Tag Archives: Matt Bowling

Valley Star Credit Union 300 Who to Watch – With Special Guest Mark Rogers Jr.

img_9843It’s one of, if not the most prestigious Late Model race this region has to offer when it comes to asphalt short track racing. The Mid-West as the Winchester 400, the North East has the Oxford 250, the South East has the Snowball Derby, granted those are all Super Late Models, we are blessed with the Fall Classic that is Martinsville. Every year drivers from all over flock to the .526-mile paper clip at a shot at one of the biggest pay days of their career.

Over 70 drivers will attempt to make the field of 43 racing 200-laps for the shot of $25,000 and more! For the last couple of years, as The Weekly Racer has been able to attend, we have given our picks on who you should watch for from our experience over the previous season of racing. But while we make our cases for the Lee Pulliam’s, Matt Bowling’s, Peyton Seller’s and Tommy Lemon Jr’s to win. Lets not over look the race teams who have every bit of good equipment and just might be a surprise race winner of the 2016 Valley Star 300.

With 2016 being our third year covering the track we thought we would spice things up a little bit and bring in a guest who is respected among many within the Late Model community. Someone to shine a little different lite on the race, to offer up a different look on things. This year’s special guest is none other than Mr. Mark Rogers Jr. of Race22. Whom has teamed up yet again to work on bringing you the fans some of the best coverage of the race to date! Be sure to be on the look out for our combined LIVE coverage on both Twitter feeds as well as a dedicated chat style broadcast.


Mark Rogers Jr – Who to Watch


Macy Causey


Though she came up short of making the field for last years race, you might want to consider giving Macy Causey a second glance. Vegas odds would likely be against her but things are very different this year for her as she continues to mature and impress in the Late Model racing. Though its been a short race season for Macy, she gained popular attention leading several laps out at Dominion Raceway racing against Nick Smith who was the track champion this year. Macy was also showing speed in the Martinsville test session last week as she had Late Model stand out and current Xfinity series part time driver Matt Waltz turning the wrenches. Needless to say, those clicking stopwatches will likely all agree, might want to keep an eye on Macy Causey.


Ryan Repko

Next one I believe you should consider is Ryan Repko who has been racing out at Motor Mile Speedway and ventured out to make a trip to Dominion Raceway as well. Though some will critique car counts at Motor Mile, what impresses me the most is that Repko has raced and followed in the lines of two National Champions in Lee Pulliam and Phillip Morris this year. Not bad company to be around right? Repko finished third in the series points at Motor Mile behind Morris and track champion Pulliam showing that he can compete. I think will get nothing less from Repko at Martinsville, his test day went very well for a kid to have never turned laps at the half mile paperclip track. Repko clicked off some 20.40’s putting him well within the best during testing. Just one more to consider based on performance.


Justin T. Carroll


📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Lets do another, testing well at Martinsville and clicking laps in the 20.40’s was CARS Late Model Tour Series driver Justin Carroll. Back in September, Carroll dominated an evening at Hickory Motor Speedway taking the race pole and the twin race events. The success and momentum is still riding high especially learning that he practiced well up top on the leader board at Martinsville last week. Justin is one of those racers that tends to sneak up there and gets involved in late race battles. Though Justin would likely agree that many things will have to go right for him to…get involved. This again, is one of those race talents who has the goods and could very well be in those ones to watch category.


Mike Looney

Next up is another one of the 2016 Motor Mile Alumi and Martinsville test session standouts in Mike Looney. I know, pick the guy who clocked the fastest lap clicked on the stopwatch and tell me to watch out for him right? Perhaps, but Looney was the only one who was consistently fast all day when followed  upon. So should we just go ahead and award him the prestigious Martinsville Speedway Grandfather Clock? Of course not, two hundred laps and the checker flag is what will determine that. But what it does mean is that Mike Looney is no joke and must be given his earned due as one to watch in this years Valley Star 300.


