Category Archives: Late Model

Matt McCall Recovers From Mid Race Spin to Win Second Thanksgiving Classic

Matt McCall and track owner Michael Diaz in victory lane following McCall’s thrilling 2018 Thanksgiving Classic win. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC– When you only get to race once a year you have to make the most it. Matt McCall most certainly did so yet again this weekend at Southern National Motorsports Park for the 2018 Thanksgiving Classic. Because of obvious reasons, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series crew chief only gets to run one race a year and for the past two he has taken the hardware and the money back home with him.

Coming into the weekend McCall picked up right where he left off last year showing the fastest time in final practice on Friday afternoon. All on track activity for Saturday was completely washed out due to hours worth of rain so we did not get to see if anyone could make adjustments and post a faster time. With that being said as well as missing some of the heavy hitters like Lee Pulliam, Tommy Lemons Jr., Josh Berry, and Peyton Sellers, McCall – along with four time track champion Deac McCaskill – was an obvious favorite to take home the checkered. He backed up his practice efforts with a third place qualifying effort.

When it was go time McCall spent most of the race in the runner up position chasing around Deac McCaskil, who was running just fast enough to stay out in front of the field. Things, however, took a turn for the worse for McCall just past the halfway point of the feature when we got turned around exiting turn two after a lapped car spun in front of the leaders. Because he was deemed as part of the caution, race control moved him to the back of the lead lap cars, ultimately creating one of the best comebacks in recent Thanksgiving Classics.

“They pay out money at lap one-hundred and I got a little greedy trying to get that money and it put me in a bad spot,”McCall said in victory lane. “Fortunately I knew there were enough laps. I even tried to fight it [the call to the rear] there to keep our position but we were not able to. We knew we had to pick them off and try to save, but there wasn’t a whole lot of saving there for the last run. Fortunately it ran green and I believe all the guys that got the outside had the advantage. All in all it was a lot of fun.”

This years race, though it featured the same Racing Roulette rules, once again added a new element to the race – controlled cautions. These would be caution periods where teams could come down pit road and not lose positions to the other cars that decided to pit. Officials would slow the pace of the cars left on the speedway and give those on pit road four laps to go to work. One of the ideas here is to take away the traditional break you always see in some of these big races. We asked McCall after the race if that changed the way he and his team approached the race.

“It was going to change it big in my opinion when the caution came out and we got put to the back,”McCall explained. “Potentially if that was not the last controlled caution we would have pitted and it would have looked like their was a little strategy involved. I think the way it played out it didn’t look as good as it could have been. I think it was still a little bit hard to under stand and a little open ended. I think there is potential there I just don’t think it can become a weekly thing.”

Once McCall was able to pick is way through the field with the help of an incredibly fast car and timely cautions things really started to heat up in the closing laps between he and McCaskill. The pass for the lead came with under five laps to go where fans got to witness some of the closes and cleanest racing for a win all year long.

“That’s Deac,”McCall said when asked about how close the two raced each other in the closing laps. “He always does [races clean] and he even raced me clean when I piled drove the wall there. I got loose off two and decided there was no reason to lift because it was going to get ugly. It was enough to get through three and four to get the checkered.”

