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Oakley seizes late model win

SoVaNow.com / June 16, 2014
Late model racing at South Boston Speedway proved a snoozefest much of Saturday night, with Matt Bowling dominating the action. That’s how it played out, most of the night.

But that’s not how it ended.

Three late cautions helped to redefined the race. At lap 137 of the 150-lap feature, Peyton Sellers ran into a tire problem, slowing the field and cutting into’s Bowling’s dominance. Sellers managed to make repairs while remaining on the lead lap, beating the pace car to get back on the track.

Josh Oakley made a game-changing inside move, seizing the lead from Bowling with seven laps to go. At lap 146, local driver Bruce Anderson and Dennis Holdren spun in turn two.

That set up a green-white-checker.

Oakley won the restart and the race when a caution occurred following the start of the white flag lap. Oakley held off Bowling in a two-lap dash to win the late model feature at SBS.

Oakley enjoyed his second win of the season, with a .326-second margin of victory over Bowling.

Sellers finished third, 1.529-seconds behind Oakley. His right front went flat 13 laps from the finish while he was running second to then-race leader Bowling. Bruce Anderson took fourth and Bobby McCarty, who also battled back from late issues, rolled home fifth.

Holdren took sixth, while Matt Snider was seventh. They were the final two cars to finish on the lead lap (152). The race went overtime.

Austin Thaxton finished eighth, one lap down. Thaxton crashed into the wall on the final lap. Michael Maresca finished ninth, a lap down. Blake Stallings was tenth, two laps off the pace.

Bowling had taken the pole and had the strongest car much of the race. But Oakley powered past Bowling one lap after the first caution, brought out by Sellers’ flat tire.

Oakley averaged 77.082 mph on his way to the win.

“Pretty special win, pretty awesome,” Oakley said.

It was his third win of the year, two at SBS and one at Orange County Speedway.

“I do all the best I can do. That’s all I can say for the driver. These guys, coming to the shop, it’s one of the best prepared cars here,” said Oakley.

Sellers, meanwhile, had an interesting night. He and his crew hustled to twice beat the pace car after diving into the pits to remain on the lead lap.

“That’s not picture perfect, for sure. The car was driving OK. We weren’t going to catch Matt,” said Sellers, who retained the track points lead.





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