To the Winner Goes the Clock (and the Money) in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300

Drivers say the $25K check that goes to the winner of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 goes a long way in helping with the costs of racing. However, the iconic grandfather clock trophy is just as important. The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is this Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. The race is NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race.

Sunday’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway is called NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race for a reason. More than 80 teams regularly try to make the race, the purse totals $100,000 and the winner goes home with the iconic grandfather clock trophy and a name that will be talked about for years to come.


For the drivers, the race not only allows them to showcase their talents against the best Late Model Stock Car drivers in the country, it also allows them the chance to win back some of the money they spend to race each and every week at tracks throughout the Southeast. First place pays $25,000 and just to make the race will pay $1.000. By comparison, many of the Friday and Saturday night feature winners may only take home $1,500.


“It costs a fortune to operate these teams and if you can find a way to finance some of the expenses it’s awesome,” driver Ryan Repko said. “Most of these races don’t pay anywhere near that so that definitely makes this race one of the most prestigious events and it brings out the best drivers.”


While Repko will be attempting to make the race for the first time, veteran Late Model drivers say the same thing.


“It means a lot,” 2016 Whelen All-American Series National Champion Matt Bowling said. “It’s the biggest race of the year, with the biggest payout.

It’s a big incentive to win. The payout format creates some great racing.”


CE Falk III, a veteran Late Model driver, comes into the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 with only one goal in mind.


“I’m kind of like Ricky Bobby when it comes to this race, ‘if you’re not first, you’re last,’ he said. “We come into this race putting everything we can to win.”


However, he knows that so long as he makes the race, he won’t go home empty handed.


“We do appreciate (Martinsville Speedway) putting up $1,000 (for finishing 40th), in case something doesn’t go right and you have a bad day,” he said. “But, everyone is here to win the race. If you win this race, you get etched in history.


“It doesn’t matter how many races you win, if you win Martinsville, you get remembered forever. I

could quit, honestly. It doesn’t get any better.”


While the money is nice and certainly does help with the costs associated with racing, if forced to make a choice between the money and the trophy, all three drivers were quick to answer.


“The clock,” said Falk.


“Definitely the clock,” Bowling said.


“The clock, for sure,” said Repko.


The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is this Sunday.


The day starts at noon, with three 25 lap heat races and a 25 lap “last chance race” to set the field, followed by the 200 lap feature.


Last year Tommy Lemons Jr. held off a furious charge from Timothy Peters on the final lap to win his second grandfather clock trophy.


General Admission grandstand seating is $30 for adults and $5 for youth 12-and-under.


Tickets can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at

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