Phillip Morris

📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

All right, last one to make it a five count, not just any name to the list either but certainly one to watch, the “King” himself…Phillip Morris. Though stark in contrast to the others here on the list, I’m putting Morris as one to watch because this will be his year to get after it. All the bad luck of recent years is behind him for this race, its about time now where experience matters and a great hot rod is a big deal. Morris finished second in series points at Motor Mile this year and pocketed some race wins as well. Many thought when Morris backed down on racing the past few years that it was going to be the last of the “King”. Like all kings, whether you love him or you don’t. Phillip Morris is here at Martinsville Speedway and showing speed in preparation for the 2016 Valley Star 300. Morris is certainly one to watch as the weekend approaches.


The Weekly Racer’s Top 5 To Watch


Tommy Lemons Jr.

It hasn’t been done in my life time and it’s almost to easy of a pick but something in my gut just tells me Tommy Lemons, Jr. is look to fill one more room in his house with a grandfather clock. A repeat winner hasn’t been crowned at Martinsville since the mid 80’s when the track hosted both a spring and fall race. With Lemons posting unofficial times during the annual test session down in the 40’s and 50’s and the car showing good stability all day long, Lemons has to be one of the cars on your radar coming into this weekend.


Macy Causey

Much like Mark Rogers mentioned above, you see the name Macy Causey and may think to yourself… who? Well I can tell you what, it’s certainly a name you are going to want to start remembering as she has been invited to showcase her talents once again this year in Rev Racings, Drive for Diversity program. Returning to the paperclip after not even making the show last year, Causey has proven herself late in 2016 by being able to hang with some of the bigger names in Late Model racing. Couple that with a brand new attitude on racing and Xfinity set-up man/part time driver, Matt Waltz, Causey is going to be a car to watch this year.


R.D Smith


📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

After starting in the rear of the 43-car field just a year ago and being able to survive and finish third, R.D. Smith is another driver that comes to mind. After showing impressive times in Thursday’s test session and sharing with us he felt the car was almost there, he too will be a car to look out for. Smith spent most of the morning, by our watches, as one of the fastest cars to take a lap. After speaking with Smith at the conclusion of Thursday’s test he let us know with just a few more tweaks he feels the car should be just right.


Josh Berry

📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

This young man has been on a tear in the CARS Late Model Tour this season. Had it not been for missing one race Berry would more than likely be your points leader in that touring division has he has two poles and four wins in just seven starts. Berry proved to the world that he knows how to wheel a race car after putting up a solid finish in the #88 Jr. Motorsports Xfinity car at Richmond. In addition, Berry is one of the few drivers that have been able to win at Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA in just his first time. Given the times clocked all day last week – Berry will need to be at the top of everyone’s cars to watch.



Matt Bowling

You may think I am crazy right? Picking the most recent NWAAS National Champ is probably a crazy move. Especially seeing’s how the last few years has proven the national champ doesn’t win the race and would be lucky to even finish the race. Well I believe in superstition to a degree and I believe every “curse” has to come to an end. I also think 2016 will be the year that the NWAAS Champ will be able to have his cake and eat it to. After clocking times that were consistently fast all day, Matt Bowling has been on such a roll this year it is hard to count this young man out. Remember, its not always the fastest car that wins the race, and in the case of Martinsville, its more so the car that can avoid the most trouble.


Honorable Mentions: Mason Diaz, who can be a bit aggressive on the racing surface and has proven he is not scared to mix it up with the big boys. After one of the worst injuries we have seen in Late Model racing ourselves, Bradley McCaskill remains on the list of those to be careful with. Coming off an injury it sure would be a story book ending to one interesting story. Coming off not only his first career win but first career track championship, Brenden Queen has one of the best in the business as a crew chief. Showing steady speeds in the mid 20’s this past Thursday, as long as Queen can keep his nose clean, could be a factor in Sundays feature. Finally making our honorable mentions are the Edwards Brothers. Even though both Danny and Greg have been all but dormant in 2016 both have been in the business far to long to forget how to get up on the wheel. Both drivers showed impressive speeds all day last Thursday and looked about as good as any of them when they went out for their sticker run.



