Special to the Register & Bee
SOUTH BOSTON — Danville’s Peyton Sellers squeezed past Lee Pulliam and Trey Crews with 15 laps to go and withstood a late charge from Pulliam to win Saturday night’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson Presented By Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200 at South Boston Speedway.
Sellers earned $10,000 for winning the first race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, a three-race series that also includes the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway in late July and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway in October. The three drivers with the best average finish in the three races earns prize money from the $10,000 Virginia Late Model Triple Crown bonus.
This marked the second year in a row the Danville resident has won South Boston Speedway’s premier NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division race. Saturday night’s victory was the fourth of the season for Sellers at South Boston Speedway.
Crews, from Halifax, started third on the race’s final restart, but darted to the inside in turn 2 to make a run at Sellers and Pulliam, creating a three-wide situation. Sellers surged into the lead with Crews taking second and Pulliam being shuffled back to third place. Pulliam got past Crews for second place with eight laps to go and set sail after Sellers.
The Alton resident closed the gap quickly but came up two car lengths or .157-second short of earning a seventh career victory in South Boston Speedway’s annual 200-lap NASCAR Late Model race.
Mike Looney, of Catawba, finished fourth and Corey Heim rounded out the top five. Brandon Pierce, Timothy Peters, Tyler Hughes, Thomas Scott, of Efland, North Carolina; and Mike Jones, of South Boston, rounded out the top-10 finishers.
There were four lead changes among five drivers, with Sellers leading only once in the race, that for the final 15 circuits.
Philip Morris won the pole and led the first 72 laps, but was sidelined in a crash on lap 111 after contact with Sellers as he, Sellers and Looney were battling for fifth place following the restart after the race’s halfway break. He finished 23rd in the 31-car field.
Eric Winslow, of Pelham, North Carolina, scored a landmark victory Saturday night, capturing his first win in South Boston Speedway’s NASCAR Limited Sportsman Division in Saturday night’s 75-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, the division’s longest and richest race of the season.
Jacob Borst, of Elon, North Carolina, took the runner-up spot, with Danny Willis Jr., of South Boston; Landon Pembelton, of Amelia; and Jason Myers, of Hurt, rounded out the top five finishers.
Borst and Willis raced their way back up through the field after having to start at the back of the pack as the result of an incident involving the two drivers on lap 49.
Johnny Layne made his only appearance of the season at South Boston Speedway in Saturday night’s 40-lap Budweiser Pure Stock Division, and he made it count.
The former South Boston Speedway Budweiser Pure Stock Division champion started on the pole and scored a flag-to-flag win in the longest and richest race of the season for the Pure Stock Division competitors. The win marked the first time Layne has won the season’s biggest race for the division.
Randy Hupp, of Halifax, finished second, trailing Layne by .836-second at the finish. Jordan Pickrel, of Keeling; Justin Dawson, of Nathalie; and Bruce Mayo, of Halifax, rounded out the top-five finishers.
Saturday night was a big night for Jared Dawson, of Nathalie, as he scored his first win in the 20-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division, the longest race of the season for the division.
Dawson started on the pole and scored a flag-to-flag win in the caution-free race.
Aaron Cash, of South Boston; Josh Dawson, of Halifax; Kevin Currin, of Chase City; and Andrea Ruotolo-Sarnataro, of South Boston, completed the top five finishers.
NASCAR racing action returns to South Boston Speedway at 7 p.m., July 13 with the running of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s racing program.
Twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division competitors will highlight the six-race program. Twin 25-lap races are slated for the Limited Sportsman Division, a 30-lap race is set for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 15-lap race is on tap for the Budweiser Hornets Division competitors.
Registration and pit gates open at 2 p.m., practice runs from 4 to 5 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and qualifying starts at 6 p.m. The first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information, visit www.southbostonspeedway.com or call (434) 572-4947 or (877) 440-1540.