2018 Thanksgiving Classic OFFICIAL Results;

1          #51     Matt McCall; 200

2          #08     Deac McCskill; 200

3          #07     Bradley McCaskill; 200

4          #22     Bobby McCarty; 200

5          #99     Layne Riggs; 200

6          #12     Brandon Pierce; 200

7          #01     Philip Morris; 200

8          #17     Stacey Puryear; 200

9          #63     Tyler Matthews; 200

10       #03     Brenden Queen; 200

11       #17     Taylor Gray; 200

12       #54     Drew Dollar; 200

13       #44     Justin Johnson; 200

14       #21     Mike Darne; 200

15       #30     Clifton Daniels; 200

16       #24     Colin Garrett; 199

17       #8       Tyler Hughes; 199

18       #55     Mark Wertz; 199

19       #82     Mike Ganoe; 198

20       #92     Casey Wyatt; 198

21       #2       Dennis Holdren; 195

22       #36     Chris Johnson; 195

23       #06     Davin Scites; 194

24       #9       Thomas Burbage; 193

25       #94     Robbie Babb; 169

26       #12     Ryan Wilson; 161

27       #4       Jonathan Findley; 161

28       #81     Mini Tyrell; 146

29       #19     Cameron Bowen; 138

30       #01b   Camden Gullie; 91

31       #06     Terry Dease; 90

32       #23     Terry Brooks; 64

Karl Budzevski Wins Friday Nights Limited Late Model Dash to Kick off the 2018 Thanksgiving Classic

Karl Budzevski in Solid Rock Carriers Victory Lane Friday night at Southern National. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC –  Bradley McCaskill was the fastest of sixteen cars earlier in the evening during final Limited Late Model practice for the Friday portion of the Thanksgiving Classic. The grid was set by the fastest time in that final practice and McCaskill’s 15.830-second lap was enough to score him the pole. Mike Darne, filling in for last years Dash winner Mini Tyrell, qualified second while Brandon Clements, Karl Budzevski, and Stephen Jones rounded out the top five.

Darne, who is no rookie to Southern National, looked like he was going to take control of things early and use that outside line to his advantage. He was able to lead the first two laps before having to give the lead back to McCaskill. Darne would get hung out to dry on that top groove but ultimately would only fall back to third. Budzevski ultimately taking over the second spot and the pursuit for the lead.

The only caution would come on lap seventeen when the power plant under the hood of Louis Whites No. 7 would expire coming off turn two. It couldn’t come at a better time for Budzevski as he would be scored as the race leader when the caution car picked up the field. Track workers cleaned up the mess rather quickly and the race saw its first and only cone restart.

When the green flag was displayed Budzevski took sole possession of the race lead with McCaskill hot on his tracks for about two laps before falling back a handful of car lengths and ultimately losing the second spot to Darne with just under twenty laps to go in the feature. Try as they might it was ultimately Karl Budzevski taking home the checkered flag and the trophy.

 

  1. #26 Karl Budzevski; 40
  2. #81 Mike Darne; 40
  3. #07 Bradley McCaskill; 40
  4. #1 Andrew Grady; 40
  5. #91 Stephen Jones; 40
  6. #31 Wayne Goss; 40
  7. #29 Paul Williamson; 40
  8. #15 Clay Jones; 40
  9. #29 Brian Obiedzenski; 40
  10. #42 Amber Slagle; 40
  11. #31 Cole Bruce; 40
  12. #43 Sam Pacitti; 40
  13. #7 Brandon Clements; 40
  14. #17 Jason Meyers; 40
  15. #33 Franklin Caricofe; 40
  16. #7 Louis White; 17

 

Action picked up quickly in the evening opening Mod 4 15-lap feature when pole-sitter Kevin Jeffries went for a spin in turn two on the initial start. Randy Ayers also spinning to more than likely miss tearing up his car. This allowed the No. 63 of Dennis Capps to start from the pole position and boy did he not waste his shot.

When the green flag was displayed back to the field Capps jumped out to an early lead. All the while Jeffries worked his way back up through the field. With just a five-car field it did not take long and we saw a battle for the top spot with just three laps to go. Capps, however, was able to hold on for the victory.

  1. #63 Dennis Capps
  2. #21 Kevin Jeffries
  3. #12 Justin Marsan
  4. #6 Mark Hood
  5. #23 Randy Ayers

 

Jeremy Bohne was the second driver of the evening to win their feature from the pole position. However, unlike the race before him, he was unable to lead every lap of the race. He was pretty darn close until a lap nineteen caution bunched the field up and allowed them to take the cone. Kornegay was the first to take the bait and would not only restart on the outside of Bohne but lead a couple laps before having to settle for second then eventually third.

The chargers will race once more on Sunday afternoon along with the Limited Late Models and the headlining Late Model Stock Cars.