Well there you have it, a five racer list, between two gentleman from two separate organizations, of those whom to watch. We could have played safe and gone high on the speed charts or stuck with all the “big names” to make our picks from. But on this list were the intentions of race teams should opportunity meet preparation, an awesome win for these ones to watch is very much possible. Don’t cheat yourself fans, don’t miss this great NWAAS Late Model event at Martinsville Speedway. Local short track racing in the Mid-Atlantic is as good as its ever been. This weekend, we celebrate the best teams in Late Model racing, nearly eighty will participate, but only one will win. Who are your top five picks? Leave a comment bellow or on our Facebook wall. We love to hear your thoughts.

Matt Bowling Wins 2016 South Boston Speedway, Virginia State, and National Points Championship


Matt Bowling celebrates a victory at East Carolina Motor Speedway on September 11th. On of is seven races in four days that weekend. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

The road to any National Title is never an easy one. For Matt Bowling, the Ridgeway, Virginia native, that road consisted of forty-nine starts at eight different NASCAR Hometracks throughout four states in the Mid-Atlantic region. After six months, fourteen wins, thirty-four top fives and over forty top ten finishes, Matt Bowling was finally able to call himself a National Champion.

NASCAR made things official earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 via the Hometracks Twitter feed that Bowling (678) locked up his first championship over Northeastern Modified ace Keith Rocco (672), Ty Majeski (669), Nick Smith (638) and three time national champion Lee Pulliam (629). Bowling had his fair share of ups and downs along that road with dealing with new tracks, new drivers, and various mechanical failures with the car.

Bowling entered the weekend looking for what you could call the trifecta of championships – the national title, your home state, and your home track. With a third and twenty-first place finish in the season finale at South Boston, Bowling was able to do just that.

The afternoon started out well for Bowling after setting the fastest time in qualifying to lead the field of twenty-sex cars to green. He would also lead a good portion of the first 75-lap feature before defending National Champ, Lee Pulliam, had other plans. The two would battle for position momentarily before Pulliam took back the lead and eventually the race win. A potentially scary moment in race number two for Bowling having his engine expire regulating him to the twenty-first place finish. It did not take long for news to spread through pit road the guys Bowling was racing also did not win this past weekend which all but locked up Bowling’s first national title.

Now that the regular season has concluded Bowling will now focus his attention to one of the most prestigious races one can enter – the Valley Star Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. A race that has plagued past National Champs in the past.

“The last thing left on my checklist is to win Martinsville,” Bowling said in an interview earlier this week with Martinsville Speedway. “For me personally, I grew up watching races there. It’s in my hometown. I’d really love to get that one.”

No better way than to cap off a national title with your very own grandfather clock to boot. Bowling is looking to break the streak that the Paperclip has had on drivers in the past year – no driver that won the national title has won the Grandfather clock.

Tyler Matthews Continues to Ride Hot Streak Right Into Victory Lane At East Carolina Motor Speedway

Tyler Matthews working turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon during practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Tyler Matthews working turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon during practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – It’s safe to say that winning on Sunday’s is what every NASCAR driver wants to do. Granted there is a little more to that sentence and usually is a reference to the Sprint Cup Series. This weekend however, Tyler Matthews rom Richlands, North Carolina, found a way to put his #63 machine in victory lane at East Carolina Motor Speedway to end the weekend on a high note.

After earning a victory and a   place finish the night prior at SNMP, Matthews packed up and headed east to run ECMS’ Twin 40-lap features in companion with the Southern Modified tour, a race that was supposed to be on Labor Day weekend but was rescheduled due to Tropical Storm Hermine. East Carolina has been a track that Matthews has proven he knows how to get around all year long and did so again Sunday afternoon.

After qualifying second to current track points leader Brenden Queen, Matthews was able to battle through some thick racing to score a second place finish in the first set of twin features which not only allowed him to gain some ground on Queen in the State race, it also allowed him to start on the outside pole of race number two as the speedway deviated from their normal qualifying procedures.

