- Last Updated on 08:14 AM 05/05/14
- BY Joe Chandler
Peyton Sellers and Lee Pulliam became repeat winners at South Boston Speedway Saturday night, splitting the pair of 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division races that headlined the Charles Anderson Lawn Care Presents Italian Delight Family Restaurant NASCAR Late Model Twin 75’s racing program.
Sellers, a former NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion and former South Boston Speedway champion, won the first 75-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division race, taking the lead from pole winner C.E. Falk III on lap 48 and holding off two-time defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion and defending South Boston Speedway champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C. to secure his third win of the season.
Pulliam started sixth and won the second race over runner-up Matt Bowling of Ridgeway to score his second win of the season at South Boston Speedway. The victory was Pulliam’s 34th career NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division win at South Boston Speedway and it vaulted him into a tie for second place with former South Boston Speedway champions Barry Beggarly and Davis Blankenship on the track’s all-time career Late Model Stock Car Division win list.
“Tonight is a pretty cool night for us,” Pulliam said after his win in the nightcap.
“This ties me with Barry Beggarly and David Blankenship for second place on the all-time win list. This win means a lot to me.”
Falk appeared to have the best car in the first race as he pulled out to an almost quarter of a lap advantage over Sellers and Pulliam. As the race reached the 35-lap mark, Sellers and Pulliam started making up ground quickly as Falk began to drop back.
Sellers got by Falk to take the lead on lap 48 and Pulliam got around Falk a lap later to take second place. Pulliam tried to make a run at Sellers over the last 20 laps, but Sellers was too strong and edged Pulliam by 1.850 second.
“We weren’t the fastest car every lap, but we were really steady,” Sellers pointed out.
“That’s what it took.”
Sellers said he was surprised to see Falk’s car slow up the way it did.
“When his (Falk’s) car started going a little south it went south,” Sellers remarked.
“My car stayed the same from the first lap through the 75th lap and it made a big difference in the way our car was there at the end of the race.”
Pulliam said his car simply wasn’t strong enough to run down Sellers in the closing laps.
“I was trying hard,” Pulliam said.
“He (Sellers) had a really good car. We just missed it a little bit and they were ‘on.’ I thought maybe Peyton and I could race it out. But Peyton’s car was just too strong on the long run and I just couldn’t do anything else with him.”
Falk held on to finish third behind Sellers and Pulliam.
“We had a really great car and then it started shoving the nose really bad,” Falk explained.
“It was pretty undriveable there for awhile. Those guys (Sellers and Pulliam) were coming, and I wasn’t going to hold them up. I just over cooked it (the right front tire).”
Bowling and Austin Thaxton of South Boston rounded out the top five finishers in the first race.
With the top seven finishers from the first race inverted for the start of the second race, Josh Oakley of Rougemont, N.C. started on the pole and led the first seven laps before Bowling worked his way in to the lead.
Bowling led the next 14 laps before Pulliam, who started sixth, bolted past him to take the lead on lap 22. Once in front, Pulliam pulled away from his challengers and cruised across the finish line 2.852 seconds ahead of runner-up Bowling. Thaxton finished third with Sellers finishing fourth and Bobby McCarty of Summerfield, N.C. rounding out the top five finishers.
“We just made the right adjustments the second race,” Pulliam pointed out.
“I knew the first lap of the race we were going to be pretty good. I just got aggressive and got to the front and got the lead, just trying to manage the tires.
“We just flat missed it (the chassis setup) the first race,” he added.
“That’s about as bad as we’ve been here in awhile and Peyton was really good.”
For Bowling, the second race was better than the first.
“We definitely made the right adjustments and got the car a whole lot better,” Bowling said.
“It just wasn’t enough. He (Pulliam) did the same thing we did – he got better too.”
Thaxton, who had two top-five finishes and ended his night with a third-place finish in the second race, said he was fairly pleased with his night.
“Third place is pretty good,” he said.
“I’m kind of disappointed though. I had a little higher expectations coming into this weekend. At least I can load the car on the trailer without it being torn up. Hopefully we’ve got something to build on.”
Sellers, whose car had been very strong in the first race, couldn’t muster much of a challenge for the top spot in the nightcap.
“I just over adjusted,” he said.
“We thought the car was going to free up some, so we tightened it up a bunch and it really didn’t change a lot, so we were just way too tight.”
Sellers averaged 86.965 mph in winning the first race. Pulliam averaged 85.964 mph in winning the second race. Eighteen drivers started both races, which were caution free.