Compiled by: Langley Austin ~ [email protected]
Copper Hill, VA(November 1, 2012) — With Martinsville’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 solidly in the books, it’s time to unveil the FDJ Motorsports Power Rankings “Post-Race” edition.
If you go back and look at the “Pre-Race” edition ( http://race22.com/2012/10/fdj-motorsports-power-rankings-martinsville-pre-race-edition/ ), you’ll find that we nailed it on several drivers, but missed the boat on others. We’re here to give all the drivers who showed a strong performance at Martinsville a little love.
Here goes …
Honorable Mentions ….
Made the race, had a good run going, but finished a dismal 41st
Ronnie Bassett Jr.
After getting spun in his heat, he dominated the Last Chance race. Looked strong in the race, but disobeyed NASCAR officials and ended any chance of a good finish.
Dexter Canipe Jr.
It wasn’t the fourth place finish he had a year ago, but a 19th place finish was strong. Especially considering his car owner wasn’t ever a factor and missed the show.
22 – Rodney Cook
Normally at Martinsville, Rodney Cook isn’t one of the guys you watch. However this season he was running strong all day long until a crash relegated him to a 39th place finish. And, his helmet toss was second to none.
21 – Kenny Brooks
First driver from Concord (regular) to make the VA is for Racing Lovers 300. He was stout, but unfortunately was caught up in someone elses mess.
20 – Chad Finchum
After missing the show the year before, he redeemed himself this year. He was making up a lot of ground in the mid to late stages of the race when another competitor dumped him and later a mechanical failure from the crash eliminated him.
19 – Austin Thaxton
Making the VA is for Racing Lovers 300 is a big deal and Austin Thaxton, didn’t just make it, he performed like a seasoned veteran. A 15th place finish is nothing to sneeze at especially for a young driver.
18 – Justin Boston
Driving the Performancenter Racing Warehouse “house” car, Justin Boston put together a great race. He finished 8th after running strong all day long.
17 – Frank Deiny, Jr.
A brake line issue in his heat forced him to the Last Chance race. After rallying in that race, he made the feature and climbed to a 12th place finish.
16 – Ben Rhodes
Ben Rhodes led the field back to green after an invert of the top six at halfway. He impressed many with the effort, but had to be disappointed in the result, a 14th place finish.
15 – Kris Bowen
Kris Bowen didn’t run as much this season as he would have liked to, but when he did he performed at a high level. He was on par at Martinsville as well and came away with an eighth place finish.
14 – Mike Darne
Qualifying in the top four for the race was an impressive feat for a driver known little outside of Old Dominion Speedway. Mike Darne showed that he can get up on the wheel and that the pieces that Wes Burton Performance are putting out are second to none.
13 – Davin Scites
Returning for his first race at all this season, Davin Scites performed at just the level everyone thought he would. He was among the fastest cars and would have been in the mix for the win if not for an early race crash.
12 – Mike Looney
With just a handful of laps remaining in the VA is for Racing Lovers 300, most everyone in the stands had taken their eyes off of the leaders. They were watching their favorite underdog, Mike Looney. Looney however is known for his bad luck and it struck with a blown engine as the laps wound down.
11 – Coleman Pressley
With the only Ford “crate” engine, Coleman Pressley performed, just like he would have with a built engine like everyone else. He was a contender all day and proved that the “crate” can run with anyone.
10 – Adam Long
Adam Long wasn’t making headlines throughout the weekend, but he was showing vast improvement as the weekend went along. His crew made a change on Saturday that put him in contention for a top 10 and he drove his car to a tenth place finish.
9 – Garrett Campbell
While he didn’t get the finish he was anticipating, Garrett Campbell did impress throughout the weekend. From his strong top four qualifying effort to racing door to door for a heat race win with Philip Morris. It was exactly the performance he needed, but after overheating he would finish 34th.
8 – BJ Mackey
BJ Mackey was on everyone’s radar headed into the weekend. Many thought the format changes played into his hands and while he was great finish and running third most of the race, he was never really a factor for the top spot.
7 – CE Falk III
CE Falk hasn’t had a lot of luck at Martinsville Speedway. However, this season he was vastly improved and looked to be one of the top contenders, though he was never a factor. He did put on a drive in the closing laps to secure the VA Triple Crown Title over Matt Bowling.
6 – Ryan Wilson
Ryan Wilson put on a charge from 24th to 4th in the feature race, though many missed it with all the other chaos going on. However, Wilson’s run didn’t go unnoticed and he proved that he can get the job done anywhere and not just Caraway Speedway.
5 – Brandon Butler
Always one of the drivers that you have to think about being in the mix at Martinsville. Brandon Butler was once again a top five car at Martinsville all weekend long. He finished the weekend with a fifth place finish.
4 – Matt Bowling
Leading laps late and showing that he had one of the cars to beat, Matt Bowling impressed at Martinsville. He had already impressed earlier this year with a win at Langley Speedway in the Hampton Heat and nearly pulled off his biggest career feat with a win at Martinsville. He finished seventh.
3 – Matt McCall
Though the results will always show that Matt McCall finished 32nd, that wasn’t indicative of how he performed. McCall tied for the pole on Saturday and looked to be on his way to an easy top five finish when he had engine problems.
2 – Lee Pulliam
At the start of the race it appeared as if he and Matt McCall, who he tied for the pole on Saturday would be the challengers for the win again this year. However, Pulliam quickly faded a little and never made a challenge for the top spot. He would finish second behind his rival, Philip Morris.
1 – Philip Morris
Coming out of retirement so to speak at the end of this season, Philip Morris reigned supreme at Martinsville. No one was shocked, but the veteran driver proved that sitting out the majority of the season didn’t affect him at all. With his third win in the VA is for Racing Lovers 300 he put himself in great company as he moved to second on the all time winners list at Martinsville in Late Model events. Curtis Markham is the only driver with more at four wins and Barry Beggarly also has three wins.