Matthews did what few are actually able to do around that 3/8-mile high bank oval and that is make the top groove work. Powering around Bowling on the outside to lead lap one and that was just about all she wrote! With only three caution flags throughout the entire 40-lap feature, and one of them coming from contact between Louis White and Brenden Queen, there was not a car in the entire county that had anything for Tyler Matthews.

Though things were easy sailing for Matthews at the front of the pack things certainly were interesting behind him. With Matthews out front that left the trio of Queen, White, and Burbage to duke it out for position, and if you have been following East Carolina all season you know neither one of these drivers wants to give an inch. It actually would cost all three of them a few positions on the track when on a late restart Queen, on the low side, entered turn one with Louis White to his right, the two would make contact sending White around up the hill and left Queen with some heavy nose damage. Burbage, who in just my personal opinion, got the worst end of the deal, had nowhere to go bellow him and was forced up to the wall just behind the two. Burbage would have to start further back in the field because his car came to a complete stop.

With the two victories in four races over the weekend, the 2015 North Carolina Rookie of the Year was able to jump ahead of Queen in the State points by two and was overall pretty happy with how things played out.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for us,” Matthews said in victory lane Sunday evening. “We unloaded at Southern National pretty sporty and sat on the pole and lead most of the laps. Bowling gave me a pretty good run for the money on the outside. The car was off just a little bit till the pressures came up and then the car came to me and we won.”

Matthews and crew would then have to head back to the shop and change the setup over to East Carolina as they are operating with just one car as we close out the NWAAS.

“The crew worked through the night,” Matthews explained. “We don’t usually do something like this. We are used to running one weekend and going to the house and working on it. We got her tuned up using out notes from this track and went out and sat on the outside pole. We just got hung up there on the outside and had to survive all that stuff going on in front and around us, that was a challenge in itself. Battled back to second and by that time Bowling was checked out.”

The second feature was later in the afternoon and probably more importantly after the 150-lap feature from the Southern Modifieds laying down a lot of different rubber. Matthews was able to tweak on the car to get it just right and the team hit on something good because once he got around Bowling on the outside there was not catching him.

“Once we got around him [Bowling] on the outside we just got out there clicking laps off,” Matthews said. “According to Race Monitor Louis White was coming though. I never saw him but my spotter was letting me know he was coming. We were just trying to stay consistent and save tires. We were able to push go when we needed to and survived all the restarts. I just couldn’t do this without my crew and family, of course the fans, just everyone that puts this thing on for us, its been a great weekend.”



P1. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P2. #83 Matt Bowling; 40
P3. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
P4. #12 Wesley Johnson; 40
P5. #7 Louis White; 40
P6. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P7. #12 Dean Shiflett; 40
P8. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
P9. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
P10. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
P11. #5 Paul Williamson; 29
P12. #26 Eric Winslow; 15
P13. #67 JT Jackson; 12
P14. #10 Madyson Mulligan; 10
P15. #88 Thomas Marks; 5
P16. #01b Mark Wertz; 5
P17 #83x George Brunnhoelzl, 5
P18. #0 Justin Snow; 3

No Rest for the Weary – Matt Bowling Doing What Ever it Takes to Win National Title


#83 Matt Bowling rolling through turn one at East Carolina Motor Speedway. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – With just a week left on the calendar to accumulate points for his run at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship, Matt Bowling took to the road this weekend competing in seven races at four tracks in three states. After a cut tire took him out of the running at Dominion Raceway on Thursday, Bowling headed south to Anderson Speedway and competed in a pair of 50-lap features with moderate success. After heading back to North Carolina, Bowling was able to grab a win at Southern National before heading over to East Carolina Sunday afternoon to earn a win and second place finish.

Competing in seven races in three states over four days, Bowling gained valuable points over northeastern ace Keith Rocco. With a victory and a second place finish this past Sunday in a full field of cars; Bowling has put a thirteen-point cushion between himself and Rocco – seventeen points between third place driver Ty Majeski.