  1. #72 Jeremy Bohne; 35
  2. #61 Michael Obrien; 35
  3. #33 Jonathan Kornegay; 35
  4. #81 Davis Warren; 35
  5. #84 Brandon Head; 35
  6. #51 Doug Warren; 35
  7. #61 Damon Stroud; 35

 

Alek Andrecs started the trend of “lets win the race from the pole” in the 20-lap Bando feature when we went on to lead every single lap. Andrecs had got off to a great start but would have his lead erased after Riley Music spun out in turn two. The restart, however, seemed to be nothing for Alec as he held off two separate charges from Derrick.

  1. #4 Alek Andrecs; 20
  2. #8 Jacob Derrick; 20
  3. #12 Bradan Andrecs; 20
  4. #8 Conner Weddell; 20
  5. #47 Riley Music; 20
  6. #9 Ayden Millette; 20

Late Model Stock Cars Hit the High Banks of Southern National for a Chance at $20,000 – Eleven Division Set to Run Over Three Days

The 18thAnnual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park is once again upon us. After we have had the day to sit back and reflect on what we are truly thankful for it is time to go racing for one final time here in the Mid-Atlantic region.

11 different divisions are set to hit the high-banked .400-mile speedway this weekend with the Late Model Stock Cars highlighting the weekend with a 200-lap, $20,000 to win feature – if you are brave enough to spin the roulette wheel that is. For the second year in a row, teams will have the opportunity to gamble with their race entry in the hopes of taking more money home with them.

“We took everyone’s thoughts and looked at how to implement them into this year,” said Diaz. “The drivers really gave us great feedback last year. The biggest thing they wanted was an increase in second through fifth position in the purse for the additional entry fee. That was an easy thing to fix and we think the drivers and teams will be happy with the additional money we’ve added to the purse.”

The additional money has been added specifically to second through fifth position for the drivers who take the gamble in Racing Roulette. Second position will increase from $2,500 to $4,500, third position will increase from $2,000 to $3,500, fourth position will increase from $1,500 to $2,750 and fifth position will increase from $1,200 to $2,250. An increase of $19,800 to the top five positions (including the $14,000 increase for first position) for the drivers who take the gamble.

“We really think after talking to the drivers that this will increase participation in Racing Roulette and give the drivers something to shoot for if they can’t win the race,”said track General Manager Charlie Hansen. “We’re adding nearly $20,000 to the purse no matter how many drivers try Racing Roulette. We’re hoping everyone tries to go for it but we want this to be something for the drivers to shoot for and something fun for the fans to play along within the stands.”

The Friday portion of the weekend, which is scheduled to take the green later this evening around 8:00 PM, will feature Bando’s, Mod 4, Chargers, and a 40-lap Limited Late Model Dash. A full weekend schedule can be found below. The Weekly Racer will once again provide you with LIVE coverage all weekend long. Keep an eye out on our social platforms for the links to the coverage.

 

Brandon Clements Clinches Carteret Championship with Bobby Watson Memorial Victory

Brandon Clements, pictured in victory lane at Carteret County Speedway, after winning the Bobby Watson Memorial race on October 27, 2018. (Andy Marquis photo)

SWANSBORO, NC – Brandon Clements, who is the winningest driver in Carteret County Speedway history, clinched the track championship in style on Saturday night, with a victory.

Clements surrendered the lead early in the 50-lap race after starting on the pole – first to Eric Winslow then to Justin Carroll.  With 11 laps to go, Clements made the pass to get back around Carroll to take the lead and the win – his fifth Late Model win of the year.

“This really means a lot to me,” an emotional Clements said in victory lane.  “I was a little kid and my dad told me I was going to be a champion here.  I’ve been here every year and been a champion [in Mini-Stocks] but really, this one’s good.  We got this one.”

Carroll finished second in his first career Carteret County Speedway start while Joshua Yeoman finished third.

