The third time is supposed to be the charm, but for Tommy Lemons Jr., it was the 10th time.
Lemons drove to the biggest victory of his career Sunday, winning the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway in his 10th start in the race.
"I'm 26 years old and we've been coming here since I was 16. This was the 10th time here for me and the best finish I had was an 11th. This is by far the biggest thing ever in my career," said Lemons, from Troy, N.C.
The win in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, the biggest NASCAR Late Model Stock race in the country, earned Lemons a first-place check of $25,000 along with the iconic grandfather clock trophy that goes to the winner.
Dillon Bassett of Winston-Salem, N.C., finished second, followed by Dennis Setzer of Newton, N.C., Blake Stallings of Danville, and Ryan Stiltner of Grundy.
Lemons led the first nine laps of the 200-lap feature and did not lead again until he took the lead on a restart on lap 208 after the race had gone into extra laps when leader Lee Pulliam and third-place Deac McCaskill were involved in a first-turn wreck on lap 201.
The wrecked eliminated NASCAR Whelen All-American champion Pulliam, who had the dominant car on the day.
It was an eventful day on the tight half-mile oval with 12 caution periods for 66 laps.
Danville's Peyton Sellers survived an up-and-down day to capture the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown championship, which was worth a $5,000 bonus. The award went to the driver who accumulated the most points in three Late Model events in the Commonwealth, one at South Boston Speedway, one at Langley Speedway, and Sunday's finale at Martinsville Speedway.
Racing action returns to Martinsville Speedway in three weeks with the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Tickets begin at just $37.
Advance tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 and tickets for Pole Day, Friday, October 25 are $15. Youth 12 and under are admitted free on both October 25 and 26. To purchase tickets for the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.