Following a spirit drive through the field, Mike Looney’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 ended early and in spectacular fashion.
Looney failed to qualify into the show via time trials but won the first last chance race, starting 21st in the feature as a result. On his way towards the top-10, he received a right front tire rub via contact with Trey Crews and he attempted to ride it out until he caught a caution. It never came and the tire ble on the No. 87 machine on Lap 33 going down the frontstretch.
“I got together with the No. 9 car a little bit getting in the corner and getting off the corner,” Looney said. “I knocked the fender in on the right front. We got a real bad tire rub. I was hoping that it would clear itself out, but it didn’t. We had a big, big right front blowout coming down the frontstretch.
“I could feel it on the steering wheel. I could tell it was a pretty heavy rub. We hoped it would clearance itself back out. The right front tire grenaded and blew the fender and the body off. I actually drug the sway bar off of it. I’m glad we didn’t blow the clip off with a blown right front.”
Looney admitted that he was a little bit too aggressive in the opening run.
Despite being eliminated from the race early on, Looney leaves Martinsville proud of what he accomplished this season — finishing second in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship.
“We knew when we came here this weekend that it was just an exhibition race,” he said. “There was a lot less pressure on us. I had a lot more fun this weekend than I normally do. We had a good season no matter what happened. I was really pleased with the race car.”