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Puryear crafts personal history in winning Martinville’s late model pole / October 01, 2018
Stacy Puryear crafted significant personal history Friday by winning the pole at Martinsville Speedway, and a batch of South Boston Speedway drivers battled the always contentious heat races for a spot in Saturday’s prime time field.

Tommy Lemons Jr. started on the outside row one at Martinsville Speedway in Saturday night’s feature race.

Puryear and Lemons made up the front row in Saturday night’s late model race at Martinsville Speedway.

The pair were the only two drivers locked into the feature race, and they did not have to race in the qualifying races.

Puryear, who sat on the outside of the front row last year, had the best time in qualifying with a lap of 20.100 seconds.

“This has got to be one of the greatest days of my racing career,” Puryear said. “This is an awesome feeling to sit on the pole here, with the caliber of competition here.

“I’m just still in shock. We had a good car here last year and learned a lot and it transferred over to this year.”

Lemons said a new rule in 2018 gives teams the flexibility of when to use the set of four tires they get for the race, and means starting on the front row is more important than ever.

“I think this year is going to be more of an advantage with the way we can play the tire game,” Lemons said. “With how they are leaving it up to the team, that’s 25 less laps that we have to worry when it comes to halfway or waiting until lap 180 to put tires on, whatever we decide to do. So, I think this year is a huge advantage.”

Philip Morris, the 2018 Whelen All-American Series National Champion and three-time Martinsville winner started third, followed by Josh Berry and Brandon Pierce.

Macy Causey had a tough break. She was held on the start of race one due to unapproved adjustment after inspection. Causey finished 13th and missed the main field.

Morris won the first heat, followed by Kres VanDyke.

Matt Bowling had a challenging outing.

Bowling finished last in the field for the heat race - 23rd - after sustaining damage in an early crash in turn one.

Morris won the heat one race, followed by Van Dyke, Jeff Oakley, Trevor Ward, Trevor Noles, Mike Darne, Grayson Cullether, Colin Garrett, Matt Leicht and Corey Heim. Morris led every lap.

Josh Berry won the second heat, followed by Lee Pulliam as the two drivers drove away from the rest of the field.

Ryan Repko, Kyle Benjamin, Myatt Snider, Dexter Canipe Jr., Tyler Hughes, Ty Gibbs, Kevin Neal and Jeremy Burns rounded out the rest of the top ten.

Brandon Pierce won the third heat, followed by Layne Riggs, CE Falk, Timothy Peters, Peyton Sellers, Woody Howard, Mason Diaz, Pollard, Bobby McCarty and Thomas Scott.

The race featured caustic racing action, with Bruce Anderson avoiding a late wreck.

Justin Carroll won over Blake Stallings, Derrick Lancaster, RD Smith, Jonathan Findley, Austin Thaxton, Mike Looney, Ryan Millington, Justin Hicks and Anderson joining the field after the last chance race.

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