Tag Archives: Martinsville Speedway

Sauter Sweeps Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented By Alpha Energy Solutions, Claiming Spot in Championship 4

Johnny Sauter celebrates his fourth Martinsville Speedway win after claiming the Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented By Alpha Energy Solutions on Saturday, October 27. (Martinsville Speedway Photo by Ken Childs)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. –  Johnny Sauter knew that Martinsville Speedway could be a turning point on his path to battling for a second Camping World Truck Series championship this fall.

He was right.

Sauter won Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented By Alpha Energy Solutions to clinch a spot in the series’ Championship 4 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. In dominant fashion, the now four-time Martinsville winner picked up two stage victories before besting Myatt Snider on a late-race restart secure his sixth win of the season.

“We’re going to Homestead; racing for a championship. That’s what it’s all about,” Sauter said in Gatorade Victory Lane. “I’m so proud of these guys. Pit stops were awesome. Track position seems to be the name of the game here anymore, and I’ve just got to thank everybody. This is a big win.”

Playoff driver Brett Moffitt finished second, Snider was third, Ben Rhodes came home fourth, and Kyle Benjamin rounded out the Top-5. Other notable finishes for playoff drivers included Justin Haley (6th), Noah Gragson (7th), Matt Crafton (13th), and Grant Enfinger (14th).

Enfinger ran into trouble on Lap 259 when he spun along with Chase Purdy, but managed to avoid any major damage. After pitting, the Fairhope, Alabama native was able to fight his way back into the Top-15 to finish the race.

With the triumph, Sauter became the winningest Camping World Truck Series driver at Martinsville Speedway in the series’ 23-year, 40-race history at the historic half-mile, surpassing Kevin Harvick, Dennis Setzer, and Mike Skinner with his fourth iconic Martinsville clock.

“My wife always tells me that we have four kids, we need four clocks so when you tip over we can give each kid a clock,” Sauter said. “This is just a special deal.”

The weekend of action at Martinsville Speedway culminates on Sunday with the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Tickets for the race may be purchased at the track ticket office on Sunday morning, over the phone at 877-RACETIX, or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com

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

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.

 

South Boston Speedway Offering Free Admission To Season Opener For Anyone With Martinsville Speedway Ticket

Photo: South Boston Speedway Facebook

SOUTH BOSTON, VA – South Boston Speedway wants you to double your fun if you plan on going to one of Martinsville Speedway’s two big race days next weekend.

The speedway announced Wednesday free admission to the Danville Toyota Twin 100s on March 24 for anyone presenting a ticket or ticket stub from either the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race or the STP 500 NASCAR Monster Energy Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

The Danville Toyota Twin 100s are slated to take the green flag at 7 p.m. on March 24. The Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville is an afternoon race on March 24 while the STP 500 is on March 25.

“We think this is a great way to introduce some folks to racing at South Boston Speedway that has never been here before and at the same time offer a real bargain to any of our longtime fans who may be going to either of the Martinsville races,” said Cathy Rice, South Boston Speedway’s general manager.

South Boston Speedway’s season-opening Danville Toyota Twin 100s on March 24 will feature twin 100-lap Late Model Stock races, a 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race and a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race.

Tickets are $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Fan gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race taking the green flag at 7 p.m.

Burton Cousins Set To Go Head-to-Head for First Time Ever Saturday at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 22, 2017) – For 13 years, brothers Jeff and Ward Burton raced against each other at NASCAR’s highest level. While the South Boston natives are no longer racing, they will still have their full attention on the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

There will once again be two Burtons in the field, as Ward’s son Jeb and Jeff’s son Harrison will be racing in the same race for the first time.

“It’s definitely special,” Harrison said. “Jeb is someone that’s always helped me a lot and I’ve tried to help him the best I can. Now that we are going to be going against each other it’s going to be a little bit strange. I’ve never race anyone from my family, even my dad. It’s going to be weird, I don’t know how I’m going to act when I see him in his truck and see Burton on the back glass. It’s going to be strange, but it’s going to be fun. I’m really excited to race him and hopefully we get to be door-to-door for some time and get to go at it. It should be a lot of fun.”

Jeb, who has a pole and a top-three finish at Martinsville, will offer any advice he can to his younger cousin.

“Harrison has been doing a good job, and maybe I can teach him a little something there,” Jeb said. “I don’t think he’s finished in the top-10 there yet so maybe I can help him a little bit.”

And Harrison will take all the advice he can get from the elder Burton.

“Jeb has been really good there,” Harrison said. “He is definitely a resource before you go to Martinsville. Before my first truck race there I actually got to drive his Late Model Stock Car around there in a test, and that helped me a lot for the track. So, yeah, he’s definitely a huge resource that I can use to get better. He has so much more experience than me.”

