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Blake Stallings, Peyton Sellers split SoBo Twin 75s

Blake Stallings and Peyton Sellers emerged from tough battles to split victories in the twin 75-lap Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division races that headlined Saturday night’s Oak River Realty Race Night event at South Boston Speedway.

Saturday night’s twin-race event represented the final opportunity for competitors to take home a win and hone car setups under race conditions before gearing up for the track’s 200-lap race on Saturday, June 29 that marks the opening race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.

Stallings, from Danville, Virginia, earned his second victory of the season in the opening 7ap race, wrestling the lead from former Virginia state champion Mike Looney of Catawba, Virginia with nine laps left and driving away to a 1.5656-second win.

“I knew they (Looney and Sellers) were racing hard in front of me,” Stallings said of his being in third place with 11 laps to go in the race. “I saw an opportunity and I had to take it. My hat’s off to all the racers here tonight. There was a lot of really, really hard racing, good racing. Any night that you come to South Boston Speedway and can be competitive, compete for the win, and hang a fender of your car beside the 87 of Mike Looney or the 26 of Peyton Sellers who are legends in our sport, it’s a good night.”

Sellers, of Danville, Virginia, finished third with pole winner Justin Hicks of Marston, North Carolina and Stacy Puryear of South Boston, Virginia rounding out the top five finishers.

The race was one of the most competitive races of the season to date with three lead changes among four different drivers. Two of the lead changes occurred in the final 12 laps of the race.

Craig Moore of Rougemont, North Carolina led the first 44 laps before encountering an issue that left him on the sidelines the rest of the race. Sellers inherited the lead on the restart on lap 45 and led 19 circuits before Looney slipped past him to grab the lead on lap 64.

A caution flag on lap 62 allowed Stallings to close the gap on Looney and Sellers. Stallings saw a brief opening as Looney and Sellers were battling for the lead and darted past Looney to grab the lead on lap 67. Stallings was able to open up some daylight and pull away for the win.

In the nightcap, Sellers won an early battle with Jacob Borst of Elon, North Carolina for the lead, grabbing the top spot on lap 37. Sellers led the remaining the 39 circuits to earn the win, but had to survive a battle with Looney and then hang on as Stalling, who started eighth in the race, drove into second place with 15 laps to go and made a real race of it, with Sellers edging Stallings by .651-seconds to take his third South Boston Speedway win in his last four starts at the .4-mile oval.

“Any time you get a win and a third-place finish it’s a good night,” Sellers remarked. “The waters definitely parted for us. I actually took the wrong line one time to get on the outside where I wanted to be. I took the outside line, fell back an extra row and went back eighth at one time. I knew the outside line would roll good and Jacob was up there, and he was rolling good. I took my chances and went with it, got by those guys, and it made for a good show.”

A restart on lap 45 and the restart that followed the race’s final caution on lap 59 were key for Sellers.

“When we fired off, I was way loose, and Mike was firing off really well,” Sellers said of the restart on lap 45. “I was glad the next caution came out because it let me cool my tires back off and regroup a little bit. My team told me Blake was coming hard on the top side, so I had to get up there. He forced me up there and my car liked it and took off pretty well.”

Looney finished third with Borst rebounding from an incident with Hicks on lap 45 to finish fourth. Ryan Wilson of Randleman, North Carolina rounded out the top five finishers.

There were two lead changes among three drivers with Sellers leading 39 laps, Borst holding the top spot for 34 circuits and Mark Keesee Jr. leading the first two laps of the race.

TWIN 75 NO. 1

(Finishing Position, Car Number, Driver, Starting Position)
1. 77-Blake Stallings[3]
2. 87L-Mike Looney[6]
3. 26-Peyton Sellers[8]
4. 61-Justin Hicks[1]
5. 17P-Stacy Puryear[5]
6. 25-Jacob Borst[4]
7. 2W-Matthew Waltz[7]
8. 2-Ryan Wilson[10]
9. 38-Mark Keesee Jr[9]
10. 51-Toby Layne[13]
11. 50-Raymond Pittman[15]
12. 17M-Jason Myers[11]
13. 40-Brian Thomas[14]
14. 1-Craig Moore[2]
15. 19C-Jessica Cann[16]
16. 26X-Jordan Pickrel[17]
17. 1Y-Jamie York[12]

TWIN 75 NO. 2

1. 26-Peyton Sellers[6]
2. 77-Blake Stallings[8]
3. 87L-Mike Looney[7]
4. 25-Jacob Borst[4]
5. 2-Ryan Wilson[3]
6. 51-Toby Layne[1]
7. 50-Raymond Pittman[9]
8. 17M-Jason Myers[10]
9. 19C-Jessica Cann[12]
10. 38-Mark Keesee Jr[2]
11. 61-Justin Hicks[5]
12. 1-Craig Moore[17]
13. 26X-Jordan Pickrel[13]
14. 40-Brian Thomas[11]
15. 17P-Stacy Puryear[15]
16. 2W-Matthew Waltz[16]
17. 1Y-Jamie York[14]


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