While the new all-heat race qualifying procedure for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 raised the excitement level for the event, it also raised a few questions for Late Model Stock teams.
NASCAR and Martinsville Speedway officials on Thursday issued procedures for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 that should answer most of those questions.
One of the biggest areas of concern for teams was tires. Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said he believes a fair and affordable rule is in place.
Teams will be limited to four new sets of tires for the weekend. Two sets will be for practice. One set is for qualifying practice and for the qualifying races and last chance race if need. The fourth set will be used for the feature race. No tire changes will be allowed at the halfway break of the 150-lap feature race.
“We know there was concern that some of the teams with bigger budgets would be able to buy an unlimited amount of tires to help them gain an advantage,” said Campbell. “This rule eliminates that possibility.”
All new tires used for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 must be purchased at the track and will be scanned and recorded. All new tires used for practice will be scanned on pit road before being allowed on the track. Any competitor attempting to practice with new tires not purchased at the event will be penalized and will be subject to disqualification.
In the past the field for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 had been set by a combination of time trials and heat races. This year the field will be filled by four 25-lap heat races and a 50-lap last-chance race. Eight cars will advance to the 150-lap feature from each of the 25-lap heat races with 10 coming from the last-chance race.
It was announced Thursday that the starting grids for the four heat races would be determined by times in the final practice session, which begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, October 20. A qualifying inspection will be performed before the final practice and the cars will be impounded after that practice session.
The infield will open at noon on Friday, Oct. 19 for tire selection and mounting of tires. Registration and parking of haulers will begin at 3 p.m. on Oct. 19.
The garage will open at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, with mandatory crew chief and/or team representative meeting at 6:30 a.m. Inspection will also begin at 6:30 a.m.
Practice begins at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 with qualifying practice set for 4 p.m.
The first heat race on Sunday, Oct. 21 will be at noon, with the 50-lap last-chance race following the fourth heat race. The 150-lap feature should begin around 3:30 p.m.
Martinsville Speedway PR