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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Jeff Oakley upset Late Model Stock Car racing’s elite competition in qualifying for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Friday night.
Oakley, who races predominantly at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Virginia, qualified with a 20.392 second lap, scoring the pole. Oakley will lead the field to the green flag on Saturday night along with four-time Southern National Motorsports Park track champion Deac McCaskill, who locked himself into the race with his second-place qualifying effort.
“It’s pretty miraculous to come here with all these cars and sit on the pole,” Oakley said. “Hats off to our motor builder and the crew chief. They gave me a great car to drive today and the last two weeks, these guys might have got 18-20 hours of sleep. They have been non-stop working and they gave us a great piece.”
Jake Crum, who won the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 in 2009, qualified third, meaning he will lead the first heat race to the green flag on Sunday evening. Stacy Puryear, who qualified fourth, will start on the pole in the second heat race and two-time ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner Tommy Lemons, Jr. qualified fifth, which puts him on the pole for the third heat race.
2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Matt Bowling qualified sixth while four-time and recently crowned national champion for 2017 Lee Pulliam was seventh fastest. Rounding out the top-10 were Trevor Noles, three-time Martinsville winner Philip Morris and Hampton Heat 200 winner Bobby McCarty.
The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will get underway with three heat races, 25 laps each, on Saturday afternoon. 10 cars will transfer in from each race. That will be followed by a 25 lap Last Chance Qualifier, which will lock in the final 10 cars. The 200-lap feature race will go green at 8pm EST.
Jeff Oakley pilots the no. 11 Rock Islane Creed Ford to the pole during qualifying for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. on Friday, September 22nd. Corey Latham photo