Several drivers from Canada, two from France, and another from Venezuela made up a diverse field of ARCA qualifiers. Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell was the lone driver from the Commonwealth of Virginia and he got some pre-qualifying words of encouragement from NASCAR veteran Ron Hornaday.
Clay rolled off 24th off 44 drivers and laid down a lap at 175.699 miles an hour, a tad slower than his practice speed, but still plenty fast enough to put him in the show. He'll start 24th on Saturday afternoon.
“I think everybody was a little bit slower today than they were yesterday and we've got a little bit of a breeze that we didn't have so maybe that's doing it, but we were considerably off from what we practiced at yesterday but I'll take it and go into tomorrow,” Campbell said. “If you have a direct headwind, obviously it's gonna slow you down. It's kind of like an airplane going through the air at those speeds. It does affect you but it didn't make the car unstable, so that's the good thing about it.”
Saturday's race will be the final one in the storied career of 78-year-old James Hylton. Hylton made more than 600 Cup Series starts since 1964, and another 100 plus in the ARCA Series.
“Right now I want to cry a little bit,” Hylton said. “I've been around this racetrack so many times in NASCAR, the Cup Series and now this, and when it starts sinking in that this is my last qualifying effort at Daytona Speedway, it's gonna hurt, but I'm gonna try to live through it.”