THIS TIME AROUND, McGUIRE CELEBRATES IN STYLE by Jeremy Troiano
Homestate Driver Becomes First Bailey's 300 Repeat Winner
Tony McGuire remembers the race like it was yesterday. In fact, it was 1995.
He was racing Elliott Sadler, then a South Boston Speedway standout and a current Nextel Cup superstar, with just a few laps to go in the annual Late Model Stock Car “big one” at Martinsville Speedway (VA). As the laps wound down, McGuire battled Sadler, but raced him clean. At the checkers, he came home a disappointing second.
McGuire was a silent predator for the first half of the 200-lap event. McGuire, who started 16th, worked his way into the top-10 by lap 20 and hung out there before the halfway break came at lap 101, when he was running sixth.
Rules for the race call for a invert following the restart after halfway and the number six was drawn, putting McGuire on the pole. When the race went back green at lap 102, McGuire never looked back.
“I didn't find out about the invert draw until I was halfway off pit road following our pit stop there,” said McGuire. “It is just track position out here. It is all about where you start in that second portion. We got the draw and started in the right spot.
While Sadler got the accolades of stopping at the start/finish line and celebrating and getting all of the pictures taken in front of the roaring crowd, McGuire stood in the background watching and loading his equipment up.
But just a few hours later, Sadler's car failed post-race inspection and McGuire was given the win.
On Sunday, he was going to get all the spoils that come to the winner.
McGuire held off a charging Timothy Peters to capture his second Bailey's 300 win and to also become the first two-time winner of the event. Coming exactly 10 years later, McGuire got the chance to do the burnouts, stop in Victory Lane on the front stretch and take all of the pictures in front of his roaring homestate fans.
“It is still unbelievable,” said the mostly quiet McGuire following the
McGuire's win netted him a cool $25,000. (51 Photos)
McGuire (#7) was led for the entire second portion of the race, but had to fight off Timothy Peters (#77) at the end.
“Nothing is certain though when you double-file restart like that. The outside usually gets the advantage. I drove Stacy (Puryear, who started on the outside of McGuire at the restart) a little high, but he had plenty of room. I was able to hold on and it all worked out.
“The cars are so equal and the drivers are so good. Timothy (Peters), Denny (Hamlin) and Brandon (Butler) were all right there and they really all had a shot at me. Everyone has great stuff. Whoever gets the edge will get the win. We are all too close there.”
race. “It is a lot of fun to come here but it is pretty nerve racking at the same time. We had a lot of problems this week, so to get to celebrate at the start finish line and to get to come up here and talk with the media is much different from last time. It is great.”
It took Peters the rest of the race to catch back up while McGuire continued to pull away on everyone else. A mandatory caution with 10 laps to go to reset the field and put all of the lead-lap cars in front allowed Peters a chance to pull right up on McGuire's tail, but a slew of late race restarts allowed McGuire to keep his advantage.
“All the restarts hurt us,” said Peters. “Our car, after we got in the wreck over there in turn three, just wouldn't run as well. I think it knocked the toe in out of it. I'm really happy with the way we finished though.
McGurie had to hold off Peters, who easily had the fastest car on the track, but had to overcome a late spin with Stacy Puryear to charge back up through the field and set himself up for a shot at the win at the end.
Peters trailed pole sitter Richard Landreth through much of the first porition of the race but took the lead on lap 101 just as the caution waved for the halfway break. That put him sixth in the lineup for the restart, but it look him little time to head back toward the front.
“I think we had a shot, we just ran out of laps. Congrats to tony though. He won the race and you can't take that
It was an eventuful day for Peters (#77), here getting together with Robert Turner (#13) early in the race.
McGuire and Peters drag raced to the finish.
“Martinsville has been good to me. We've got a second, a third and a fourth here now. Maybe next year will be our year.”
But for second place on back, it is just “what could have been.” For McGuire, it was the end of a long weekend.
“We only got nine laps of practice with this car on Friday and eight laps on Saturday,” added McGuire. “We had all kinds of problems. So we didn't know what the car was going to do here during the race. After we ran a little bit, we had a pretty good idea that was going to be good.
“It was just a cat and mouse game out there. I have to thank Timothy for driving me like he did. Back in 1995 I drove Elliott clean and that is how Timothy drove me today. I appreciate that.”
Hamlin was able to hold on to third while Brandon Butler came home fourth and David Triplett finished fifth.
Polesitter Richard Landreth dominated much of the first half of the event, but fell out on lap 108 when he smacked the turn two wall.
Speed51.com will have more in Leftovers from the race later this week.
away from him,” said a visibly frustrated Peters. “(Stacy Puryear) doesn't deserve to be out there on the track. He's an idiot. He should be in a grocery store somewhere.”
Peters was working his way up through the field slowly when he encountered the cars of second- and third-place Denny Hamlin and Puryear on lap 136. He got around Hamlin, but got together with Puryear. Puryear backed into the wall and was done for the day, while Peters spun and was fell back to seventh.