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Martinsville introduces strategy element to Late Model Stock ValleyStar 300

Mike Paris | Martinsville Bulletin

The best Late Model Stock teams in the Carolinas and Virginias will face a new element of strategy next weekend in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

For the 2019 race, teams will have options for when to bolt on their final set of tires. It also includes the return of a race stoppage dramatically close to the scheduled finish.

The 200-lap feature will be stopped at Lap 100 and again at Lap 180. Drivers will start on the tires they qualified on and then have four fresh tires available for the second half. They can take those tires at either Lap 100 or Lap 180.

Or they could take some of the tires on Lap 100 and the rest on Lap 180. Cars will also be able to add up to 10 gallons of fuel at Lap 100 and again at Lap 180.

BROADCAST ALERT: Martinsville will air live on FansChoice.TV

“We are constantly evaluating the rules and procedures for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 in an effort to produce the best race possible for the fans,” Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “Giving teams so much flexibility with the tires they have on hand for the feature race should produce a new element of strategy and some extraordinary racing in the last 100 laps of the feature race.”

Campbell noted that a team’s ability to put two tires on at each break, four tires on at halfway or four tires on for the final 20-lap shootout puts new pressure on the decision-making of teams and crew chiefs.

“We really think this tire rule will create some excitement in the garage,” Campbell said. “The option to put on one, two, three, or four fresh tires at two different points in the race will create some real strategy decisions for these crew chiefs and their teams. It will be fun to see how it plays out.”

For those unable to attend, the race will be broadcast under a variety of mediums. The race will have a live free video broadcast on FansChouice.TV. The race will also have a live radio broadcast produced by the Motor Racing Network.

The latter will also stream on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

READ MORE: Bubba Pollard prepared for Late Model Stock debut

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car Race, paying $25,000 to the winner with a total purse of more than $100,000.

Race day will start with an autograph session at 1 p.m., followed by three 25-lap heat races and a 25-lap last chance heat to set the 42-car starting lineup.

The 200 lap main event will begin at 8 p.m.

This acts as an amendment to the “Race Procedure” section of the Official Entry Blank for the 2018 ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

Paragraphs 1-4 on Page 3 of the Official Entry Blank now read as follows:

“This race will be run in three (3) segments. There will be a five (5) minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 100 and Lap 180. Crews will be allowed to change up to four (4) new tires throughout this race at their discretion.

During the break at Lap 100, crews are allowed to change up to four (4) new tires from their four (4) tire allotment and make changes that would normally occur during a routine pit stop. Crews will be allowed to add up to ten (10) gallons of fuel during this break. All work during this break must be performed in the car servicing area (pit stall) on pit road. No work is to be performed during this break until the last car in the field is in its assigned pit stall.

Following the first segment, there will be an inversion drawing by race representatives to determine what order the cars will start the second segment.

During the break at Lap 180, crews will be allowed to change any new tires remaining from their four (4) tire allotment and make changes that would normally occur during a routine pit stop. Crews will be allowed to add up to ten (10) gallons of fuel during this break. All work during this break must be performed in the car servicing area (pit stall) on pit road. No work is to be performed during this break until the last car in the field is in its assigned pit stall.”

Questions can be directed towards Race Director Lynn Carroll.

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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