As if the 2005 NASCAR Whelen Series All-American Series championship and countless track championships wasn’t enough of a resume, Peyton Sellers could be given a new nickname following his victory in the Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200 on Saturday night at South Boston Speedway.
Sellers impressively took the lead from Lee Pulliam on a late restart from the outside and then held the four-time All-American Series champion off to win $10,000 and the first of the three-race Virginia Triple Crown.
It’s the second straight victory in the SoBo 200 for Sellers and also his second big win of the season after winning the Grassroots 200 at Langley Speedway.
The defending Virginia Triple Crown champion can now set his sights on repeating with strong runs in the Hampton Heat at Langley and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville.
“We had just enough car at the end,” Sellers said in Victory Lane. “Lee Pulliam was the best car there in the last 20 or so laps. He didn’t go on that restart good. We got a good lead out. He came back strong. I knew he would, but man, this was a race of attrition tonight. We hung around eighth place all night.
“We could never get track position until the last restart. Here we go with 15 to go, we were sitting second, and it was time to go. He ran me clean at the end. He could have drove through us and took us out, but he didn’t. That’s what races are all about. These races are hard to come about. Man, this Toyota was strong when it needed to be.”
Pulliam led to the green on the final restart with 16 laps to go but got off to an awful jump and allowed Sellers to surge by on the outside. Sellers was then forced to fend off Trey Crews for roughly seven laps that prevented a resumption of the battle for the lead.
Pulliam had just enough time to take one shot at Sellers in Turns 3 and 4, but couldn’t get his No. 5 to the No. 26’s back bumper.
Pulliam harbored some resistance for how Crews race him in the closing laps.
“We had the best car all race long,” Pulliam said. “It’s aggravating right now. I don’t know, man. I run everybody with respect all year long. I had my back tires off the ground for two laps there and let him (Sellers) get away. Hey, we will race like that every week if we need to. I am trying to race people the way they race me.
“I don’t mind racing people hard. I know he was trying to win the race, but God knows man, sometimes when you are the third-place car, you have to pick and choose your battles. Hard racing, but just aggravating man because that one was ours. It was probably one of the best cars I’ve ever had but gave it away.”
Crews chalked up his scuffle with Pulliam as hard racing.
“I don’t think that was an incident at all,” he said. “It was racing. I got loose on entry like Peyton did with Phillip. It’s racing hard. Everybody is fighting for every position out here. Coming with 10 to go, we all are battling for the lead. We were right there with them and used up our stuff coming back to the front. I hate it, but nobody got wrecked. I don’t see anything with good, hard racing.”
The early stages of the race were dominated by Philip Morris, from the pole, who led the first 73 laps before being passed by JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry on the frontstretch.
Morris tried to garner the race lead back from Berry, but by Lap 90, he fell back to the fifth position
After maintaining the lead for the 26 more laps, Berry was able to win the $1,000 halfway leader bonus. Unfortunately for him, he drew a 10 on the second-half invert and lost all of his track position as a result. Berry was ultimately eliminated from the race due to damage earned in an early crash as it knocked the tow out on his Chevrolet.
That gave Tyler Hughes the lead until Lap 168 when he cut a tire going into Turn 3 and 4 giving Pulliam the lead until the fateful final restart that cost him the race.
The race was marred by several multi-car crashes. A total of 31 cars started the race but just 14 finished.
The next event of the Virginia Triple Crown is the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway July 20.
- 26 Peyton Sellers
- 5 Lee Pulliam
- 9 Trey Crews
- 87 Mike Looney
- 78 Corey Heim
- 2 Brandon Pierce
- 12w Timothy Peters
- 8b Tyler Hughes
- 8 Thomas Scott
- 39 Mike Jones
- 90 Terry Carroll
- 18 Ty Gibbs -1
- 03 Brenden Queen -1
- 99 Layne Riggs OUT
- 24 Colin Garrett OUT
- 15 Ryan Millington OUT
- 88 Josh Berry OUT
- 55 Mark Wertz OUT
- 38b Mark Keesee OUT
- 75 Quincy Adkins OUT
- 91 Justin Carroll OUT
- 4 Timmy Phipps OUT
- 01 Philip Morris OUT
- 1 Terry Dease OUT
- 57 Justin Carroll OUT
- 12b Ryan Wilson OUT
- 38w Daniel Shelton OUT
- 22r Bobby McCarty OUT
- 22 Jordan Pickrel OUT
- 14 Ryan Repko OUT
- 12 Austin Thaxton OUT