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Peyton Sellers wins ValleyStar Credit Union 300

Two decades of heartbreak pay off for Virginia native with triumph in Late Model Stock Car racing’s crown jewel

Andrew Fuller photo

MARTINSVILLE, VA – Peyton Sellers made an extra lap after winning the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 on Saturday night just to be sure.

Sellers had been trying to win the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 since making his debut at the track in 2002.  20 years later, he finally etched his name into the history books as a winner of Late Model Stock Car racing’s most prestigious race at Martinsville Speedway.

“It’s an amazing night,” Sellers told Short Track Scene after the race.  “This car was the second best to Mike Looney tonight until 25 to go, then it set sail.  I wasn’t really holding much back.  Tires cooled off and fired off like it was supposed to and we’re sitting here with a grandfather clock right now.  Man, I’m so excited about this.  This is a big night for me and everybody involved.  A lot of people put a lot of time, money and effort into my racing the last 30 years.  To bring home this clock to Ridgeway to Clarence’s Steakhouse after they’ve been with me for 20 years is an amazing thing.  It’s a true blessing.”

Sellers reflected on the journey to victory lane in the race he watched in the grandstands as a kid.

“It’s been an amazing journey to get to where I’m at right now,” Sellers explained.  “I’ve made it up the racing ladder some, come back here, I work in our family business Monday-Friday and race on Saturdays.  It’s just something I’m blessed to be able to do.  To have this car flip colors this weekend and go to victory lane, it couldn’t be anymore special.”

The race was dominated by Looney, who won the 2016 ValleyStar Credit Union 300, but it ultimately came down to Sellers and Carson Kvapil.  An overtime finish allowed Kvapil a shot at the win, but Sellers was able to hold on.  Sellers said after the race that he gained respect for the JR Motorsports driver.

“He was really fast on the short runs,” Kvapil said after the race.  “He definitely wasn’t in the way.  He was quick for the first 5-10 laps.  I thought I was actually faster than him.  I thought my car got faster after 10 laps.  I think he was burning up the brakes on the long run, so I think, if we had a long run, I think we could have got him easier than on a short run.  I had the chance to give him a shot, rolled to his bumper.  I could have got him but, I wouldn’t feel right about it.”

Sellers’ win comes just days after finding out he lost his bid to clinch a third NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship in controversial fashion.  Saturday night’s victory in the crown jewel event in Late Model Stock Car racing more than made up for the national championship loss.

“This whole national championship thing has drained a lot of emotions out of me the last four or five days,” Sellers said in a postrace press conference.  “I don’t want to say anything negative toward anybody, but it all happened so we can be sitting where we’re at right now.  No doubt in my mind.”

Throughout the history of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the race has never been won by the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion – a trend that continued in 2022.

Jacob Heafner, who had a consistent run all race, finished in third while Mike Looney and Kaden Honeycutt rounded out the top-five in the fall classic.

Unofficial Results:

1.) Peyton Sellers; 2.) Carson Kvapil; 3.) Jacob Heafner; 4.) Mike Looney; 5.) Kaden Honeycutt; 6.) Chase Burrow; 7.) Daniel Silvestri; 8.) Timothy Peters; 9.) Corey Heim; 10.) Jonathan Shafer; 11.) Jared Fryar; 12.) Connor Hall; 13.) Bobby McCarty; 14.) Matt Cox; 15.) Carter Langley; 16.) Ryan Matthews; 17.) Mason Diaz; 18.) Doug Barnes, Jr.; 19.) Brenden Queen; 20.) Dexter Canipe; 21.) Braden Rogers; 22.) Davey Callihan; 23.) Kyle Barnes; 24.) Austin Somero; 25.) Camden Gullie; 26.) Thomas Scott; 27.) Landon Pembelton; 28.) Trevor Ward; 29.) Craig Moore; 30.) Dylan Ward; 31.) Mark Wertz; 32.) Jake Crum; 33.) Ryan Wilson; 34.) Mini Tyrrell; 35.) Kres VanDyke; 36.) Kyle Dudley; 37.) Ty Majeski; 38.) Trent Barnes; 39.) Dustin Rumley; 40.) Tate Fogleman

Peyton Sellers wins the 2022 ValleyStar Credit Union 300. (Andrew Fuller photo)

Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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