In this edition of By the Numbers on Speed51.com, our resident “Stat Boy” Elgin Traylor takes a look at this weekend’s Valley Star 300 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
2: In years past the top two drivers lock in through time trials and sit out the heat races on Sunday. Who will be those lucky drivers this time around?
6: Despite being in the wall and coming across the line sideways while getting t-boned, Timothy Peters was in the top five for a record sixth time in his career last year. Peters, the 2005 winner was sniffing a win coming to the line in 2015. We will see what he can do this year.
8: Matt Bowling raced at eight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks to win his national title this year. Some of those he had never seen and he went to victory lane. While he has raced at Martinsville before, he has never visited Victory Lane. Could this be the year?
16: Lee Pulliam won 16 times this season and secured another track title at Motor Mile Speedway (VA). Perhaps he will have to win the Martinsville race for people to stop saying he’s had a down year. The new daddy is seeking a historic, record-tying third win at Martinsville.
22: This is the 22nd year of the Valley Star Credit Union 300. Late Model racing has long been a staple at the paper clip, but this event has been the marquee show since the mid-90’s
25: There will be three 25-lap heats and a 25-lap last chance race to help set the field for the main event.
27: Tommy Lemons Jr. has won two of the last three Martinsville events and he finished third in the other. He will be one to watch come Sunday.
90: Nearly 90 drivers took part in the test last week at Martinsville. We could have over 100 cars this year for the 300.
200: The main event is 200 laps broken up into three segments. There will be competition cautions on lap 100 and lap 175. Teams can only fuel at lap 100 and there will be a blind draw among the top 10. The teams can take tires and make adjustments at lap 175.
550: Over 550 drivers have run or attempted to run. The list is likely more, but records were not kept well in the early years. That’s a lot of broken dreams.
653: Number of laps that Philip Morris has led at Martinsville. If he has that No. 01 machine rolling just right he could be tough. He ran a lot of laps this year and should solidly be in the field after a good test.
$25,000: Not too many races can say they pay this much, plus the winner gets a clock too. Not a bad Sunday drive for one driver.
2015 Tommy Lemons Jr.
2014 Lee Pulliam
2013 Tommy Lemons Jr.
2012 Philip Morris
2011 Lee Pulliam
2010 Philip Morris
2009 Jake Crum
2008 Jason York
2007 Dennis Setzer
2006 Alex Yontz
2005 Timothy Peters
2004 Tony McGuire
2003 Jamey Caudill
2002 Frank Deiny, Jr.
2001 Phil Warren
2000 Philip Morris
1999 Robert Powell
1998 Dexter Canipe
1997 Billy Hogan
1996 B.A. Wilson
1995 Tony McGuire
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com