Who’s race is it anyway? NASCAR explains their call on the winner of the 2018 ValleyStar Credit Union 300
Drivers ejected, Retaliation under yellow, three green/white/checkers, a red flag and mass confusion as to who won the race – That’s just in the last 15 minutes of the Late Model Stock race at Martinsville Speedway
The Late Model Stock race took place at Martinsville Speedway last night. It brought a lot of drama to the 1/2-mile speedway.
In the end, two different drivers felt they should have been declared the winner. The race was broadcast to anyone that had an internet connection. For me, this was the introduction to Late Model racing. They saw fireworks.
Details on the thriller…
There were three green white checkers at the end of the event. Each time, we saw a spin at the front of the field. Every GWC restart saw the front of the field cycle due to contact and aggressive driving.
Several drivers engaged in retaliation or a show of displeasure under the caution period. Josh Berry was sideswiped under yellow. Moments earlier, he was leading the event. After being involved in an incident, Berry passed the field under caution and filed in behind the pace car, that brought out the black flag for him.
Bubba Pollard, who had a chance to win just a restart earlier, Pollard went marching down pit road with a long line of people surrounding him. He was on a march to locate Layne Riggs following their spin. Pollard said, “He’s 19 years old. I’m the adult. I just want to talk with him.”
Pollard did just that and the officials granted his request, at least for a moment. No punches were thrown. The officials let them talk it out. However, the crews got into the scene and a little pushing arose from the dense pack of humans.
Pollard was then ejected from the speedway.
Confusion as to who won the race
After the third green white checkered ended in the inevitable crash, there seemed to be mass confusion. Even though the race wouldn’t be restarted, NASCAR red flagged the race to sort out the running order.
Then, as the cars began to roll, it looked like they were about to restart the race. Maybe it wasn’t over? Nobody knew, not even the officials. If they did restart, that would have been a format that was different from the rulebook. After coasting, the cars came to a stop behind the pace car as NASCAR looked tried to sort out what the plan was.
Then, the flag man brought out the checkered. The cars were going to finish under caution. The pace car began rolling again. They were going to finish it under yellow. Suddenly, the pace car came to a stop in turn four, just in front of the finish line with the finishing flag in the air.
Moments later, the pace car began rolling again. This time, the race leader, C.E. Falk III had trouble getting his car re-fired. A few seconds later, it did.
C.E. Falk III coasted across the finish line to take the win.
There’s going to be a lot of talk about this one for awhile….
C.E. Falk, III
“I couldn’t believe we were in this position. Martinsville is just so nuts,” C.E. Falk III to MRN after the race.
“We were 7th on the third green white checkered. I feel really bad for my friend Josh Berry. He had a hell of a car tonight.”
“I thought we were wiped out. We just found a hole. I knew the race to the line was important.”
“I gotta thank my wife because it’s just me in our shop. She comes after she’s worked all day. She’s the only one of my friends that comes to help me. She helps me load up, scrub… she does it all.”
“We’ve been coming here for twelve years. We finally got one of these.”
“I’m definitely mad about it,” Corey Heim stated to MRN.
“I was the leader of the race. The #02 jumped it. And I was the leader when the caution came out that ended the race.”
“I think 100% of the people that are in the stands right now know that I won this race. I think 100% of the people in the pit area know that I won this race. I’ve had at least 20 people come up to me and say that I won this race.”
“The #02 did everything he could do. Congratulations to him if he’s declared the winner but I think everyone knows that I won this race.”
“We had a rule in place to make three attempts at a green/white/checkered. We were on the third attempt,” race director Lynn Carroll explained in the Martinsville Speedway media center.
“Once you’re on the third attempt, anything besides the green ends the race. The next flag ends the race. When the caution came out, that time the crossed the line, under green for the restart was the lap of record.”
“We score those cars the way they come across the line, minus the cars involved in the caution.”
“Late Model Stocks do not use a scoring loop. They use the start finish line. We don’t have near the equipment that the touring series and the Cup and everything do.”
2018 Martinsville Speedway
Late Model Results
ValleyStar Credit Union 300 finish
1. 02 C.E. Falk, III
2. 78 Corey Heim
3. 42 Brandon Pierce
4. 97 Trevor Ward
5. 26 Peyton Sellers
6. 57 Justin Carroll
7. 18 Ty Gibbs
8. 15 Kres VanDyke
9. 16 R.D. Smith
10. 07 Kevin Neal
11. 41 Woody Howard
12. 01 Philip Morris
13. 8 Thomas Scott
14. 6 Lee Pulliam
15. 77 Blake Stallings
16. 54 Jeremy Burns
17. 2 Trevor Noles
18. 61 Justin Hicks
19. 88 Josh Berry
20. 17 Stacy Puryear
21. 25 Derrick Lancaster
22. 73 Bruce Anderson
23. 12 Austin Thaxton
24. 82 Timothy Peters
25. 99 Layne Riggs
26. 86 Bubba Pollard
27. 0 Matt Leicht
28. 11 Jeff Oakley
29. 87 Mike Looney
30. 23 Myatt Snider
31. 5 Dexter Canipe, Jr.
32. 08 Tyler Hughes
33. 14 Ryan Repko
34. 75 Ryan Millington
35. 84 Colin Garrett
36. 04 Jonathan Findley
37. 31 Mike Darne
38. 27 Tommy Lemons, Jr.
39. 22 Bobby McCarty
40. 71 Kyle Benjamin
41. 20 Grayson Cullather
42. 24 Mason Diaz