure the 2017 Late Model track championship. With track titles in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and now in 2017, it should help solidify Johnson’s resume as one of the greatest to hit the track at Southside Speedway. During the trophy presentation, Johnson was beyond thankful to his car owner, family and all of the sponsors who have not only helped him throughout his career but through the 2017 season to make everything possible.

 

 

UCAR

Jamie Hite picked up the victory in the UCAR divisions to end the evening and the 2017 season at Southside Speedway. Hite would qualify fourth but roll of the grid in the second position after pole winner Korey Lawson pulled the number four pill inverting the top four cars. Beejay Anderson would inherit the lead with Michael Chapman lining up on his rear bumper.

 

Chapman, running the No. 5 machine this weekend, looked as if he was hooked up to one of the steam launch cables from an aircraft carrier when the green was displayed taking the lead early and setting a pretty blistering pace. Hite would eventually track him down and apply pressure for the lead with five laps to go. In fact, Hite would ultimately take the lead from Chapman on lap twenty-one. Chapman would try and mount one final attack with just two laps left but it was not enough to move Hite out of the way who would go on to collect his second win of the season.

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results

  1. #22 Grayson Cullather; 40
  2. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  3. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
  4. #18 Brad Davis; 40
  5. #55 Howie Disavino; 40
  6. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
  7. #77 Mike Greathouse; 40
  8. #25 Sonny Allen; 40
  9. #17 Charlie Walker; 40
  10. #26 John Crews III; 40
  11. #79 Lane Janosik; 23
  12. #31 Chris Savage; DNF

 

UCAR OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
  2. #5 Michael Chapman; 25
  3. #03 Korey Lawson; 25
  4. #96 Alex Ayers; 25
  5. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
  6. #1 Mike Frayser; 25
  7. #40 Rickey Sylvester; 25
  8. #15 Mark Marshall; 25
  9. #97 Richard Sisco; 25
  10. #9 Kevin Garreau; 24

Southside Speedway Set to Crown Champions Later This Evening; Will be Without One Late Model Contender as Martinsville is Right Around the Corner

Crew members work on the front end of Mason Bailey’s car during the Thursday night test session at Martinsville Speedway getting ready for the largest race of the young drivers young career. (Photo: Mason Bailey)

MIDLOTHIAN, VA – Friday, September 15 at Southside Speedway is Championship Night and the final race of the season when the track will crown a points champion in each of the six divisions. Eddie Johnson will enter the evening with just a nine-point advantage over Grayson Cullather. Mason Bailey, who was leading the points, took a huge hit when his car was deemed illegal after post-race inspection when he collected his season leading fourth win on August 25th and will not be battling for the win once the race goes green.

With Mother Nature playing spoiler to the original championship night, Southside Speedway added two dates to their 2017 campaign, which moved champion’s night to this evening. For some, it is not an issue. For others who are planning to run the big Late Model race at Martinsville, like Mason Bailey, made decisions tough on both driver and teams.

“We do not have any regrets,” Bailey told The Weekly Racer at the conclusion of the Martinsville test Thursday night. “Just a lot of disappointment. Would love to be out there helping my teammate Sonny Allen in the No. 20 at least. The track put is in a real box with scheduling the championship race on top of the Martinsville test.” Bailey, however, is in a position that many drivers face this week preparing for one of the largest races of the year while we enter championship season.

“We only have one car so we will not be able to make it out to Southside,” Bailey went on to say. “Between the test and the race next weekend, I cannot miss any more classes.”

Bailey was just one of about 90+ cars that converged on the .526-mile paper clip oval this past Thursday evening for the annual test day, or night rather, now that the LED light system is up and running. Bailey was relatively pleased with the handling of the car but admitted their team still has some work to do and speed to find heading into next weekend.

“We are all very pleased with the car,” said Bailey. “Wasn’t as fast as we would have liked on our sticker run but our speed and drivability on old tires were exceptional. It is a tricky track for sure. I left with a decent understanding of it, though.”

With just about a week to go before teams make the return trip to Ridgeway, Virginia for that $25,000 payday, maybe even more importantly, that grandfather clock, we asked Mason what would define a successful weekend or a reasonable goal for the young rookie driver who is one of only a few making an attempt from an “outlaw” track this season.

“To be honest I haven’t really thought about that,” Bailey went on to say. “Making the race will be a challenge due to the format but as long as we get in I would be disappointed if we didn’t finish top twenty.

In addition, Roy Hendrick, son of Ray Hendrick, owner of the famous flying #11 modified coupe will bring the race car to the track and lead the first pace car laps. Come out to watch all of the driver’s race for the lead see who will win the 2017 championship – every lap matters! Front gates open at 6:00 p.m. Qualifying starts at 6:00 p.m. and racing gets underway around 7:45 p.m. If you are not able to make it, The Weekly Racer will have lap-by-lap coverage over on our Twitter handle – @theweeklyracer.com

 

About Southside

Southside Speedway is a 1/3 mile, paved oval track located on Genito Road in Midlothian, Virginia.  The speedway was established in 1959 by J.M. Wilkinson and is currently run by his daughter, Sue W. Clements, and granddaughter, Jennifer Mullis. The speedway hosts twelve nights of racing from April through August.

The family-owned track in Chesterfield prides itself on being a family-friendly venue entertaining generations of fans and continues their 58-year tradition of great local short track racing in Central Virginia. There are six different divisions of cars racing: Late Models, Modifieds, Grand Stocks, UCARs, Legends, and Bandoleros.

