Brenden Queen has emerged as one of the most prolific stars in Late Model Stock Car racing in recent years, and the Virginia driver hoping to add to his growing list of accolades on Saturday when he competes in the Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars.
Saturday’s $20,000-to-win NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car race will be Queen’s first trip to the 4/10-mile track in Onslow County, and his third race with Lee Pulliam Performance. As is the case for everyone who will unload their cars from their haulers in Jacksonville this weekend, Queen’s goal is to win.
“It would be a huge deal to win,” Queen said. “A new track to win at and a good payday. Tons of momentum for us but this is a time in my career where I need to win every chance I get, so I’m staying focused on that and, of course, having a good time.”
This is a time in my career where I need to win every chance I get, so I’m staying focused on that and, of course, having a good time.
Queen, who goes by the nickname Butterbean, is the three-time defending champion at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, and also a former champion at the now-defunct East Carolina Motor Speedway in Martin County, North Carolina. In 2020, Queen picked up a victory in the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley, but his biggest accomplishment came last season when he won the South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway, racing against Dale Earnhardt, Jr., among others. That victory came in his first race driving for four-time NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion Lee Pulliam.
“Winning the Hampton Heat was very special, but winning the 400, with that being my first race with Lee Pulliam Performance, was really cool,” Queen stated. “The attention that race was getting made it an even bigger deal. It’s something I will be proud of forever.”
Becoming one of the more respected drivers, and one who is now considered a contender week in and week out, was what Butterbean hoped to become when he started out his racing career.
“It’s really special,” Queen remarked. “Growing up, I just wanted to be one of the guys that was respected and one that was considered a threat to win. I definitely do not take it for granted. I feel like I’ve come so far, especially in the past few seasons, and started finishing races out.”
Teaming up with Pulliam provides Queen with the opportunity to become one of Late Model Stock Car racing’s elite competitors as he chases wins all around the region. During his racing career, Pulliam was one of the most successful drivers in the history of the discipline with 176 career wins, championships in three different states and three different tracks, and was the only driver during the span of his career to win all of Late Model Stock Car racing’s “majors.”
Since then, Pulliam has worked with up-and-coming drivers, such as Corey Heim, Brandon Pierce, Jonathan Shafer, and now Butterbean.
“Working with Lee is very special,” Queen explained. “He’s a big help. He is someone I Can lean on for advice all around. He knows what it takes to win at every track whereas, for me, I haven’t been to most of the tracks we are going to. I’m excited to be a part of his organization.”
Queen is not just a frequent contender on asphalt, but on dirt as well. Along with his championship at Langley Speedway in an asphalt late model, he picked up a title at the Dixieland Speedway dirt track in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in the track’s late model division last season.
“Dirt racing has been a huge help,” Queen commented. “I think it’s really helped me with how I manage my gas pedal in a race, and also managing grip.”
While Saturday night will be his first start in Jacksonville, it will not be his first start at an Eastern North Carolina track. Queen’s first career Late Model Stock Car victory, and championship, came at the tight confines of the 3/8-mile East Carolina Motor Speedway in Robersonville, North Carolina.
“Eastern Carolina definitely holds a special place to me,” Queen said. “I loved racing in that area and spent a ton of time down in the area.”
While Queen hopes, and expects, to win on Saturday, he will have some elite company in the Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars, including three-time CARS Tour champion Bobby McCarty in his debut with Marcus Richmond and R&S Race Cars, former New River All-American Speedway winner Connor Hall, and rising star Connor Jones, among many others.
Qualifying for the Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars will take place on Saturday, March 4, at 4:30 pm and the feature racing program will commence at 7:00 pm, with the 200-lap, $20,000-to-win Late Model Stock Car race expected to go green around 8-8:15 pm. Tickets are available online on MyRacePass and at the gate on race day for $25, and the event will be broadcast live on the FloRacing streaming platform, which is the official streaming partner of NASCAR Roots.
The complete weekend schedule and additional information about the Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars is available online at newriverspeedway.com/battle.
New River All-American Speedway is Jacksonville’s Action Attraction featuring racing and other events. For more information about New River All-American Speedway, check out the speedway’s website, like/follow “New River Speedway” on Facebook, follow @newriverswy on Twitter, or follow the track on Instagram.
-New River All-American Speedway Press Release