MARTINSVILLE, Va. — official series release by Tim Southers, NASCAR — Audio courtesy NASCAR Media — Getty Images for NASCAR photo —
It’s not the first time Tommy Lemons Jr. has won the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway — but it’s probably going to be one he remembers for a while.
Lemons and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Timothy Peters were side-by-side entering the final turn on the final lap when Peters got loose and hit the inside wall in front of the field, allowing Lemons to hold on and score the win — his second in the crown jewel event — as well as the $25,000 payday and grandfather clock.
2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Lee Pulliam was able to miss Peters and finish second in the race.
R.D. Smith followed in third after starting on the last row of the 42-car field for adjustments made to his car prior to the start of the event with Peters spinning across the line to finish fourh and Travis Swaim Jr. completing the top five.
The Troy, N.C. native was ecstatic after his victory.
“I can’t thank my team enough for all they did to help us win this race today,” said Lemons. “We had a good car all day and my guys made some great adjustments on the break at Lap 150 and we were able to hld off some really good cars to get this (win).”
Pulliam, who is also a two-time winner of the 300-lap special event, won the Virginia triple crown with his second place finish at Martinsville and although he wanted a third win, he was happy with his finish.
“It was a wild finish and we gave it everything we had,” Pulliam said. “We tried to get up there and challenge for the win and I want to congratulate Tommy on his win.”
For Smith, his decision to have his team check on his car made his start in the back but he was able to rebound for a strong finish.
“I wanted my crew to check something since we were starting up front and I didn’t want to go down in to Turn 1 and have something happen to the car and take out some good teams,” Smith said. “We stayed after it and came up through the field and were able to bring home a strong finish.”
Jake Crum, Brayton Haws, Matt Bowling, Jamie Caudill and Ryan Wilson completed the top 10.
Audio with race winner Tommy Lemons Jr.:
Audio with runner-up Lee Pulliam:
Audio with third-place R.D. Smith:
CREDIT: NASCAR Home Tracks