Stephen Sanders, also known as the Midway Missile, became a popular presence at Carteret County Speedway among fellow drivers and fans throughout the season.  Sanders made a five-hour drive every race to Carteret County Speedway with hopes of winning races and winning a championship.  On Saturday night, he did both – clinching the division championship with a victory.

“It’s been a long road this year,” Sanders said.  “Bobby Watson, this is his racetrack and he always told me that, it’s his track but it’s our drivers’ racetrack.  This race is for Bobby.  He meant a lot to me.  I looked at him as a grandfather figure.  There were weeks I didn’t have the money to make it home and he’d slide me a little bit of money.”

Sanders was surrounded in victory lane by an army of supporters, which included fans, competitors, family and friends.  Having often raced at Bowman Gray Stadium, Sanders was a polarizing figure at the start of the season, but quickly became a friend to many and the outpouring of support in victory lane meant the world to him.

“This means a lot to me because a lot of people don’t like me,” Sanders remarked.  “I am a rough driver.  I like to get to the front and winning races.  I told everybody tonight I wasn’t worried about the championship, I came to win the race and we got the championship.  It means a lot.  Dedication paid off.”

The always exciting and sometimes polarizing James Horner finished second to Mike Cooper in the Street Stock feature race.  That second place finish allowed him to clinch the division championship – his first at Carteret County Speedway.

“It’s definitely been an emotional season,” Horner stated.  “A lot of ups and downs all the way around.  We fought back and forth with getting suspended and people crying about our car.  It is what it is, we’re here and we got the championship.  We didn’t get the win tonight but we put on a show I do believe.”

All Adam Resnick had to do to clinch the U-CAR championship was start the race, which he did.  Ultimately finishing seventh, Resnick walked away with the division title while Andrew Jackson won the race in a thriller over Robert Arch and Neil Mason.

“I can’t describe it,” Resnick commented.  “I wish Bobby was here.  We supported him every week and these guys are awesome. I can’t explain it.  I cannot believe Bobby didn’t make it to the last one.  Thank you, Bob Lowery and Judy [Hailey] for keeping it going.  Everybody doesn’t understand, this is huge for me to win a championship.  To be at Carteret County, it’s a big thing for my family, my wife, and all of us.”

Justin Mitchell led wire-to-wire in the Legends feature race, winning over Ryan Matthews and Brenton Irving.  Shane Irving, father of Brenton Irving, won the division championship marking the third consecutive championship in Legends competition for the Irving family.

“In a couple months, I’ll be 59-years-old,” Irving said.  “It’s probably going to be my last one.  I’m not going to quit racing.  I do it because I enjoy it.”

Justin Hall won the championship in the Mini Cup class while also scoring the overall win in the Mini Cup race on Saturday night.

“We worked hard all year,” Hall stated.  “This is the first time my dad’s come out here and competed with us.  He won last week at Coastal Plains.  Just happy to be here.  I hate my mom and sister weren’t able to make it but I know they’re happy with where I’m at.”

Chase Singletary officially picked up his sixth Jr. Mini Cup win of the season, but one missed race proved to be the difference in points as Carmen Odum took home the division championship.  With the title, the Jacksonville teenager became the first woman to win a championship at Carteret County Speedway.

“Don’t be afraid to do something, even when they say it’s a guy’s sport,” Odum remarked.  “Look at this.  Second year of racing and I won the championship.  I’d like to thank God for all of this and Bobby Watson for letting the Mini Cups race here, as well as Mini Cup director Frankie Corbett, my dad [Jimmy Odum] and everyone who helped.”

Sean Wales won the race and the championship in Champ Karts; Dwight Sauls scored the overall victory in Southern Ground Pounders competition, and Johnny Johnson won the East Coast Flathead Feature race.

The next race at Carteret County Speedway will be held on Saturday, November 17th, headlined by the $2,000-to-win, 100-lap Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge 4-Cylinder Nationals.  Mini-Cups, Mod-4s, and Champ Karts will also be a part of the 4-Cylinder Nationals.

