RIDGEWAY, VA :: Another installment of Late Model Stock Car racing’s greatest race is in the books and, as we come to expect from the MDCU 300, the race featured controversy, drama, surprises and plenty of action in a race that mirrored the 2013 race in a lot of ways.  Here’s a look back at the good, bad and ugly from yesterday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.

The Good

Lee Pulliam picked up the win in Sunday’s race – the second MDCU 300 win of his career.  Pulliam got the win by passing Sellers with two laps to go on a restart to lead the only two laps he would lead all race.  Those two laps were the most important ones.

Sam Yarbrough became the highest finishing Myrtle Beach Speedway regular in MDCU 300 history.  Yarbrough’s second place finish was one for history and one that South Carolina fans can take joy in.  Despite the last lap incident that put him in second, Yarbrough was actually inside the top-20 for much of the race and steadily worked his way to the front throughout the race.

Mike Darne inherited the lead during the halftime inversion and held off numerous challenges from Peyton Sellers and Timothy Peters before Sellers was finally able to get by.  He looked to have a second place finish in hand until a series of late race restarts relegated him to a fifth place finish.  He’s definitely got plenty of confidence now heading in to the Autumn Classic – a race he sat on the pole in and almost won two years ago.

Who would have thought that Kyle Dudley would not only make his way in to the big dance, but come away with a top-10 finish as well?   Dudley was 57th in qualifying and started 19th in his heat race.  He barely made his way in to the race with a ninth place finish.  The race itself was a different deal.  As attrition took its toll, Dudley stayed out of trouble, got a lap back after falling a lap down and was able to work his way up to a ninth place finish in his first ever MDCU 300 feature appearance.

Brayton Haws got hit by everyone on Sunday but he was still able to make the race and finish inside the top-10.  The race was Haws’ first Martinsville attempt and he was definitely one of Martinsville’s breakthrough performers this year.

Let’s be honest about Anthony Anders.  Nobody really had any super-high expectations for him.  People believed his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship was “bought”.  Many people didn’t even expect him to make the field for the race.  After all, Lee Pulliam didn’t make the field his first two attempts.  Anders did.  While his performance in the race wasn’t great, he was credited with a 14th place finish after being swept up in a last lap wreck.  Not bad for his first attempt.

The Bad

Mike Looney has the worst luck I have ever seen.  Looney was in position to have a strong finish in the race when he lost his clutch and his battery went dead, forcing him to retire from the race right before a green-white-checkered finish.

Speaking of bad luck, it couldn’t get much worse than it did for Jake Crum.  The 2009 MDCU 300 winner had to change an engine before the race, had to start at the rear of the field, races his way up inside the top-10 in the heat race, where he finished, and gets involved in a wreck at the line with Kres VanDyke and had to sit out for the feature event.

Then there’s Jamey Caudill, who didn’t even get to complete a single lap in a brand new car, one that was pretty good.  Caudill was involved in an accident in the first lap of the first heat race with Kres VanDyke, totaling his car and forcing him to watch the MDCU 300 from the stands.

The Ugly

NASCAR seems to have two different rules pertaining to restarts when it’s something that shouldn’t be rocket science.  When the flagman waves the green flag, go.  This should not be rocket science.  Instead, NASCAR has a “restart zone” for the leader to accelerate prior to the start/finish line while also having a rule saying the second place car cannot beat the leader to the start/finish line.  These rules completely contradict each other and the result is that a controversial restart has determined the finish of the last two races.  For what it’s worth, NASCAR and Lynn Carroll made the right call both times.

The competition caution with 10 laps to go once again interrupted a great race.  Instead of watching a thrilling battle for the win between Peyton Sellers and Mike Darne, a battle that had been in progress for some 70 laps, the competition caution turned the race in to a festival of carnage and calamity. First, Michael McGuire broke loose in turn one and collected several drivers.  Then, a scary crash took place on the final lap when Peyton Sellers was wrecked off the front bumper of Sam Yarbrough’s car.  Sellers was then t-boned by Anthony Anders.  The end result was the race ending under caution – not that the last lap caution would’ve changed the outcome for Pulliam.  Congratulations, Matt Weaver, you win this argument this year.