- Last Updated on 02:49 PM 03/28/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Peyton Sellers calls it “a new challenge for everybody.”
The “it” the former NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion is referring to is an in-house Late Model Stock Car built from the ground up in the Sellers Racing shop in Ringgold.
Thus far, the results have been rewarding.
Sellers has logged two top-five finishes in the first three races of the season at South Boston Speedway. The only glitch occurred when a broken wheel spindle relegated Sellers to an 18th-place finish in the second race of South Boston Speedway’s season-opening twinbill.
“H.C. (his brother H.C. Sellers) is kind of the brain behind it,” Sellers explained.
“That is the only unchartered waters we haven’t been into. It’s really neat working with H.C. on it, trying to figure it out like we did 10 years ago when we were trying to figure out our first Late Model.”
Sellers said the in-house car project was undertaken for the challenge and for fun.
“We’ve built cars for forever,” Sellers explained, “but we’ve used somebody else’s chassis. We felt like we had maxed out what we were doing. It had gotten a little stale.
“We’re not going to be chassis builders, but we wanted to try it ourselves, just see what it’s all about. It’s something we’ve never done. This has put some fun back into it for me and H.C.”
The project came together very quickly.
“We went from bare steel to being on the track in three and a half weeks,” said Sellers.
“We got some good help in the shop working on it. All of our guys pitched in. It’s been a lot of hours, a lot of hard work and a lot of fun too.”
It is possible that the two brothers and Sellers Racing could reap good benefits from the project aside from the fun and the challenge.
“If it (the car) works and we hit on something, then we don’t have anybody that knows about it,” added the former South Boston Speedway champion. It’s all in-house. That’s what we like about it.”
Sellers feels the car is headed in the right direction.
“It’s been pretty consistent,” he said of the car.
“Being that the car is new, we have no notes to go by. Now we have a 100-lap race under it and a 150-lap race under it. We’ve still got a long ways to go, but we’re accepting the challenge and are working hard to get it better.”
Because the car is the only one Sellers Racing has built from the ground up and there is no backup chassis or car, Sellers is taking a conservative approach behind the wheel.
“I have to drive a lot differently right now,” Sellers pointed out.
“This is a one-off car. We don’t have a chassis shop to go get one built at. If we wreck it we’ve got to figure out how to put it back together.
“I have to drive with my head a lot,” Sellers continued.
“I’ve had to do that a lot the last two years. I’m driving defensively and trying to keep the fenders on it. If somebody is roughing you up to move by you just let them go, and maybe you’ll be able to get around them at the end. It’s a different approach.
The racer in you wants to dig, gouge and root and do everything you can. But, at the end of the day, you’ve got to be pretty smart with it too.”
As far as the season goes, Sellers says he is taking things strictly on a race-to-race basis.
“Last year we had a really fast car all year, but we had some bad accidents that kept us from competing for the championship in a manner of fashion,” he explained.
“This year we’ll play it day-by-day. We broke a spindle the second race out and that put us way behind in points. I don’t care about points. As long as we bring the car home every week with the fenders on it there is a challenge waiting for us at the next race.”