MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Bobby McCarty made it known that he’s going to be the driver to beat under the lights on Saturday night in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway by setting the fastest time in Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions.
McCarty, who trails Brendan “Butterbean” Queen in the Virginia Triple Crown standings by only a half position, will lead the first of four qualifying races to green on Saturday following a lap time of 19.704. The time bettered his own Martinsville track record in the process.
Landon Huffman posted the second-fastest time of 19.768 and will sit on pole in the second qualifying race. Carson Kvapil will lead off the third qualifying race after a lap of 19.809, and Ryan Millington posted a time of 19.825 to hold the top starting position the fourth and final qualifying race.
“It feels great to win the pole, especially with 85 cars here. I’m really proud of everyone at R&S, Solid Rock Carriers and all of our sponsors that make this possible,” said McCarty. “We were fastest in practice and qualified on the pole, hopefully I can win this thing finally this year so we can go celebrate.”
By virtue of having the fastest lap time, McCarty also won a $5,000 bonus.
This year, no drivers are locked into the field for Saturday evening’s prestigious ValleyStar Credit Union 300 through qualifying. Instead, the field will be set by those four 25-lap afternoon qualifying races. The top 10 finishers in each of the qualifying races will comprise the 40-driver field for the main event.
McCarty started off the day fast, topping the afternoon practice session with a time of 19.966 seconds. Millington was second with a time of 19.978, Huffman was third, Matt Cox was fourth, and Queen rounded out the fastest five in the session.
When it comes to the Virginia Triple Crown picture, Queen’s average finish of 1.5 through the first two races at South Boston Speedway and Langley Speedway gives him a narrow lead over McCarty’s 2.0 average finish. Queen had the seventh-best time in qualifying. Trevor Ward is in third with a 5.0 average finish, but will need to find some speed on Saturday, as he posted the 25th-best lap in qualifying.
Reigning ValleyStar Credit Union 300 race winner Peyton Sellers was 13th on the leaderboard during qualifying, improving his time from practice, when he was 24th fastest overall.