Brandon Clements has made a name for himself over the years in Mini-Stock racing.  Now, the veteran racer is ready to take on his biggest challenge as he will make his first attempt to qualify for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

Thursday’s test session will be crucial 29-year-old from Swansboro, North Carolina.  Clements has never logged laps at Martinsville Speedway, but he will be driving for Jimmy Mooring in the car that sat on the pole for last year’s race and will have veteran crew chief Wendell Davis calling the shots.

“I’m ready to get out there and log some laps,” Clements told Race22.  “Martinsville is a place all local short track racers dream about racing at.  I am blessed and thankful for the opportunity Jimmy Mooring has given me to drive his car and looking to make the best of it.”

Martinsville Speedway is a place where Late Model Stock Car dreamers race and racers dream.  Clements, who won the Late Model track championship at Carteret County Speedway in 2018, is no different.

“We’re going with the dream of bringing that clock home just like everyone else, but we all know how this race can play out,” Clements said.  “With the talent level that this race brings, it is a tough show.  My goal realistically is to qualify in the top-20 and be a competitive top-10, that would be a dream come true.  I feel we have a great shot at meeting our goals with Wendell Davis calling the shots.  I know we will unload with a fast car, driver just has to show up and get on the wheel.”

Clements’ first laps around the track affectionately known as ‘the paperclip’ will come during Thursday night’s open test – a test session that has become the most intense single day on the Late Model Stock Car calendar.

“The test is very important with limited track time there and never running on anything like it,” Clements stated.  “We will have to adapt quickly to make speed.”

Earlier this year, Clements competed in a CARS Late Model Stock Tour race at Carteret County Speedway and had performed well prior to being swept up in a late race accident.  While names such as Josh Berry and Bobby McCarty were in that race, this will be the first time Clements has raced against other short track heavyweights such as Bubba Pollard and Lee Pulliam.

“It would be a huge accomplishment just to make the show,” Clements explained.  “The talent that comes to this race is amazing and to make it and be a part of the elite Late Model Stock field at Martinsville would be very special.  If we were to win, that would be something for the storybooks and would be a hell of a party.”

Because much of Clements’ Late Model success has taken place at Carteret County Speedway, that success has often been overlooked.  Clements feels like a strong run at Martinsville would not just say a lot for his team, but also for the competition at Carteret County and for low budget teams across the tri-state region.

“I feel a good showing would be a huge positive for all low budget teams and show that there are competitive cars that can run up front in these races, outside of well-known teams and tracks,” Clements commented.  “Carteret, in my opinion, has a ton of talent and it would be great to put up a solid run for our home track guys.”

Clements is the third driver this year to pilot the no. 17 car owned by Jimmy Mooring.  Both Stacy Puryear and Sarah Cornett-Ching have driven for Mooring this season.  Puryear scored wins at Carteret County and Southern National Motorsports Park this season.

Clements’ crew chief, Wendell Davis, is also no stranger to victory lane in big races.

Davis has won the last two Thanksgiving Classic Late Model Stock Car features with Matt McCall driving for him and, in 2011, McCall was leading on the last lap driving for Davis.  However, McCall ended up wrecking off the front bumper of Lee Pulliam on the last lap in a race Pulliam went on to win.