After 25 Years of Trying, Patrick County’s Martin Makes ValleyStar Credit Union 300 in a Big Way

After 25 years of trying, Patrick County native and Late Model Stock Car owner Billy Martin finally had one of his cars make the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. Driver Mike Looney put Martin’s car on the pole for tomorrow’s race. The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is NASCAR biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race.

For 25 years Late Model Stock Car owner Billy Martin tried to get one of his cars into the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway and for 25 years the Patrick County native failed to do so. However, 2016 is a different year. Not only did Martin’s car make the field for the first time, it’s on the pole.

Mike Looney beat three-time Wheelen All-American Series National Champion and two-time Martinsville Speedway winner Lee Pulliam for the top spot, in Martin’s car.

“You just don’t know how much it means,” Martin said. “I started in 1990 trying to make a race here and I’ve never made one. So, this is a good way make the first race.

“I knew (Looney) was good. Thursday when we practiced he was pretty fast. I tried to stay calm. I stayed cautiously optimistic. I’ll be up all night.”

Martin isn’t the only one on cloud nine. By claiming the Sparks Oil Pole Award, Looney will collect $1,000 and, regardless of what happens in the heat races, is locked into the 200 lap feature.

“Any minute I’m going to wake up and it’s really going to be 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning and we have to go to the track and go through tech,” said Looney of his improbable run to the top spot. “I ain’t for sure it really happened because I’ve had dreams like this before and I woke up and I’m awfully disappointed. But, this real. I just have to think the Lord.”

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is tomorrow.


The race is NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race. The winner will take home $25,000 and an iconic grandfather clock trophy.


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.


Ticket windows and grandstands open at 9:00 a.m.

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