Sellers holds off charges of McCaskill, Herring to claim 11th Late Model Stock Car victory of the season at SoBo
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. — "Whew!"
That wasn't a gust of wind or a clap of thunder from a brewing thunderstorm that was heard just shy of 9 p.m. Saturday night. Instead, it was a huge sigh of relief from Peyton Sellers.
The Danville, Va. driver started from the pole at the outset of the 150-lap Barkhouser Late Model Stock Car Division race and led every circuit to take the checkered flag in a caution-free event.
That sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it was far from a Sunday afternoon drive for Sellers. Throughout the race, Sellers had to fend off fierce challenges from Deac McCaskill of Raleigh, N.C. and Drew Herring of Benson, N.C.
At times, the three drivers put on a three-wide racing exhibition. There were also many occasions when either Sellers and McCaskill were battling door handle to door handle or McCaskill and Herring were going at it side-by-side.
"This was an emotional victory for me," Sellers said at the close of the event. "I don't think I had the best handling car tonight, but I did have the best engine. It's a great feeling."
The Late Model Stock Car Division event was the featured attraction of the Cherokee Tobacco Night program.
The victory was the fourth straight for Sellers. It also marked his 11th win at South Boston Speedway this year and his 14th overall NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series triumph during the 2005 campaign. Sellers is the current leader in the chase for the championship at America's Hometown Track. In addition, he is the leading driver in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division I and national championship standings.
McCaskill, a two-time winner at the four-tenths mile asphalt oval, held off Herring throughout the event and motored to a runner-up finish in the 22-car field.
"That had to be a heck of a race for the fans," McCaskill said. "What a race — no cautions.
"Drew drove me clean," McCaskill said of the race for second place. "I think he had the best car tonight."
It wasn't until the final 20 laps of the event that Sellers was able to pull away from McCaskill and Herring and open what wound up being about a six-car length cushion at the end.
"I thought we could get past Peyton, but he had a lot of forward bite," McCaskill said. "And, with 20 laps to go, it looked like it got even better for him."
Herring, who agreed with McCaskill's belief that his car was the fastest for much of the race, finished third at the checkered flag and was followed in the top five by Justin Johnson of Roxboro, N.C. in the fourth slot and Ryan Rhodes of Sanford, N.C. in fifth.
Rodney Cook of Reidsville, N.C. motored to a sixth-place finish, while Owen Miller of Emporia, Va. finished seventh. Wayne Ramsey of Amherst, Va. collected the eighth-place finishing spot, while David Triplett, Jr. of Durham, N.C. slipped from fourth to ninth after battling in the late stages of the race with Johnson for the top-five position.
Rounding out the top 10 drivers in the race was Ronald Hill of Rougemont, N.C., who slipped into the top 10 on the final lap by getting around outside pole sitter Brandon Butler of Petersburg, Va., who finished 11th.