Peyton Sellers has made a habit of having his name near the top of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series standings the last decade.
Even though 2020 was a different year for Sellers and his late model team, the finish was much the same. The 2005 national champion finished second in the Division I national and took home a track championship.
The COVID-19 pandemic made the season difficult for Sellers from the start. A five-time track champion at South Boston Speedway, he was unable to race at his home after the Virginia track canceled the season.
Opting to travel and find a new home, Sellers won a track championship at Dominion Raceway in northern Virginia, completing every lap and never finishing below fourth. It was Sellers’s first time in his career racing for a championship at Dominion.
Sellers won 10 races and had 26 top-five finishes in 30 NASCAR starts, and was the 2020 Virginia champion.
“2020 has been kind of doom and gloom for a lot of people. I have a soft spot for any business that has been shut down due to COVID, but honestly our race team and our construction company both have been able to succeed and have a good year this year,” Sellers said. “Racing started off slow, we started off the year kind of loaded and ready to go out and try to win races at Myrtle Beach back in February. We went down there and had a pretty solid top 10 effort, and then we had to sit at home for two months due to COVID.
“All in all, we had an excellent year considering all we’ve been through.”
The added travel made finding and getting to races complicated at times. Sellers said there were several weekends they would race at either Dominion or Langley Speedway near Virginia Beach on Saturday, and then travel down to Southern National Motorsports Park in North Carolina on Sunday.
Good car counts everywhere they went helped with gaining more national points.
It was the work of the team, though, that helped Sellers push to the top of the pack.
“Just a lot of dedication from my guys that work on our cars,” Sellers said. “They put in a lot of hours this year. Obviously everybody was faced with a difficult situation this year and I had some loyal guys that stayed with me and they traveled with me on weekends to race.
“My brother, H.C., he’s kind of the glue that holds it all together. He puts in a lot of man-hours and a lot of time every year preparing us fast cars. It feels nice to be able to be competitive every year and being able to run for national championships is all somebody can ask for at this level. We’ve been able to do that now and we’ve been in the top 10 for several years running.”
Sellers hopes he’s able to stay local for races next season, in part to help his local sponsors Clarence’s Steakhouse and Danville Toyota. While he said it’s hard to say if they’ll go out and try to run for a national championship in 2021, his shop has three national titles in all – his, and one each by Matt Bowling and Philip Morris – so they know what it takes to make it happen if they decide to try again.
“As long as our sponsors and all the people that are helping us are willing to do that,” Sellers said.
“We’ve been blessed. That’s about the only thing you can say about it. We’ve been fortunate and we’ll look back at 2020 and see the bad and the good, but we had a lot of good and a lot to be thankful for.”