JACKSONVILLE, NC – Brenden Queen picked up the win in the $20,000-to-win Solid Rock Carriers Battle of the Stars at New River All-American Speedway (formerly Coastal Plains Raceway) on Saturday night, dominating in the final stage of the race.
Queen was making his first career start at the 4/10-mile track in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which was hosting its first race under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series banner, and his third with Lee Pulliam Performance. Two-thirds of those starts with Pulliam have ended with two of the biggest victories of his career.
“Lee puts a lot of faith in me because of my success at Langley [Speedway],” Queen said. “He tells me I’m one of the best at doing the tire management thing. He kind of gave me a plan of what he wanted to do and, over the laps of the race, we would adjust if we needed to. Working with Lee man, if anybody can make it happen and make you look good, it’s him.”
🏁 @03Butterbean claims the Battle of the Stars!
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) March 5, 2023
Tire management was the key factor throughout much of the race, with lap times dropping off three seconds from qualifying throughout the duration of long runs. The abrasive track surface increases tire degradation at a rapid pace.
It’s exactly the type of racing that plays to Queen’s strengths.
“These 200-lap races, I’ve always liked the long strategy races,” Queen said. “I knew we rode hard and put ourselves in the front row for good position for the last segment and then it was lights out.”
The victory on Saturday is part of a quickly-growing list of accolades for the Chesapeake, Virginia driver. He won the South Carolina 400 last fall, and picked up Late Model championships at the dirt track in Elizabeth City, North Carolina as well as his third consecutive at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia.
Queen, who goes by the nickname Butterbean due to his resemblance to professional wrestler Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch, celebrates his wins with a postrace dinner at Waffle House with his family and his crew.
How do you celebrate a $20,000 win?
— Andy Marquis 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@amarquis32) March 5, 2023
“Lee and all the boys were going to come but they had to go back to work to get ready for Southern National,” Queen explained. “I’m super blessed and I’m trying to make the most of this opportunity and winning races is how you do that.”
While the Waffle House victory dinner is a tradition of old, a new tradition may have also been born.
“I actually signed a can of butterbeans in victory lane,” Queen stated. “That’s the first time I’ve ever done that.”
— Jayleen Rose💙 (@DangerMcCann43) March 5, 2023
Fellow Virginia driver Connor Hall finished in second while Jared Fryar, Bobby McCarty, and Camden Gullie rounded out the top-five – a field that consisted of multiple CARS Tour champions, track champions across the region, and marquee race winners.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: 1.) #03 – Brenden Queen; 2.) #77 – Connor Hall; 3.) #14 – Jared Fryar; 4.) #6 – Bobby McCarty; 5.) 01 – Camden Gullie; 6.) #44 – Conner Jones; 7.) #7 – Brandon Clements; 8.) #1 – Tony Grady; 9.) #29 – Paul Williamson; 10.) #18 – Jason York; 11.) #74 – Ronald Hill; 12.) #1Y – Jamie York; 13.) #16 – Rusty Daniels