With the holiday season right around the corner, Jeb wants to make sure things stay civil at family gatherings.

“Harrison is a lot younger than me,” Jeb said. “I’ve never raced with him before, so I don’t know what to expect, but I don’t want to start any family drama there for sure.”

That’s something Harrison doesn’t think they need to worry about.

“I’m just going to race him like I would like to be raced and hopefully it will turn out good,” Harrison said.

That doesn’t mean Harrison won’t be afraid to use the bumper if he finds himself running second to Jeb on the final lap, but he would also expect the same from Jeb.

“I think I’d move him,” Harrison said. “You’re going there for one reason and that’s to win. I definitely would not wreck him. I’d definitely use the old bump-and-run tactic on him and I think he would do the same thing. That trophy means a lot to him as well.”

The Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions is Saturday, October 28. The race is the first race in the Round of Six in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. If a Playoff driver wins, he would be the first to lock himself into the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year, Johnny Sauter won the race en route to the Series Championship.

Tickets to the race are $35 for adults. Kids 12-and-under are admitted free. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online atwww.martinsvillespeedway.com.

From First Time Winner to Impressive Valley Star Credit Union Debut; Grayson Cullather Reflects on Martinsville

No 22 Grayson Cullather heads down the front stretch at Martinsville Speedway Saturday September 23, 2017 in final practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

The 2017 Valley Star Credit Union 300 has come and gone and in all honesty, it may have been the most hectic, incredible and fan-filled race to date. Eighty-four cars took time in group qualifying the night before on the half-mile paperclip. One of those drivers was 16-year-old Richmond, Virginia native, Grayson Cullather. In just his second full season in Late Model racing, Cullather was coming into the weekend fresh off his very first career win at his home track, Southside Speedway.

Other than the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway earlier this year, the Valley Star Credit union was just the second race of his young career where he has raced this many laps, with this many cars and it did not seem to phase him. Cullather laid down a 20.530-second lap on Friday night to earn himself a twenty-fifth qualifying position… out of eighty-four cars… in his first attempt at the race. Cullather’s time was just a little over a tenth of a second off the pole.

After the top two times were thrown out by officials, Grayson would official be scored twenty-third on the charts, lining him up seventh in his heat race. He would hold onto a tenth place finish in his heat race, even after getting turned around coming to the checkered flag, to earn the final transfer spot into the big show.

“It was what I expected at the beginning of the weekend and the first twenty-three laps of the heat race,” Cullather said. “Those last two laps and coming across the line backward after being turned on purpose, that had to be the most stressful laps I have ever driven. When I made the race I just felt the weight off my shoulders. I just relaxed in the trailer and got plenty of fluids before the feature.”

His efforts were enough to keep him out of the always hectic last chance qualifier and locked him into the thirty-second starting position on the grid. With a total of forty-two cars taking the green flag he really only had one way to go – forward.

“My spotter, Jesse Vaughn, just took the race as it came,” Cullather explained. “We said that we were just going to ride for the first one hundred fifty laps to see what would happen and just capitalize on the mistakes that other people were making.”

Capitalize on others mistakes and keep the car clean proved to be a good strategy as Cullather found himself in a good position at the halfway break. With cars falling out of the race left and right, Cullather slowly climbed his way up the leaderboard and almost found himself in the top ten after setting a goal of just making the race in his first attempt.

“It gives me confidence,” Cullather said about his twelfth place finish. “Knowing that I can run with some big names. My team was happy I was able to make the show my first time and had the car to be able to pass cars during the race.”

For those who may not know much about this young driver, Grayson comes from Southside Speedway, one of the few tracks in Virginia that do not run the NASCAR banner. NASCAR or not Southside Speedway has seen its fair share of NASCAR legends racing on its surface. It was the original home of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Southside’s Late Models, however, run forty lap features on eight-inch tires; this weekend was certainly a test for Cullather.

“It was really hard,” Cullather confessed. “I wasn’t feeling the best before the race as it was. Probably just because of nerves. At the halfway break I actually got sick right before we went back out. After that I felt fine for the rest of the race, it was just nerves.”

With only a couple more races left in 2017, the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National and Myrtle Beach 400 we asked Grayson if he was going to continue this momentum and give those other two races a shot. Given a long hard season and the effort it goes into pulling off a Martinsville weekend, his answer was very understandable

“We have put some thought into running Southern National or Myrtle Beach,” Cullather told The Weekly Racer, as we were finishing up our interview. “But right now we don’t know what our next race is going to be at this point.”

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