Following an afternoon of intense scrutiny, Martinsville Speedway will allow duplicate numbers for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 after all.
When the format for the annual Late Model Stock classic were revealed on Wednesday, it once again included the provision that garage stalls and numbers would be provided based on the order of entries received.
This caused a controversy in 2018 when teams were forced to add tape to their numbers, negatively effecting several otherwise sharp paint schemes on a weekend marred by numerous race control decisions, including the finish of the race.
Track president Clay Campbell relented overnight, posting a press release on Thursday morning that confirmed duplicate numbers would return to the richest Late Model Stock race in the country.
“I pride myself on listening to the fans as we go about making every event at Martinsville Speedway as great as possible, and I don’t mind admitting when we’ve made a mistake.
“After yesterday’s announcement regarding the ValleyStar Credit Union 400 format changes, we’ve heard extensive and passionate feedback regarding an administrative rule referencing car numbers. As a result of that feedback from fans and competitors, duplicate car numbers will be allowed in the 2019 ValleyStar Credit Union 300. Duplicate numbers will be provided a decal letter by the track to differentiate that car for fans and officials on the track and on the scoreboard.”
Some of the more notable changes made to popular drivers in the 2019 race was Super Late Model star Bubba Pollard being forced to change his trademark No. 26 to a No. 86 with duct tape due to Peyton Sellers also using the number.
Myatt Snider added a blocking 3 to his longtime family-owned No. 2. Colin Garrett’s No. 24 became a blocky No. 84.
The race was won by C.E. Falk, also under controversial terms, when the third and final allowed caution waved despite the fact that Corey Heim had passed Falk on the backstretch.
The new regulations ensure the race will finish under green flag with unlimited overtimes and an increased purse that will pay the winner $32,000.
The 2019 ValleyStar Credit Union will take place on October 4 and 5 this year.