- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
A hot day produced in turn a hot night of racing Saturday at South Boston Speedway, but points leader Philip Morris was cool enough behind the wheel to sweep a pair of 75-lap Late Model Stock Car wins, his 13th and 14th wins of the season. The Ruckersville resident and three-time former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion added to his points lead, winning race one by 0.661 seconds over pole sitter Matt Bowling.
Bowling, who became only the third different driver to claim a Late Model pole this season, qualified on the front inside row with a time of 15.569 and led the first two laps before South Boston’s Bruce Anderson passed for the lead.
Morris, third at the start of the race, passed outside pole sitter Anderson on lap 29 and led the rest of the way, with Bowling coming home second ahead of Fargo, North Dakota driver Natalie Sather, Dennis Holdren of Roanoke and Ronald Hill of Rougemont, N.C.
Race one was delayed by cautions five times.
Morris led the entire way in race two, but faced a stiff challenge from teammate Peyton Sellers, who came from the rear of the field in one of Morris’ backup cars at the start of the race to challenge Morris for the lead in the waning laps.
Morris was able to hold off Sellers for the win, finishing 0.552 seconds ahead of the Danville driver and former Whelen All-American Series national champion.
Sather and Hill finished a solid night of racing with third- and fourth-place finishes in race two, while Bowling collected another top-five finish in a race delayed five times by cautions.
Sellers started in the rear for race two, and with fresher tires than most of the competition he steadily worked his way to the front.
He fully intended to race teammate Morris for the win once he got there, according to Sellers, who was on the way to a possible top-five finish in race one before a wreck after contact with Holdren on lap 71 sent him to the pits.
“Phillip’s on a roll right now, and I’d love no more than to beat him, but I’ve got to thank Jim Dean for letting me drive this car to start with,” said Sellers.
“It had a little better tire on it, but we did have to come from the back, so either way it was a good run for us.
“We had a pretty good car the first race, and we were trying to bide our time, and we missed it a little bit. We were trying to save something and make some adjustments for the second race, but we just didn’t get to show it.”
Sellers didn’t think he’d be able to get to the front and race with Morris in race two.
“It’s (car) set up for Philip, and he drives completely different than I do,” admitted Sellers. “It hooked up pretty good on the bottom down on the flat, and I kept working it and working it, and it lit up like a Christmas Tree at the end.”
Sather termed her weekend a success after coming away with a pair of third-place finishes.
“Towards the end, Peyton thought he was going to pull a slight move on me and tried to jump to the outside right at the end, but I was a little quicker than he thought I would be and jumped to the inside, so that was a little fun,” said Sather.
“I wish we would have been to the outside and had more of a shot, because my car was pretty good on the outside.”
Morris, in a battle with Lee Pulliam and Whelen All-American Series national points leader Keith Rocco for the 2011 title, kept himself in the hunt after his two wins on Saturday.
He noted the performance turned in by Sellers in a car unfamiliar to Sellers in race two shows how good H.C. Sellers racing is.
“He (Sellers) was definitely rolling, you can never count that guy out, he’s an awesome racecar driver, even with half a car,” said Morris.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”