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A sweet SBS homecoming for Peters

For Timothy Peters, it was all about fun — and coming home. Racing at South Boston Speedway for the first time since 2006, Peters edged rookie Bobby McCarty of Summerfield, N.C. in a five-lap dash to the finish that followed the last of the race’s four caution periods to win Saturday night’s CenturyLink 150 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division race.

The win, Peters’ 14th career victory in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway, was his first win at South Boston Speedway since the 2004 season, the year in which he won the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division championship.

“Wins are hard to come by, I don’t care what division it is,” said Peters, a veteran competitor on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit.

“It’s awesome to win at South Boston. This is home. This is my roots. Mac and Stephen Bailey (his former sponsors) and South Boston Speedway helped me get my start. This is why I’ve wanted to come back for so long.”

Peters and division rookie McCarty waged a hard-fought fender-rubbing battle in the final five-lap sprint to the finish, with Peters edging McCarty by a narrow .410-second margin.

“It was intense,” admitted Peters.

“I knew Bobby had a good car up top, and I tried to use a little bit of my experience to take it away from him. I knew he was strong. He’s got a lot of wins coming here. It was cool to race with him.”

McCarty said Peters’ ability to take the outside line away from him was the difference in the race.

“I felt like it (the win) was in my grasp,” McCarty said.

“On the last couple of restarts, we needed the high side. I found something on the high side that works racing these guys. If we had had the high side, I’d be one spot ahead.”

While McCarty had come so close to edging one of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ biggest stars and had lost, there was no disappointment. 

“Racing against Timothy Peters is something else,” McCarty said with a huge smile.

“Not everybody can say they went into a five-lap duel to the end with Timothy Peters and almost won it. We rubbed some fenders and caved in a couple of door panels, but with five laps to go, you’re racing for the win and everybody’s going to give it all they’ve got. I’m not going to hold my head down at all.”

The race started as a battle between Peters and defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C. Peters and Pulliam swapped the lead three times before a wheel hub snapped on Pulliam’s car and Pulliams’ car spun and crashed hard into the outside wall in the second turn on lap 63, ending his night.

“It’s pretty disappointing,” Pulliam said as he scanned the damage on his car.

“I had just gotten on the radio and told them (the team) it (the wheel) was vibrating a little bit. It broke all of the ears off of it. I had a really good racecar.”

Thomas Scott of Mebane, N.C. finished third in his best-ever finish at South Boston Speedway, diving to the inside of former multi-time NASCAR national champion Philip Morris and Dustin Storm with two laps to go to grab third place.

Morris, of Ruckersville, finished fourth and Storm, of Huntingtown, Md. finished fifth.

Chris Johnson of Mechanicsville, Patrick Coleman of Greensboro, N.C., Bugs Hairfield of Chesterfield, Josh Oakley of Rougemont, N.C. and Bruce Anderson of South Boston rounded out the top ten finishers in the 20-car field that included three NASCAR national champions and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit regulars.

Austin Thaxton of Cluster Springs ran solidly in the top five before being forced to the sidelines with a mechanical issue and being relegated to an 11th-place finish. Jeb Burton of Halifax finished 15th after retiring from the race after 41 laps.

Peters averaged 62.630 mph in winning the race that was slowed by four caution periods that consumed a total of 35 laps.