Bowling would start the first race on the outside pole next to track points leader Brenden Queen. Took two attempts to get the race under way as the flagman Terry Bullock did not like the initial start. Once officially underway it only took Bowling six laps to get around Queen to take the lead. After that it was all but Bowling’s race to lose as he showed complete dominance.

The first caution of the evening came just past lap fifteen and when Louis White moved Tyler Matthews up the hill to take the third position. The caution however was for the #91 of Justin Carroll, whom if it were not for bad luck he would have no luck, spun off of turn four – we were not able to see with our own eyes if he had help. Officials were quick to get things taken care of so we could get back to green flag racing.

We got back under green just as we reached the half way mark of the first feature. Bowling and Queen had a decent battle for a bit before Queen tucked in behind the #83 and was immediately meet with an onslaught of attacks from Late Model veteran Louis White – who sits second in points to Queen in the track championship. White applies the ole’ chrome horn as they liked to say back in the day a few more times to the rear bumper of Queen and eventually gets by. Queen however was not going to go unheard and returns the favor as they exited two the next lap to retake the second position. Down the back stretch the two would go – White applying the breaks hard looking for what looked to be a cross over move but ended up being a bump and run to move Queen back up the hill in turn three and regaining the second position. Queen would fall from the top five.

A couple of late caution would bunch the field up yet again. One for debris in turn three at the top of the racing groove. The other due to a wreck in turn two after the restart after Louis White and Thomas Burbage looked to make contact. Thomas Marks and Paul Williamson were not able to get slowed up in time and both drivers got some damage. White and Marks taking the brunt of it.

Racing resumed after a brief red flag for extensive cleanup from wall to wall in two – was all water from a broken radiator hose so nothing to crazy. Matt Bowling got a huge jump on the final restart of the race to cruise to the victory. Tyler Matthews, who had been bidding his time all race and able to make it through the wreck would finish second. Queen Burbage and Jeff Shiflett would round out the top five.

“Its been a wild weekend full of racing,” Bowling said after the races. “Kind of glad to see it come to an end. I just cannot thank all my guys enough who put in all the work. A whole lot of work this past week went into this and to come away with two wins is big for us.”

Bowling car was pretty much untouchable in the first race however fell off just a bit in the second. However, a few factors must be noted, the Southern Mods put 150 laps of rubber down and the second feature was run later in the afternoon after the track had cooled down.

“We knew the modified rubber was going to change the track some,” Bowling told The Weekly Racer. “We kind of just swung for it because we knew we had to be better if we were going to win the second one and we just missed it a little bit. We put in a good effort this weekend and that’s all you can ask for and we are just really happy to come home with two wins.”

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points will come to an end this weekend. Bowling will be at his home track of South Boston Speedway to compete in a set of twin features where he looks to not only clinch the track title but both the Virginia State and National title.



P1. #83 Matt Bowling; 40
P2. #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P3. #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P4. #9 Thomas Burbage; 40
P5. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 40
P6. #91 Justin Carroll; 40
P7. #7 Louis White; 40
P8. #12 Wesley Johnson; 40
P9. #33 Ryan Haddock; 40
P10. #5 Paul Williamson; 39
P11. #88 Thomas Marks; 35
P12. #25 Kenneth Mercer; 35
P13. #12 Dean Shiflett; 24
P14. #26 Eric Wnslow; 15
P15. #67 JT Jackson; 10
P16. #10 Madyson Mulligan; 10
P17. #83x George Brunnhoelzl III; 8
P18. #01b Mark Wertz; 5
P19. #0 Justin Snow; 3

Thaxton Damages Bowling National Title Hopes with Late Model Win

📸 Austin Thaxton Facebook

📸 Austin Thaxton Facebook

South Boston, VA – Austin Thaxton, of South Boston, Virginia, recovered from a spin early in the race and came through the field to win the 100-lap “Italian Delight Family Restaurant Frutopia Not Just Frozen Yogurt NASCAR Late Model 100” at South Boston Speedway on Saturday.

Matt Bowling, of Ridgeway, Virginia, has held the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points race all year but held only a single point lead entering Saturday’s race.

