Trevor Noles (2) and Timothy Peters (12) lead the field to the green flag for the 2017 ValleyStar Credit Union 300. (Photo:

The most prestigious Late Model race in the United States will not occur this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Martinsville Speedway to cancel the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 scheduled for Sept. 26.

“The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is a tradition that brings the Virginia racing community together to root for their favorite local races at the short track,” Martinsville president Clay Campbell said. “We will miss the annual day of competition due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Josh Berry entered this year’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 as the defending winner after leading all 200 laps in last year’s event, and was set to defend his title against a stout group of competitors that included former race winners in Lee Pulliam, Tommy Lemons Jr. and Timothy Peters.

All of them will have to wait another year to add another victory at Martinsville to their resumes with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the state of Virginia, which has lost 2,436 people to the virus and currently has 94,333 active cases.

Campbell said that Martinsville will now shift its focus towards preparing for the penultimate races of the 2020 NASCAR season, but will announce a date for the 2021 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 later this year.