MARTINSVILLE, VA –There will be twice as many cars left in the pits Sunday than will start NASCAR’s richest Late Model Stock Car race, Taco Bell 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
There will be more than 125 drivers from nine states trying to nail down 42 starting positions for the race that pays $15,000 to the winner. Only the fastest 20 cars in time trials Saturday at 1 p.m. are guaranteed starting spots.
The top Late Model Stock drivers from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Maryland will be competing. On the line Saturday will be the Taco Bell 300 qualifying record of 89.876 miles per hour set by Ronnie Thomas of Christiansburg, VA. David Hyder of Trinity, NC holds the track Late Model Stock record of 90.227 miles per hour.
Saturday’s pole winner will pick up $1,000 from Chatlee Boats.
Eight past Late Model Stock winners are entered including Hyder, Billy Hogan of Troy, NC, Donnie Apple of Denton, NC, Eddie Johnson of Ashland, VA, Phil Warren of Norfolk, VA, Dennis Setzer of Newton, NC, Shayne Lockhart of Chester, VA and Robert Powell of St. Matthews, SC.
The remainder of the 42-car starting field will be decided at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in four 25-lap qualifying races with only the top five finishers in each race advancing to the 200-lap feature. There will be two provisional starting spots available.
The race will be stopped at lap 100 with the leader receiving a $5,000 bonus from BB&T and the BB&T trophy. There will be a ten-minute pit stop and crews may work on the cars and change any two tires.
A number of the top cars will be inverted for the restart. The number of cars to be inverted will be decided in a blind draw at that time. At lap 190, the caution flag will be displayed and cars will be lined up single file for ten green flag laps to the finish. Should there be a caution flag, the race will be extended until 10 green flags are run.
All seats are unreserved and are $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12 and are available at the speedway.