Mark Wertz Sweeps Late Model Season Finale at Langley Speedway; Danny Edwards Clinches Sixth Division Title

Mark Wertz powers down the backstretch at during final practice at Langley Speedway’s season finale. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Hampton, VA – Mark Wertz put a cap on the 2018 season and possibly even his full-time driving career Saturday night when he swept the final two races during Pomoco Nissan Championship night.

Wertz entered the weekend third in points, twenty-two points behind points leader Danny Edwards Jr. Wertz would earn a fourth-place starting position during qualifying time-trials earlier in the evening. Fourth place, however, was not a position Wertz was too keen on hanging out in for too long. Though Danny Edwards, who captured the pole with an impressive 15.665-second (90.776 MPH) lap jumped out to an early lead and honestly looked to have a stranglehold on the race. Wertz would pick his way through the field lap-by-lap and battle for the lead just past lap forty-five.

As the leaders worked there way through some of the slower traffic Wertz was able to capitalize on the smallest of slips from the race leader and would take the lead on lap forty-nine. As Wertz had done all night he immediately opened up a two-car length lead over Edwards. Wertz would have to hold off a late race restart and a serious challenge from Connor Hall. To the point where both drivers were leaning on each other going into turn one. Wertz would keep the nose pointed straight… straight to victory lane.

Danny Edwards Jr., Justin Carroll, Connor Hall, Terry Carroll rounded out the top five in the first race.

Wertz would find himself starting from the eighth position in race number two thanks to the NASCAR rulebook. The front row was given to Thomas Marks and Brenden Queen. That did not last long once the field was given the green. Marks would fall back and out of the top five rather quick. Queen, however, would lead a handful of laps before surrendering the lead to Terry Carroll – Queen would get hung up on the outside groove and he too would be shuffled way back into the field. He would eventually pull down pit road and retire from the race early.

Mark Wertz took this time to power his way back up through the field and made a very aggressive move to the inside of Terry Carroll entering turn one to take the lead. From there it was truly lights out, Wertz started to gap and lap the field. Behind him Justin Carroll made yet another impressive run up through the field, working his way around his father, Connor Hall, and even Danny Edwards.

Wertz in victory lane was very excited to get the No. 55 back in Dale Lemonds Victory Lane as a possible end to an era approached. Justin Carroll, Danny Edwards, Connor Hall, and Terry Carroll rounded out the top five for race number two.

Danny’s second and third place finishes were more than enough to clinch the 2018 Taylor Waste Services Late Model Stock Car track championship. The win was his sixth of his career at the historic .395-mile oval. Despite the lackluster finishes, Greg Edwards was able to hang onto his second place finish in points. Mark Wertz, Connor Hall, and Brenden Queen rounded out the top five in points. Rodney Boyd will earn the Rookie of the Year honors.

 

 Taylor Waste Services UNOFFICIAL Race 1 Results;

  1. #55 Mark Wertz; 75
  2. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.; 75
  3. #91 Justin Carroll; 75
  4. #77 Connor Hall; 75
  5. #90 Terry Carroll; 75
  6. #97 Greg Edwards; 75
  7. #03 Brenden Queen; 75
  8. #88 Thomas Marks; 74
  9. #25 Craig Eastep; 74
  10. #7 Michael Hardin; 74
  11. #16 Chris Flowers; 74
  12. #9 Rodney Boyd; 74
  13. #4 Duane Shrereves; 40

Taylor Waste Services UNOFFICIAL Race 2 Results;

  1. #55 Mark Wertz; 75
  2. #91 Justin Carroll; 75
  3. #26 Danny Edwards Jr; 75
  4. #77 Connor Hall; 75
  5. #90 Terry Carroll; 75
  6. #97 Greg Edwards; 74
  7. #25 Craig Eastep; 74
  8. #7 Michael Hardin; 74
  9. #4 Duane Shreeves; 74
  10. #16 Chris Flowers; 73
  11. #9 Rodney Boyd; 73
  12. #88 Thomas Marks; 47
  13. #03 Brenden Queen; 35

