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Peyton 92514

Peyton Sellers and his brother and crew chief H.C. Sellers work on practice plans.


The MDCU 300 at Martinsville Speedway has been called a lot of things.

“The Super Bowl of short-track racing,” 2005 Whelen All-American Series National Champion Peyton Sellers said.

“Our Daytona,” veteran driver Terry Carroll said.

“The biggest win of my career,” said 2003 winner Jamey Caudill.

The winner takes home $25,000 and an iconic grandfather clock trophy. Finishing last at Martinsville pays $1,000, an amount that rivals what some tracks pay to a feature winner on Saturday nights. 

However, before drivers can contend for the big pay day, they first have to make the race.

“It’s just as important to get into the race,” Carroll said. “I’m not going to say it’s as important as winning of course, but just getting into the race is quite an accomplishment.”

It doesn’t matter how accomplished a driver is, Martinsville doesn’t play favorites.

“Last year we were locked in the show in third place,” Sellers recalled. “All I had to do was lead the heat race, make it in and everything was going to be fine. We’re halfway through the heat race and the power steering line blows, the car catches on fire and my day is done.”

Caudill shared a similar story.

“We came last year and drove Jay Hedgecock’s car and actually qualified eighth,” Caudill said. “On the sixth lap of qualifying we broke a distributor and we weren’t able to start in our heat race where we were supposed to. We had to start in the back of the heat, got in a wreck in the heat and the alternator went bad in the last chance race. So, we didn’t make the race.”

Only the top two qualifiers are guaranteed a spot in the field. Everyone else has to run heat races.

“It’s a different approach,” Sellers said. “If you’re in the top few cars you race conservative. If you are in the back few cars trying to get that transfer spot you have to race your guts out.

“Fans get to see a lot of excitement in the heat races, no doubt about it, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Race day will kick off on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. with an autograph session on the front stretch featuring the entire field of drivers. The first heat race will take the green at 12 p.m., with the 200-lap feature beginning at approximately 3 p.m.

Tickets for the MDCU 300 are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at Adult tickets are $30 and youth 12-and-under tickets are $5.

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2014 MDCU 300

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