MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 has long been the most exciting late-model stock-car race around.
The excitement level just got cranked up a few notches.
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell announced today a major format change for the Oct. 21 running of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.
Time trials have been scrapped for NASCAR’s premier late-model stock race as on-track action has been reduced from three days to two days.
The field will be set through four 25-lap qualifying races on Sunday, followed by a 50-lap last chance race. The feature race will be 150 laps, with a break at the halfway point.
Eight drivers will advance from each of the 25-lap heat races, with 10 coming from the 50-lap last-chance race to fill out the 42-car field.
“We are excited about our changes to the format of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300,” said Campbell. “We feel that both the competitors and fans will benefit from the changes we are making.
“While the old format has worked and there was nothing wrong with it, we also felt it’s time to mix things up a little and re-energize the event.”
In the past teams loaded in on Thursday, went through inspection and practiced on Friday and practiced and qualified on Saturday. With the changes, teams will not be able to load into the infield until late Friday, Oct. 19. Inspection and practice will be on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Starting positions in the 25-lap heat races will be determined by practice speeds on Saturday.
“By eliminating qualifying and having everyone in qualifying races on Sunday, we can reduce the time competitors spend at the track,” said Campbell. “Saturday will be an action-packed day for the fans with practice sessions in the afternoon.
“I’m confident race day will be one of the most exciting days fans have ever witnessed here at Martinsville Speedway. I think the changes will really bring the intensity level up.”
Campbell also announced that the open practice date for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 is Wednesday, Oct. 3.