Edwards Motorsports To Be Crowned Champion at Langley Speedway; Danny Edwards On Pace for Sixth Track Title

Danny Edwards Jr. powers down the backstretch during final practice of the 2018 Hampton Heat 200 before the race was postponed to the following day due to rain. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Late Model Stock Car racing makes its return to Hampton, Virginia’s Larry King Laws Langley Speedway. Wow. That is something very strange to type the first week in October. However, it has been a full month since Late Models have raced at the .395-mile oval – August 25th to be exact – with Greg Edwards finding his way back to victory lane for the first time in 2018 sweeping both 75-lap features. With just two more races on the books and an eleven-point lead, Danny Edwards Jr. will look to put a bookend on a spectacular season.

Danny enters Pomoco Nissan Championship Night with an eleven-point (325) point advantage over brother and teammate Greg Edwards (314). However, as we have seen in the past, anything can happen once the green flag is displayed and these cars come to life later this evening. As we have seen in the past with twin races all it takes is one hiccup in the first race to send your night spiraling down the toilet – for the lack of better terms.

Danny Edwards is all too familiar with this when he lost the championship back in 2015 when a flat tire plagued him late in the final race of the season. Greg was able to take the win and tie the points. Greg would then go on to “steal” the title from his brother thanks to his win and because of that win, the tiebreaker. With each position earning just one point Danny would only need to earn two fifth-place finishes regardless if Greg is able to sweep both races.

The Edwards Brothers will not be the only drivers to keep your eye on this evening. Even though Chesapeake native Mark Wertz enters the evening twenty-two points off the division lead, Wertz is looking to put his full-time driving career to an end with at least one more win at his home track. Two other drivers in the top five, Connor Hall and Brenden Queen, have been strong all season long but have yet to find their way into Dale Lemonds Victory Lane, look for both of these young drivers to fight for the win before the 2018 season comes to an end.

Five more divisions will crown champions later this evening when the checkered flag waves. Layton Harrison will look to hold off Wyatt Philyaw in the Cycle City Corp Bandolero series. Harrison enters tonight’s race with an eight-point lead. Tommy Jackson Jr., who has been on fire as of late, enters the weekend with a twelve point lead over last years champion, Spencer Saunders. Unless cars come out of the woodwork, Jackson all but needs to start the feature to secure the tile. Jacob Carr will look to hang onto his eight-point advantage over Dustin Mullins in the Harris Truck Shop Super trucks series. Paul Lubno, in arguably the most lopsided championship battle, does not even need to show up for tonight’s 40-lap Pepsi Grand Stock finale to lock up his series title. Last but certainly not least, Ronald Klein looks to hang onto his more than ten point advantage to win the Bojangle’s Enduro title.

Grandstands and practice are scheduled to get underway at 2:00 PM EDT. Our LIVE Twitter coverage will begin approx. 4:30 PM EDT when qualifying gets underway. A full race day schedule can be found below.

 

Practice Order

Taylor Waste Services Late Models – 3 Practices

Pepsi Grand Stocks – 2 Practices

Harris Truck Shop Super Trucks – 2 Practices

Cycle City Corp. Legend – 2 Practices

Cycle City Corp. Bandolero – 2 Practices

 

Qualifying Order

Cycle City Corp. Legend – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)

Cycle City Corp. Bandolero – Euro Qualifying 3 cars 5 laps

Harris Truck Shop Super Trucks – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)

Pepsi Grand Stock – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)

Taylor Waste Services Late Models – 3 laps (scuff-Green-White-Checkered)

Enduro – Practice/Staring line-up will be determined by draw

 

Race Line-Up

Taylor Waste Services Late Models – 75 laps

Cycle City Corp. Bandolero – 15 laps

Harris Truck Shop Super Trucks – 25 laps

Cycle City Corp. Legend – 25 laps

Pepsi Grand Stock – 40 laps

Taylor Waste Services Late Models – 75 laps

BOJANGLES Enduros – 30 laps

C.E. Falk Finally Adds Martinsville to his Resume After Wild Valley Star Credit Union 300 Finish

Photo: Andy Newsome/Loose In Tight Off

There are a few things that you can expect when you go to any given race on any given weekend. There will be only one winner. There will be multiple losers. The smell of race fuel will exhilarate/excite you. There will be plenty of drama. However, throw in a $25,000 paycheck, a prestigious grandfather clock, and a $10,000 bonus to the winner of the Virginia Triple Crown what are you going to get? Carnage!

