Night racing at Martinsville Speedway is now a reality.
After tests and practice sessions, the half-mile track in Virginia hosted the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and its qualifying races Saturday night for the NASCAR Late Model Series, which was won by Timothy Peters.
In attendance at the race were Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez, as well as NBCSN’s Marty Snider, who watched his son Myatt compete in the race.
Here’s a look at some of the sights and sounds from the historic night for NASCAR’s oldest track.
MDM Motorsports announced Thursday that it has withdrawn its No. 99 Chevrolet Silverado from Saturday’s Drivin’ For Linemen 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park.
The team issued a media release that its decision is due primarily to the damage the No. 99 incurred in the vicious crash that involved Timothy Peters on the second-to-last lap last Friday at Texas.
While the team has a back-up truck, many of the suspension parts it needs were damaged in the Texas wreck.
“We came back to the shop and spent Monday assessing the damage to the race truck, and more specifically, the racing components,” said MDM competition director Mark McFarland. “While we had a truck at the shop to race in the event of damage at Texas, we were relying on the suspension components to come back in race-able condition.
“That obviously wasn’t the case when the Metabo Chevy spun into the infield grass at Texas and created the conditions for the truck to flip and land on its roof.”
Peters was scheduled to make his second start for MDM at Gateway.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the MDM employees that worked on the truck to ensure the seat was properly mounted for Timothy Peters and for the safety devices that all performed their jobs,” McFarland said. “However, we would be doing a disservice to our sponsors, partners and Timothy this weekend if we showed up with a truck that crew chief Shane Huffman didn’t feel was capable of competing for the win.”
The team plans to return for the next two races on the Truck schedule at Iowa and Kentucky, with Brandon Jones slated to be behind the wheel of the No. 99.
No driver nor sponsor has been named for the truck for the race at Eldora Speedway.
Thursday’s announcement of the Truck Series race pullout will not have any impact on MDM’s participation in Friday’s ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway. The team is fielding three drivers in the event: Brandon Jones, Sheldon Creed and Vinnie Miller.”
Coming to the white flag Friday, Austin Wayne Self was racing Johnny Sauter for fifth when Self’s truck got loose and he slid up the track in Turn 4. He bounced off the outside wall and came back across the track and slammed into Peters’ truck, forcing it into the infield grass. Peters’ truck bounced over the grass. The front end got airborne, came back down as the truck spun and then dug into the grass with the left side, sending the truck airborne. It landed upside down.
“It looked like when (Self) got loose and came back down the race track, I anticipated him kind of going back up the track and kind of let off and went back to the throttle and he came back in front of us.
“I’m fine. It’s just a testament to NASCAR and everyone at MDM for building me a safe race truck. The safety crew did a great job getting the truck turned over. They were there Johnny on the spot.”
Peters finished 13th.
Christopher Bell wins Texas Truck race under caution after scary wreck for Timothy Peters
Christopher Bell rallied to gain the lead by inches as the white flag waved — and seconds before a final yellow flag that gave him the win under caution — in Friday night’s WinstarOnlineGaming.com 400 Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Bell was side-by-side with Chase Briscoe as they closed in on Lap 166 to take the white flag. But as they crossed the start-finish line, Bell had an advantage of just a few inches.
About two seconds later, the caution came out after a scary wreck on the frontstretch involving Austin Wayne Self and Timothy Peters, bringing out a red flag race stoppage. When the race resumed under caution about four minutes later, NASCAR brought the field around under caution, past the wreckage and awarded Bell the victory.
It was Bell’s second win in this season’s first seven Camping World Truck Series races and his fourth career Trucks victory. Had Briscoe — who finished second — won, it would have been his first career Truck win.
“It was close, I know that much,” Briscoe told FS1. “It was a fun race, an awesome race. Christopher and I are really good friends. It was fun to put on a show with him. Definitely wanted to get the win, but we’re going to St. Louis next weekend and see if we can the the win.”
The race-deciding incident was triggered when Self got loose on the front straightaway, hit the outside wall, bounced back towards the infield and Peters had nowhere to go.
Peters’ truck slammed into Self’s and then went end over-end, landing upside down. Once the truck was righted, Peters emerged under his own power and was taken to the infield medical center. Peters finished 12th.
It was Peters’ first start for MDM Motorsports. He previously raced for Red Horse Racing, which suspended operations after last month’s race at Charlotte due to lack of sponsorship.
HOW BELL WON: It doesn’t get much closer than the way Bell won, by mere inches when he crossed the start-finish line just ahead of Briscoe going into the final lap before the race finished under caution. Bell led more than half of the laps (92 of 167).
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Briscoe was oh, so close to his first career Truck win. He only led seven laps but if the race had not been impacted by the final caution, Briscoe had a truck that may have beaten Bell if the race finished under green. … Grant Enfinger also had a strong third-place run.
Noah Gragson will start from the pole for tonight’s WinstarOnlineGaming.com 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
In earning his first career pole in just his ninth Truck Series race, the 18-year-old Gragson (185.135 mph) edged past last week’s winner at Dover, Johnny Sauter (185.115 mph), who will start on the outside of the front row tonight.