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Martinsville Changes ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Format in Post-Pandemic Return

Late Model Stock Car racing’s most prestigious race returns in 2021 after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic

Andy Marquis | STS

Martinsville Speedway announced changes to the format utilized for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, Late Model Stock Car racing’s richest and most prestigious race, on Monday.

The race itself, which will commence on Saturday, September 25th in primetime, will be broken up into three stages (75 laps, 75 laps, 50 laps) making up 200 laps for the feature event in total.  Winners of the first and second stages will each receive $1,000 bonus.  The total purse for the race is $110,000, with the winner of the race taking home $32,000 plus any bonuses they collect during the race.

The most notable change, however, will be in qualifying.

Martinsville Speedway reinstated single-car qualifying in 2019 and locked in the top 20 qualifiers with the rest of the field racing their way in through two heat races.  This year, Martinsville Speedway will go back to only locking in the top-two, with the pole winner winning $5,000, while the remaining competitors will race their way in through four heat races running 25 laps each to set the 40 car field.

“This year’s format will challenge competitors on the track and keep fans on the edge of their seat with fierce action in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300,” Martinsville President Clay Campbell said. “Martinsville Speedway has always been a track that challenges the best in motorsports, so we look forward to this year’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 increasing the heat of competition in the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race.”

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will also have a lap leader bonus, much like 2019, paying $25 for each lap lead with $5,000 available in the laps lead bonus pool.  There will also be unlimited attempts at an overtime (green-white-checkered) finish.

As it has since 2012, Martinsville Speedway will be the third and final leg of the Virginia Triple Crown.  The other Virginia Triple Crown races consist of the Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway on July 3rd and the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway on July 24th.

According to the speedway’s press release, there will be no test days and teams will not be allowed to rent the track.  There will be a four-hour practice session on Friday, September 24th prior to qualifying, which will be held in primetime.

The last ValleyStar Credit Union 300 was held in 2019 with Josh Berry leading every single lap en route to victory.  The 2020 race was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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