Just about every race fan in the Commonwealth, and even a few outside, all had their eyes on one facility this past weekend, the historic Martinsville Speedway. Seventy of some of the best Late Model Stock Car drivers, and arguably the best Super Late Model driver, converged on the historic paperclip hunting for the cash, the honor, and maybe even more importantly, The Clock. For those of you who may not know what we are referring to this past weekend was the highly anticipated ValeyStar Credit Union 300.

The action officially got underway early Friday morning after Hurricane Florence threatened the area during the originally scheduled date. Teams were able to hit the track for the first time in over a year after falling behind the eight ball in hopes of building a solid notebook for the two hundred-lap feature scheduled for Saturday night. Morning practice was not officially scored. However, practice later in the afternoon was, Layne Riggs found himself at the top of the speed charts.

Qualifying was the final event on the schedule Friday evening. Groups of five cars were sent out onto the track at a time and given five laps to lay down their fastest time. Stacy Puryear, clocking in at 20.100, was the man to beat when he went out almost smack dab in the middle of the session improving last years starting position by one and once again locking himself into the show. North Carolina’s and current CARS Tour driver Tommy Lemons also joined him as the only other driver locked in. All other would compete in three twenty-five lap heat races to earn their starting positions.

For those who may not know, the rest of the field for the two hundred lap feature is done so from three twenty-five lap heat race – the top ten move on. The rest of the field, or those that can answer the call, go into a twenty-five lap last chance qualifier – again top ten cars transfer to make up the forty-two car field. Historically, these races are known to be rather chaotic. I mean think about it, more than seventy cars show up, only two are locked in. One bad start, one tire out of line, or end up on the wrong side of a wreck and you’re going home. Philip Morris, Josh Berry, and Brandon Pierce were all victorious in their respective heats – all starting from the pole position. Justin T. Carroll won the last chance race to earn his spot in the show.

Once the green was displayed there was nothing short of hard racing, unexpected failures from some top teams, and of course some pretty hard wrecks. The first “segment” – if you will – was rather tame. I am sure tires and tire conservation was on the mind of a lot of teams and drivers as things were done a bit different this year. Everyone was given four tires and could do what they wanted with them, and add up to ten gallons of fuel, at both the lap one hundred and one eighty break. It was going to be interesting to see how teams were going to work their strategy.

The race did see a handful of leaders throughout it entirety and it was certainly thrown through a loop as the lap wound down. Arguably the most dominant car all night was that of JR Motorsports driver, Josh Berry. The car did not make it easy on him, however, as we learned after we won the extra cash at the halfway break from team owner Dale Jr. who was watching on Fanstchoice, that he did not have power steering for most of the first half. A six-car invert – something I think is just beyond annoying in a race with so much on the line – forced Berry to restart a couple rows deeper than he should have.

That did not stop the North Carolina based driver who found himself back up front and leading the race in no time, working to hold off the likes of Late Model and local veteran, Peyton Sellers. Who, by the way, would steal the lead away from Berry on a restart with less than ten laps to go. Sellers would beat Berry to line by mere inches before the caution was once again displayed after a huge wreck on the front stretch when Myatt Snider had engine issues and failed to get going. Berry would attempt to retake the lead in the same fashion as it was taken from him on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered, however, Berry and Sellers would make contact going into one and bring out another caution.