Bowling, who has eight wins and holds a 63-point lead over Peyton Sellers in the points battle at South Boston Speedway, started mid-pack but took the lead from Bruce Anderson of South Boston, Virginia, on lap 27 and held a comfortable lead until shortly after the race’s second and final caution on lap 53.

Thaxton had moved to third by lap 80 and passed Danville, Virginia’s Peyton Sellers on lap 83, before tracking down Bowling on lap 93 and holding on to win the race by 1.276 seconds, his fourth win of the year.

Sellers finished second, followed by Josh Oakley, of Rougemont, North Carolina, Bowling and Mark Wertz, of Chesapeake, Virginia.

Thaxton captured his second pole of the season with a time of 16.048 seconds (89.731 MPH).


Throckmorton reaches 10-win plateau in Limited Sportsman Division


Joey Throckmorton closed in on the Limited Sportsman Division title with his 10th win of the season on Saturday, passing Daniel Moss of Danville, Virginia, on lap 28 and pulling away from the field to win over Mike Jones, of South Boston, Virginia by 2.751 seconds.

Moss finished in third place, with Colin Garrett of South Boston, Virginia, and Bob Davis, of Thaxton, Virginia, rounding out the top-five finishers in a race that had one caution.

Barry Beggarly, Jr., of Providence, North Carolina, captured his first pole of the season with a time of 16,371 seconds (87.960 MPH).


Allred takes home first Pure Stock win of season


Joe Allred III, of Scottsburg, Virginia, grabbed his first win of the season in the 30-lap Pure Stock Division race, starting back in the field and working his way up before passing Randy Hupp, of Halifax, Virginia, on lap 27.

Hupp finished second, with Bruce Mayo, of Halifax, Virginia, and points leader Johnny Layne, of Nathalie, Virginia, rounding out the top-four finishers in a race that had one caution.

Layne, who has seven wins on the year and elected to start at the rear of the field for passing points, won his seventh pole of the year with a time of 18.739 seconds (76.845 MPH).


Mills takes win in Hornets Division race


The points battle in the Hornets Division became even tighter Saturday with Kenny Mills Jr. of Alton, Virginia, winning his third race of the year.

Mills, 16 points behind Todd Garnett at the beginning of the race, took the lead on lap eight of the 15-lap race and held on to win over Frank Wagner of Nathalie, Virginia, with Drew Dawson of Nathalie, Virginia, and Jared Dawson, of Nathalie, Virginia, rounding out the top-four finishers in a race that had three cautions, with Garnett not finishing the race after an on-track incident.


Rice, Agee division winners for Southern Ground Pounders


Jimmy Rice, of Gibsonville, North Carolina, driving a 1963 Ford Falcon, and Corey Agee, of Martinsville, Virginia, driving a 1938 Plymouth Coupe, were the Sportsman and Modified division winners in the 25-lap race for the Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club race.

Sparky Staton, of Charlottesville, Virginia, driving a 1955 Chevrolet, finished in third place, and Jay Royal, of South Port, North Carolina, rounded out the top-four finishers in a caution-free race.




It will be Championship Night when NASCAR racing action returns to South Boston Speedway Saturday night, Sept. 3 with the 7 p.m. running of the GCR Presents Spaulding Equipment Co. NASCAR Late Model Twin 75’s racing program.

There will be plenty of excitement as South Boston Speedway officials crown the track champion in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division and the Limited Sportsman Division.

Five races are on tap with twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division competitors headlining the action. A 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division round out the night’s action.

Registration and pit gate opens at 2:30 p.m. and practice will start at 4 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 6 p.m. and the first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.

Adult General Admission tickets are $10 each, with youth ages 7-12 admitted for $5 and kids ages six and under being admitted free with a paid adult.

For additional information about the GCR Presents Spaulding Equipment Co. NASCAR Late Model Twin 75’s racing program or any other events at South Boston Speedway, please visit the speedway’s website at www.southbostonspeedway.com or telephone the speedway at 434-572-4947 or 1-877-440-1540.

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