Timothy Peters Set for Last Start in Martinsville 300
Sep 24, 2022
Bobby McCarty, Chase Burrow, Mike Looney and Daniel Silvestri* will start on the pole for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 on Friday night at Martinsville Speedway.
Due to the new time trials format, no one gets locked into the main event for qualifying and the top-10 finishers from each heat race will make up the starting lineup for the 200-lap main event. Meanwhile, a dozen other contenders had their qualifying times disallowed due to various technical infractions found following time trials.
First, the 12 drivers who had their times disallowed and where they originally qualified:
80. Sam Yarbrough (4)
81. Andrew Grady (5)
82. Conner Jones (8)
83. Dylan Ward (12)
84. Jonathan Shafer (15)
85. Mason Diaz (19)
86. Connor Hall (25)
87. Jason York (28)
88. Parker Eatmon (48)
89. Davey Callihan (60)
90. Eddy Johnson (69)
91. Jamie York (72)
The issues were related to carburetor, piston squirters and wheel spacers according to veteran race director Lynn Carroll.
"We had some issues with 12 cars, and they did not conform to the rules, so they were put to the rear of the qualifying order," Carroll said. "The heat races will be set with those cars to the rear of the qualifying order."
R&S Race Cars founder and crew chief Marcus Richmond says Shafer was tossed from the rundown due to an improper piston squirter that he argued had noticeable debris in it. Richmond made that case to Carroll and the race directors considered lifting the infraction, but it ultimately stood. Richmond says the presence of a wheel spacer for Shafer was an oversight.
Grady said an official went right to his car immediately after qualifying with a flashlight to uncover the spacer. The individual penalties for each team was not disclosed by the speedway.
As for McCarty, scoring fastest time felt like a win to the three-time CARS Tour champion and it certainly paid like it too, with a $5,000 prize for setting a Martinsville Late Model Stock record of 19.748 seconds around the half-mile.
But more than that, McCarty and the Nelson Motorsports No. 22 team have struggled this season to understand a new tire compound that dusts us more than it does gum up, and they just haven’t found their typical speed racing on it.
There have been numerous DNFs and finishes outside of the top-10 so having a chance to win Martinsville is the culmination of a year-long effort for the entire No. 22 team.
"It's no secret we've struggled this year," McCarty said. "Seasons like this show you who you are as a team. As people on the whole. The biggest thing with years like this is that you start questioning yourself. I've questioned myself as a driver. The team have questioned themselves and it's really easy in this sport to start doubting yourself.
"So, to set the pole with a track record against 90 cars or whatever it is, definitely a big shot in the arm for sure."
Chase Burrow and Mike Looney will also lead their respective heats to green flag. Looney won this race in 2016 and he knows what it takes to get to Victory Lane and he says Billy Martin Racing has their car where he likes it at Martinsville.
"We did less to a race car here than we ever have before," Looney said. "It just rolled off the truck and were on the top of the board. Proud of this team for their work and effort. Reynolds Racing Chassis are always my go to anywhere. I won’t drive anything else. Charlie Long engine and a good team."
Looney exhaled and saw his breath and says it’s coon hunting weather and he has a dog that can hunt on Saturday.
But, so does Burrow, in his first ever attempt racing at Martinsville, with his podium qualifying effort. He’s looking forward to starting from the pole but expects to have to heat race for his life for 25 laps.
"I think our race pace is good," Burrow said. "I didn’t think we had qualifying speed, but I liked our race pace. First time being here, just me trying to learn the track, and have been top-10 all day. I knew we had a good piece and I just had to do my job."
There were several interesting stories throughout the field.
Ty Majeski, making his Late Model debut at Martinsville for Chad Bryant Racing, lost an engine three laps into practice and only made a dozen laps. He has only run two other Late Model Stock races, both in the South Carolina 400, and won both after losing an engine in practice.
Majeski went on to post the 20th fastest time and will start Heat 4 from fifth.
CARS Tour points leader Carson Kvapil was fastest on mock up tires but could only go 26th fastest in time trials. However, he gained six spots with the disqualifications and will start Heat 3 from fifth.
"I was shocked how much the track changed," Kvapil said. "If anything, I thought it would go loose. I thought our mock run was about perfect. On race runs, we were a little tight. Qualifying, my entry to center was amazing. I thought we were going to have a great lap but I just got really really tight back on the throttle."
Kvapil said they’ll be there at the end.
Similarly, two-time NASCAR Weekly Series champion Peyton Sellers gained a few spots to 27th but feels better about his race pace as well.
"Today was good, we had speed all day, and matter of fact, I think we just got our air pressure too low," Sellers said. "A lot of good cars coming from the back, so we’ll fight hard and find our way in the race and see what happens.
"I think we have a good car but just got bogged down tonight."
The first heat is scheduled for 3 p.m. and each one will take the top-10 finishers. The main event will start at 7 p.m. and will air live on FloRacing. The starting lineups for each heat can be found below.