Matt McCall Dominates;

Questionable call costs him the win at Martinsville

 

Matt McCall was back in the driver’s seat Sunday, October 9 for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway. McCall was piloting the #51 BTS Tire & Wheel, Denver Marine, Davis Farms Ford for the 200-lap main event that draws the best Late Model Stock Car drivers in the country.

This event at Martinsville is always a wild one and 2011 was no different. The weekend started off with practice on Friday followed by practice and qualifying on Saturday.

As the final practice concluded, McCall was at the top of the speed charts. “I am very happy with my car,” McCall said. “I think this is the most prepared I have been going into this race.” This would prove to be the case, as he qualified on the outside pole with a time of 21.347. “Track position is important in this race, but it’s a long race so we will see what happens.”

As the green flag dropped for the main event, McCall and pole sitter Phillip Morris would battle door-to-door for a few laps before settling in single file with McCall running second. Morris, McCall and Scites would hold the top three positions for the first 25 laps. After a few cautions caused by Morris’s ill-handling race car, McCall would take the lead on lap 35. McCall would lead the field to the halfway mark at lap 100. As they do every year, they draw a pills 1-10 to determine the inversion.  This put McCall starting the second half of the race in the fifth position.

As the second half of the race began, McCall had some racing to do to get back to the lead. With his car handling well and his veteran driving skills, McCall made his way through the top five and by lap 165 he was once again the race leader. Cautions became frequent and the double file restarts brought excitement to the race. The final caution came on lap 206 forcing the race to end with a green, white, checkered finish. McCall was the race leader and on the restart was beat to the line by second-place car, Lee Pulliam. NASCAR called for him to be black flagged, but unfortunately did not enforce that call. As the field came to turn three on the last lap, with McCall having a slight lead over Pulliam, Pulliam let up enough to have a direct hit on McCall’s rear bumper. This sent McCall up the track, starting a wreck involving three other cars. As the checkered flag dropped, it was Pulliam to the line first, followed by Brandon Butler and Matt McCall.

McCall was certain to show his displeasure with Pulliam after he crossed the finish line. With torn up race cars in turn four, a call for a black flag from NASCAR still lingering and the NASCAR rule that you cannot wreck another car to advance your position on the last lap of a race, there were many unanswered questions and tempers were running high. McCall approached Pulliam in victory lane. Obviously angry, McCall stated “I won’t forget this and I promise you will be seeing me again.”

McCall and the #51 BTS Tire & Wheel, Denver Marine, Davis Farms Team had the dominant car all weekend, but due to the poor driving skills of Pulliam they were relegated to a fifth place finish.  In a post-race interview McCall stated “I have a lot going for me on the other side of racing, in my career; I can’t jeopardize that.  But I will be seeing him again.”

Matt McCall will take to the track again at the Myrtle Beach 300 in November. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact mattmccallracing@gmail.com.