Phillip Morris Takes Home the Big Check in the W.O. Grubb 150

Thornburg, VA – The story at Dominion Raceway Thursday was all about points. Lee Pulliam made his debut at the track hunting for some late season national points as he holds a one point lead over second place this season, he is trying to get his fourth national championship. The track championship is also very close with Tyler Hughes and Doug Barnes battling hard all season long.

The 2016 national champion qualified on the pole running a 15.247 second lap to beat out Morris by .012. Pulliam would start fifth and Hughes out ran Barnes by 6 spots and started on the outside of row three. But they do things a little different at Dominion Raceway, and Bowling pulled a six out of the redraw bag which put Hughes up front for the green flag.

Hughes enjoyed the lead with no pressure from behind for the opening thirty laps until Morris was able to navigate through the cars between them like it was nothing. As they first started catching lapped traffic Morris kept cutting into the lead but the caution would erase it fully with Colin Garrett spinning out off of turn two.

The green flag flew with an even hundred alps remaining in the race and Hughes cleared Morris, he tried the high line with the cone choice, fairly easily. Fourteen laps into the run and Morris had shaken Sellers off from his rear and was no focused 100% on Hughes. Morris was able to nose in to the inside and they raced door to door for a lap until Hughes pulled back ahead and the caution came out for the second time, this time for 2016 track champion Nick Smith getting a tap to his rear and spinning out. Under this caution Lee’s crew tried to fix his ailing car several times and he eventually got caught two laps down.

The front row stayed the same for this restart with Hughes low and Morris high. They didn’t waste much time as they went three wide along with Sellers for the lead, Morris ended up winning out on the risky move on lap 80. Hughes put up a fight for the next couple of laps, peaking inside of Morris a few times but couldn’t get past the four time national champ. Sellers made some contact with Hughes in his pursuit for second but it got them both out of line and Bowling took over the spot. Not long after that the biggest wreck of the night put a lot of damage on several cars with Jeff Oakley, Michael Hardin, Barnes, and Hughes all taking hits.

Morris liked the high line and chose it again, but as the leader this time. He cleared Bowling on the restart and Sergio Pena worked his way by Bowling for second and Brenden “Butterbean” Queen also worked up to fourth place getting by Sellers. Behind them Barnes and Hughes ended up battling each other for seventh position and with 35 laps to go even made it three wide while passing a slower car, these two left nothing on the track. Nine laps later they are still side by side but the caution came out for Chris Johnson’s car losing a motor. A rough ending for Johnson who had come from 23rd to 6th at this point.

The next green flag run was short lived as Puryear got caught up again and this time it ripped off most of his body work and the red flag had to come out to get everything up.

For the next restart Morris again went high and Pena and Queen chose low. Morris showed how strong his car was on this restart setting his fastest time of the race as second through fifth all ran side by side and completely checked on them. Barnes and Pena traded second position for a few laps while they were side by side but Barnes would eventually fall back to fifth with Hughes and Queen getting by him.

Morris took the checkers with no pressure from behind him to win his second big trophy of the year, with his first being the South Boston leg of the triple crown.

After the race Morris had nothing but praise for the racing at Dominion, “I want to race here all the time, I keep telling the guys. They think its close and I’m only an hour away but every where we go is three hours but I just love this place. I just wanna keep coming here, you can really charge the corners here and it makes for some really great racing.” He also mentioned why the racing is so good, “That guy in the 8 car [Tyler Hughes] we had a good battle out there, he was running pretty good. It’s kind of weird, it’s hard to get away from anybody because you got some drafting going on too so you get a little bit of everything. I’ve run some of the Xfinity series, truck series, and its a little bit of everything so any driver that is looking to go up they want to come here because you can learn a lot more at this race track.” The team plans on using this momentum going forward to finish out the year strong and use the lessons learned this year for a possible run next season at the national title.

We also caught up with a very happy Sergio Pena, “We did a lot better than expected, coming into this race we weren’t sure if we were gonna run it or not it was kinda last minute. We came to practice with a set of tires that had a 100 laps on them so to come home second surpassed all of our expectations. Qualified kind of bad to be honest, qualified 16th and fortunately had Sam on the spotters tower for me kind of guided me through the crazy traffic that was out there. Had a couple lucky breaks with cautions that fell at the right time and I’ll tell you what before we knew it half way through the race we were right up there with Peyton Sellers, Phillip Morris, and Matt Bowling…some of the best names in the country, the best names in the country, and to come home second behind Morris I’ll take that as a win its just unreal. Just want to thank you to Sam Beatie and Joe, these guys work on this car very hard and it wouldn’t be possible without them so I just want to say thank you to those guys.”

 

Unofficial Results

  1. Phillip Morris
  2. Sergio Pena
  3. Tyler Hughes
  4. Brenden Queen
  5. Doug Barnes
  6. Peyton Sellers
  7. Cameron Burke
  8. Timmy Phipps
  9. Stacy Puryear
  10. Colin Garrett
  11. Dustin D Storm
  12. Chandler Sherman
  13. Jeff Oakley -1
  14. Matt Bowling -17
  15. Eddie Johnson -25
  16. Chris Johnson -26
  17. Richard Storm -28
  18. Lee Pulliam -48
  19. Michael Hardin -61
  20. Mike Ganoe -72
  21. Nick Smith -78
  22. Logan Jones -81
  23. Billy B Morris -139
« Older Entries