Fresh off capturing this year's Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway Late Model track championship, teenager Kade Brown invades Saturday night's ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway eager to continue his winning ways.
Set for his inaugural appearance in the nation's biggest, richest, and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, Brown is hoping to showcase his craft and bring home his first Grandfather clock.
"The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 has been one of the races I've had circled on my calendar all year long," said Brown.
"I am excited to be a part of such a prestigious race, and I am thrilled to be able to turn my first laps this weekend at such an iconic race track like Martinsville Speedway."
While Brown knows there will be much to digest in the Late Model's version of the Daytona 500, the 17-year-old is ready to step up to the plate and exceed expectations in the 200-lap race on September 23.
"This is going to be the biggest race of my career up until this point, and I am definitely taking the steps to prepare myself for the race," added Brown. "A lot of cars are entered, and we will have to fight hard to put ourselves into the show, whether through qualifying or one of the consolation races before the big show.
"I have been watching a bunch of film from previous races, going over prior race setup notes with my crew chief, and been in the shop making sure everything is ready going into the race weekend.
"I am still a student of the sport and will learn a lot this weekend, but it's important to me to make sure that I can apply what I have learned not only throughout the year but on Friday that will be beneficial
under the lights Saturday night."
Brown's goal for Saturday night is simple: he'd love to stun the competition and collect his first checkered flag at the historic 0.526-mile paperclip.
"Like every racer, we are going to the track to win," sounded Brown. "I'd love to put my Matt Piercy Racing team and our partners in Victory Lane. But, to finish first, you must first finish.
"There will be a lot of cars, and track position will be everything, but if we can keep our nose clean and track position in our hands, I don't doubt we will be in contention."
An all-star field of Late Model Stock Car drivers will contend for the famed clock this Saturday night, including Connor Hall, Kaden Honeycutt, Landon Huffman, Carson Kvapil, Mike Looney, Bobby McCarty, Brendan "Butterbean" Queen, Landon Pembleton, Peyton Sellers, among others.
For Brown, the chance to race against the sport's finest is essential to the race weekend.
"Over 80 cars is a massive field, and there is tremendous talent in the field," sounded Brown.
"Ultimately, the vessel of competition sharpens our skills and pushes us to the limits of our abilities. Racing door to door with some of the sport's finest, including those who have tasted victory in an event like the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, is a humbling yet exhilarating experience.
"So, I'll give it my all, knowing that every race is a chance to learn, improve, and prove myself. I'll embrace the challenge of racing hard, but I'll never forget the importance of being respectful, not just of the competition but of the sport itself. And in return, I hope I'll earn my fellow racers' respect."
ValAsta, Carolina Driveline, Race City Steel and Puryear Tank Lines will be the primary partners on Brown's No. 23 Chevrolet.
"Without my partners, I realize that Martinsville would not be possible this weekend," explained Brown. "This season has been a lot of fun with all the trips to Victory Lane, but without the support of ValAsta, Carolina Driveline, Race City Steel and Puryear Tank Lines, I realize none of it would be possible.
"There is no better way to thank them than by just putting our team in a position to bring home another checkered flag."
Friday, September 22, features practice and qualifying for the current field of 87 entries, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
The competitors will return for an evening of intense competition on Saturday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m., broadcasted live on FloRacing and the Motor Racing Network. The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will be a 200-lap feature race and will include three segments: 75 laps, 75 laps and 50 laps.
This year's ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will also have the largest purse in the race's history, with $125,000 to be distributed across the field of drivers.
For more on Kade Brown, please like his Facebook page (Kade Brown Racing), or follow him on Instagram (@kadebrownracing), TikTok (@kadebrown99) and Twitter (@kadebrownracing).
Kade Brown Racing PR