RIDGEWAY, VA :: Hats off to Clay and his crew for always giving Late Model Stock teams a place to race for the biggest purse of the year and a chance to scribe their name in the record books as a winner at Martinsville Speedway.

Also, thanks to the Virginia Tourism folks for their support over the years.

Many will say that when you come to Martinsville for their fall event, you will get to see the best Late Model Stock drivers in the country. This past race took that idea and sent it down the commode.

Being an owner of a LMSC team I always want to take our car, driver and team to this event. But as always the crew chief takes my shop keys away until after the race is completed. As I witnessed this past weekend once again it was the right decision.

Over the years I have witnessed some great racing at the ½ mile paper clip style track. Whether it be Cup, Nationwide, Trucks or Late Models you know when you park your butt in the stands you are going to see some pushing, shoving, rubbing, and close racing on the track. You will see some spins, wrecks and drivers get out and do their best impression of a MLB pitcher with their helmet.

But this past weekend had to be the worst display of talent and professionalism I have witnessed at a short track in as long as I can remember. I saw drivers racing for 20th place go four wide into turn 3 only to destroy their car along with every car around them. I saw drivers that have multiple track championships deliberately take out the car in front of them. Not only did they destroy the chance of them winning the race, but took out 4 other contenders that were in position to win.

Word of advice, if you are running 20th there might be a reason. Instead of wrecking on lap 5 and taking all the hard work and money spent to get you there and throwing it out the window. Take your time and move up when you can and get yourself in position for a second chance at making the show in the last chance race. If you have a yearlong grudge with someone, don’t get innocent bystanders caught up in your paybacks. All that did was add to the people involved in the feud and most are mad at you. As I always tell my driver (who doesn’t always listen), don’t use MY racecar as a weapon to get even with someone. After the race walk down to his pits and handle it like REAL men use to.

With this said this leaves me with a few thoughts, first if I ever want to take my car to Martinsville don’t plan on bringing it home the way it left. Second, hide my keys right after the last race at our home track so my crew chief can’t hide them. Third, Martinsville is still the best race to watch no matter what type of cars are racing. Fourth and not least, get ready for the cheapest colon cleaning you have ever had. Those famous hotdogs are the best, but they will work on you the next day.

Wayne Wyatt is the father of Late Model Stock Car competitor Casey Wyatt, a former promoter at Langley Speedway and Southside Speedway and a writer for Late Model Racer magazine.