With Berry now out of the picture, so to speak, following such a strong run, it was up to Peyton Sellers, Layne Riggs, and Super Late Model standout Bubba Pollard. However, on attempt number two for a GWC finish, all three would have their shot at the clock erased after Riggs got in to the back of Sellers just a little too hard going back into one. Sellers would spin and take some damage from other cars getting into him and Pollard would end opt in the outside wall an unable to continue. Riggs was penalized for aggressive driving – he would come down pit road an eventually park his machine. Queue the walk from Pollard to Riggs’ pit for what should have been a simple conversation but turned into a mob of… people following Pollard.

Back on the track after three of the front-runners were taken out, it handed the front row over to Cory Heim – driving for Lee Pulliam who has been the center of attention as of late due to two disqualification at South Boston – and yet another Late Model Stock Car veteran C.E. Falk. Heim would stay low; Falk would take the cone and restart to his right. Once the caution car was off the track and the field hit the restart box it appeared that Falk got going just a little better than Heim and nosed him out at the line – according to the scoring transponders. This is important to note because yet another and one last caution was displayed for wrecking cars throughout turns one and two.

NASCAR officials, after deliberating for about fifteen minutes, declared C.E Falk the winner in one of the most controversial ways possible after going back to what race director Lynn Carroll said was the last completed green flag lap. The one that was completed when the cars crossed the line after the restart – a procedure that Carroll has said has been in the rulebook for Late Model Stocks for a while. This despite what fans in the stands and watching on Fanschoice saw where Heim was in front of Falk once the caution was displayed. Heim would be scored second followed by Brandon Pierce, Trevor Ward, and Peyton Sellers.

“We all come here wanting to win it but it’s like winning the freaking lottery, and we did,” Falk said. “We missed the wrecks, we were up front all night long and my team did it. We might not have had the very best car but we were there when it counted and this is something I’ll cherish the rest of my life.”

Corey Heim, who was making his Martinsville debut, finished second.

“I knew coming here that we had a shot at winning, just had to drive hard,” Heim said. “This is the biggest spotlight I’ve ever been in, I think a lot of people know my name now and I’m glad to be here. I just wish I could get my hands on that grandfather clock and $25,000.”

 

 

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 OFFICIAL Results

  1. #02 C.E Falk; 216
  2. #78 Corey Heim; 216
  3. #42 Brandon Pierce; 216
  4. #97 Trevor Ward; 216
  5. #26 Peyton Sellers; 216
  6. #57 Justin T. Carroll; 216
  7. #18 Ty Gibbs; 216
  8. #15 Kres VanDyke; 216
  9. #16 RD Smith; 216
  10. #07 Kevin Neal; 216
  11. #41 Woody Howard; 216
  12. #01 Philip Morris; 216
  13. #8 Thomas Scott; 216
  14. #6 Lee Pulliam; 216
  15. #77 Balke Stallings; 216
  16. #54 Jeremy Burns; 216
  17. #2 Trevor Noles; 216
  18. #61 Justin Hicks; 215
  19. #88 Josh Berry; 215
  20. #17 Stacy Puryear; 215
  21. #25 Derrick Lancaster; 215
  22. #73 Bruce Anderson; 214
  23. #12 Austin Thaxton; 213
  24. #82 Timothy Peters; 212
  25. #99 Layne Riggs; 210
  26. #86 Bubba Pollard; 208
  27. #0 Matt Leicht; 197
  28. #11 Jeff Oakley 197
  29. #87 Mike Looney; 197
  30. #23 Myatt Snider; 194
  31. #5 Dexter Canipe, Jr.; 180
  32. #08 Tyler Hughes; 154
  33. #14 Ryan Repko; 142
  34. #75 Ryan Millington; 118
  35. #84 Colin Carrett; 104
  36. #04 Jonathan Findley; 101
  37. #31 Mike Darne; 100
  38. #27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.; 92
  39. #22 Bobby McCarty; 87
  40. #71 Kyle Benjamin; 70
  41. #20 Grayson Cullather; 36
  42. #24 Mason Diaz, 24
« Older Entries