It is the race that drivers refer to as their Daytona 500 or their Super Bowl. It’s the richest NASCAR Late Model Stock race in the country, $25,000 to the winner, with bonuses that could take it to $35,000.
And of course there is the iconic grandfather clock trophy to the winner and the prestige of winning on a track where the history of racing runs so deep.
The field is truly a who’s who of NASCAR Late Model racing. Two-time defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam is entered, as is four-time national champion Philip Morris. Morris is the defending Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 winner; Pulliam won the event two years ago. Morris is the only driver with three Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 wins to his credit.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Timothy Peters is entered for the first time in a few years, thanks to an open date on the truck series schedule. He tested in the big open test session here Wednesday, then flew out for this weekend’s truck race and will return back home to work on his Late Model Monday.
Likewise 16-year-old Michael McGuire of Roanoke tested Wednesday and immediately took off for Dover for this weekend’s NASCAR K&N East Series race and will be back in his shop working on his Late Model on Monday.
The field, which should include more than 85 drivers, runs the gamut from tried and true veterans to 14-year-old teenagers just barely making NASCAR’s age limit to race.
At 50-something, Dennis Setzer is one of the oldest drivers entered. He also has the most overall Martinsville Speedway victories with two Late Model Stock wins and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins. Setzer’s first Martinsville Late Model win came way back in 1992 while his most recent was in 2007.
Peters has a Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 and a truck series win to his credit at Martinsville, while Jamey Caudill, Jason York, Alex Yontz and Bugs Hairfield are other drivers entered who have Martinsville Late Model wins.
While most of the drivers entered are from Virginia and the Carolinas, many will travel great distances. Trey Marcham will make the trip from Newcastle, Okla., while 14-year-old Giles Thornton calls Whitefish, Mont., home. But neither can come close to Brodie Kostecki for distance traveled. He hails from Perth, Australia.
The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 weekend begins on Friday when teams start entering the infield at noon. Saturday morning will be for inspection with practice beginning at 1 p.m.
The field will be set from four 20-lap qualifying races on Sunday, October 6, followed by a 20-lap last chance race. Eight drivers will advance from each qualifying race and 10 will come from the last-chance race to fill out the 42-car field for the 200-lap feature. Those heat races begin at noon on Sunday.
The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 kicks off a month full of racing at Martinsville Speedway, with NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing throughout the month. The action culminates with the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger weekend October 25-27.
Tickets for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 are $25 and may be purchased by clicking here or by calling 877.RACE.TIX . Youth 12 and under are admitted free.
Tickets for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger NASCAR Sprint Cup race on October 27 start at just $37.