Former NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion Peyton Sellers got his 2014 season off to a big start here Saturday afternoon with a sweep of the Danville Toyota NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 100’s.
The Danville, Va. resident fended off former South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series Champion Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, Va. on the final restart in both races to secure the pair of wins, with Bowling settling for a pair of second-place finishes.
While Sellers, a former South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division champion, won both races, he never surfaced to the top spot until late in both races.
Bowling led the first 88 circuits in the first race, but didn’t have to contend with Sellers until after Sellers grabbed second place from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Jeb Burton of Halifax, Va. halfway through the race.
Sellers was able to close the gap on Bowling and got a break when the race’s first caution flag flew on lap 75. A second caution flag on lap 82 kept the leaders bunched up for the final restart with 13 laps to go.
On the second restart, Sellers was able to gain a slight edge and quickly pulled away from Bowling. His margin of victory was .690-second.
Burton finished third, Josh Oakley of Rougemont, N.C. took fourth place and Tommy Lemons of Troy, N.C. rounded out the top five finishers.
Burton started on the pole in the second race, but it was Oakley that sprang into the lead. Oakley, despite battling issues with his front brakes, built a good lead over Bowling and Sellers early in the race.
Sellers took second place from Bowling on lap 39 and gradually ran down Oakley, catching him just as the first of the race’s three caution flags flew on lap 76. He got another shot at Oakley on the restart on lap 83 that followed the race’s second caution period and managed to get past Oakley on lap 90.
With brake issues creating more problems, Oakley lost second place to Bowling on lap 92. The race’s third caution flag flew two laps later, setting up a green-white-checkered sprint to the finish and another battle between Sellers and Bowling.
Sellers cleared Bowling on the first lap after the restart and edged Bowling by .385-second for the win.
Austin Thaxton of South Boston, Va., who started the race from 15th place, finished third, with Oakley and Ricky Jones of Benson, N.C. rounding out the top five finishers.
South Boston Speedway (VA)