Veterans Look to Dominate the Competition in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Sept. 24-25
When the best late model stock car drivers from across the country converge at Martinsville Speedway on Sept. 24-25, fans can expect an intensely competitive field that will once again produce fireworks and surprises in the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, ValleyStar Credit Union 300.
This year’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 could prove to be a battle of the veterans as there was not a traditional practice day held one week prior to the event. Even with four hours of practice scheduled for Friday, this is something veterans like Peyton Sellers and Timothy Peters feel could be to their advantage.
Sellers, a native of Danville, Va., won this year’s NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series and is a three-time Virginia Triple Crown champion and enters the race as the sentimental favorite. He has finished in the top-three twice, but has to yet to pick up his first Martinsville grandfather clock in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. Sellers believes having just one practice session ahead of qualifying and the heat races will put younger drivers at a slight disadvantage for the main event.
“This year we did have a test day which is going to make it very hard for young drivers trying to make a name for themselves at Martinsville,” said Sellers. “I do think that’s a little bit of a tough pill to swallow for a Landon Pembelton, Jacob Borst, Carter Langley, (and) those guys who have never been to Martinsville (that) don’t get a test day to try to learn the track. I feel like that will play a little more to the veterans, the guys who have been there multiple times and know the track and know what it’ll do at night.”
Peters, who won the 2005 and 2017 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and 2017 Virginia Triple Crown, feels the veterans who have a lot of laps at Martinsville Speedway could be the ones to watch on Saturday. The Danville, Va. native also won the 2009 Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at his home track.
“The race has always been special to me,” said Peters. “Being able to win at Martinsville Speedway once in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and twice in the late models has been very, very special to me.”
Peters is also in contention to win the Virginia Triple Crown as he enters the race seventh in the standings, but feels his teammate Bobby McCarty is the one to beat for bragging rights in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“This year (Virginia) hasn’t been great for me, but as far as Nelson Motorsports goes it’s been great with Bobby McCarty,” said Peters. “We have a dog in the hunt with him, and we’re really putting all of our focus in with him. We put all of our focus on however many cars we bring to the track, but we really want to see Bobby win that if we can.”
The Virginia Triple Crown is awarded to the driver who has the best average finish in three races starting with the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson Late Model 200 at South Boston Speedway and the Hampton Heat 200 at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in July and ends this weekend in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
In the first two races of the Triple Crown, McCarty won the first leg at South Boston and Josh Berry won the second leg at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway. Sellers and McCarty are tied with an average finish of 4.5 after the first two races. Kayden Honeycutt sits third with an average finish of fifth.
While McCarty is eyeing the honor of winning his first Virginia Triple Crown, the Summerfield, N.C. driver is also hungry to capture his first ValleyStar Credit Union 300 victory.
“We’re just going to win no matter what,” added McCarty. “Martinsville is the crown jewel, I know a lot of drivers talk about crown jewel races but Martinsville is the only one to me. Regardless of the (Virginia) Triple Crown points or anything, for me as a driver that’s the last thing for me to win is Martinsville. Definitely not changing our outlook, we’re going to win and we’ll risk whatever we have to risk to get that win.”
McCarty has made four career starts in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and came home in fourth place in 2019 for his best finish at Martinsville Speedway. He also feels having a veteran like Peters for a teammate can only help his chances of scoring his first win at the challenging half-mile track.”
“Timothy (Peters) and I have very similar driving styles and like the car to be set up almost identical,” said McCarty. “So it’s really cool that we’ll go to Martinsville and go different ways with our setups and put our heads together and try to put that together to get one setup that is going to give us both the best chance to go win the race.”
“I rely on him quite a bit. He sees it from a driver’s standpoint, and it’s really cool to have someone like him to rely on from the setup stuff to the media stuff,” continues McCarty. “He’s done a ton for me and my career and I could never pay him back for everything he’s done for me. For me as a driver it’s really cool and really special to have someone like Timothy around.”
The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car Race, paying a total purse of more than $110,000 with the winner receiving $32,000 and the coveted Martinsville grandfather clock. Over 80 cars including Sellers, Peters, McCarty, Bubba Pollard and other late model stars, along with Rajah Caruth making his event debut, will compete in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Fan Garage/Pit Experience (i.e. driver autograph session) will be free to all fans with a ticket from 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Heat races will begin at 3:00 p.m. Pre-race festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with the 200-lap feature ValleyStar Credit Union 300 starting at 7:00 p.m. The race will have three segments: 75 laps, 75 laps and 50 laps.
Practice for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 begins on Friday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. with qualifying for the pole position starting at 8 p.m. The Campbell Family Foundation will host a fireworks extravaganza following qualifying. Tickets are just $5 for Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions with kids 12-and-under are free.
The Motor Racing Network and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will broadcast the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 feature on Saturday, Sept. 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. On MRN, veteran announcers Alex Hayden and Steve Post will call the action from the booth with Dave Moody in the turns and Hannah Newhouse providing inside analysis and pit reporting. MRN’s broadcast coverage will start at 6:30 p.m. ET. The broadcast will be available on participating affiliates as well as MRN’s digital platforms.
ValleyStar Credit Union 300 race tickets are just $30 for adults with kids 12-and-under are free and available for purchase today via phone at 877-RACE-TIX or online at martinsvillespeedway.com.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Latest from Speedway Digest Staff
- Andy's Frozen Custard 335 results from Texas Motor Speedway
- Kofoid Makes It Two In A Row In Oklahoma POWRi At I-44 Riverside Speedway
- Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing: Kevin Harvick Texas Advance
- World Wide Technology Raceway’s October 23 Run-What-Ya-Brung Saturday drag meet features electric car racing
- Jordan Anderson Racing NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Overview- Texas Motor Speedway