Earnest Performance is presenting a “Shock of the Race” award for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 from Martinsville Speedway. The race22.com staff has reviewed and considered many different entries for the award and we’ve picked the one we think has the most “shock” effect.
Rookie Making the Show and Finishing 12th
No one really thought that Grayson Cullather would roll into Martinsville Speedway for his first time and make the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 let alone find a way to avoid the carnage and finish 12th. It was a huge feat for a young driver who had just recently won his first race at Southside Speedway and hadn’t raced in a lot of Late Model Stock Car races to date.
Front Row Disqualified
Someone being disqualified from the front row of the most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race in the country isn’t all that shocking but when the entire front row gets tossed out after qualifying it’s something to talk about. Jeff Oakley’s pole run was a shock. There was literally no one who thought he’d be on the pole and although Deac McCaskill would have been a better bet for the outside pole, no one would have picked him either. For those two to be disqualified off the front row was shocking and it was just part of an unpredictable weekend at Martinsville
It wasn’t really shocking that one of the Jumpstart Motorsports cars owned by Tommy Lemons, Jr. was up front and battling for the top spot all night but what was the surprise was it wasn’t Lemons it was a Super Late Model veteran turned Late Model Stock Car contender. Trevor Noles was the benchmark for the Jumpstart Motorsports team all weekend and considering he’s never really been that good in a Super Late Model, his run in the biggest Late Model Stock Car race was surprising.
Never Really a Factor
Despite seemingly having the fastest car at the test and on race weekend, Philip Morris was never a factor in the race. It all started when his crew made unapproved changes to his car and forced him to start in the rear of the heat race and from there it was just going nowhere fast. Morris worked his way up through the field several times and seemed to always find a wreck or a need to pit. The guy who dominated the 2017 season throughout Virginia laid a big goose egg in the seasons biggest event.
Out of the Little Pond into the Ocean
Mason Diaz is one of those drivers who doesn’t get credit for his success. One because his dad owns the track he’s primarily won at all year and two because the level of competition was subject to criticism at Southern National Motorsports Park. Well if his win in the Rusty Harpe Memorial at Caraway Speedway wasn’t enough his drive in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 would certainly be. From the controversial contact with Matt Bowling for second in the second heat race to running amongst the top ten all night Diaz proved he can race with anyone.
From the Dukes of Hazzard to a Lead Lap Finish
Myatt Snider is certainly one of the fun guys in Late Model Stock Car racing from his personality to his checkers or wreckers mentality, which somehow usually works out for him. In the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 he bounced back from a crash that saw him jumping over top of some other cars in a wreck like a scene from the Dukes of Hazzard to finish 14th, on the lead lap. It was quite a shocking rally back for the young driver.
Triple Crown Calamity
Four of the top five in the Virginia Triple Crown either had problems or crashed out of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville. It was the final race of the Triple Crown to determine a champion and for most of the guys eligible it was a bad night. Timothy Peters rallied from seventh in the standings, which was based on average finish to win the $10,000 prize money for being champion while Peyton Sellers rallied from a tie for fifth to finish second just barely behind Peters. Had Sellers not got passed by Lee Pulliam coming to the flag he would have won the championship and the money.
And the Winner is…….
Philip Morris never being a Factor in the race despite his domination of the 2017 season.
Hope you enjoyed our list of “Shocking” moments from the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. I know we missed some and I hope you’ll share them with us on our Facebook Page.