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Sellers, Morris split late model races at SBS Saturday

SoVaNow.com / April 01, 2019
Peyton Sellers and Phillip Morris split a pair of 75-lap late model races before a large crowd at the South Boston Speedway Saturday.

After Morris, Trey Crews, Sellers, and Lee Pulliam grabbed the top four spots in qualifying, fans knew they were in for an afternoon of racing action by some of the best drivers in the business.

Morris earned his second win of the season at South Boston in the first late model race of the afternoon.. It would mark his 76th career win at the speedway.

Pole sitter Morris lost his position on the very first lap as Crews got under him for the lead.

By the 12th lap Morris had found his pace and got under Crews on the backstretch to go into the lead. He would hold on to the lead for the rest of the race en route to victory lane.

“Yes it was difficult out there with the rubber the modified cars put down in their qualifying, but we got through it all right,” said Morris. “We were way better than anyone else with the horsepower we are getting. I am just thankful to get to drive this thing.

“Yes I was having a little difficulty on those restarts. I am sure my guys are going to fix it for us.”

Sellers got around Crews for a second place finish 2.027 seconds behind Morris. Crews finished third.

“Everyone has their hands full right now with the extra rubber on the track,” Sellers said. “There is no side bite. It is really going to be bad after this modified race. We are going to have to do something to help, like getting down the straight-a-way a little better.”

Crews added, “I know third is not a win, but it sure felt like one. Yes we had a little bumping with Phillip It was back and forth, just good hard racing.”

Pulliam finished fourth and Mike Looney rounded out the top five finishers.

Austin Thaxton, Stuart Crews, Taylor Gray, Thomas Scott, and Drew Butler completed the top ten finishers.

The second late model race had more action, after inverting finishers from the first race.

Taylor Gray took the lead on lap-2 and soon lost it to Thomas Scott. Something happened to bring out a caution. Gray was held on pit road on the restart for his actions on the track.

Sellers, meanwhile was working his way to the front and made his move on Scott on lap-18 when he got under him for the lead.

As Sellers enjoyed his lead, a lot was happening back in the field. Gray got into Lonney in turn fouronlap-66. Morris passed Pulliam for second and got rear-ended by Pulliam. Morris then spun out and went into the third turn wall, ending his night.

Cars went under a red-flag caution and lined up along the front stretch and first turn as they cleaned up the Morris wreck.

Someone came across the pit wall tried to go in the driver side window of Pulliam’s car in turn one. Video showed Pulliam’s car moving forward carrying the intruder along until he fell off and got up before security took over.

Sellers won the second race edging Thaxton by 1.090-second in a six-lap dash to the finish that followed the race’s third caution period. Crews finished third with Scott finishing fourth and Mike Jones completing the top five finishers.

“We were too free that first race, we made adjustments and tuned the motor and the car was a rocket that second race,” said Sellers after picking up his first win of the season. “I jumped the start a little bit on that last restart and I apologize for it. Austin has always run me clean.”

Thaxton said, “We were too free the first race, we made some changes that made it better. It was a good night, but definitely not good enough to win.

“If we had a clean restart there at the end, I think we could have run with Peyton for a few laps anyway. They tell us if you jump the start, you are going to get the black flag. So I don’t know.”

Crews added, “We had a good night with two thirds. We are still not as good as the first two, but we are exceeding expectations.”

Daniel Silvestri, Looney, Gray, Drew Dollar, and Pulliam were posted six-10.

In a race that veteran driver Burt Meyers appeared to be well on his way to victory, a late caution flag came out due to a car spinning out at the front pit road entrance, and things got changed.

Ron Silk lined up to the inside of Myers with 18 laps to go at South Boston Speedway, and he took advantage of his opportunity to get back to the top.

Silk’s win was a race that marked the first visit of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at South Boston Speedway in 18 years.

Silk captured his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory since May 2016 by taking down the checkered flag in the second race of the season. It was the 11th career win for the 2011 series champion. “It’s always good to win,” Silk said. “Last year, we had some good finishes, and the guys have been working hard and building towards this. Hopefully we can keep being competitive going forward.”

With a third place start, and although he ran at the front of the pack for much of the early stint, Silk had to pit for tires that put him back in traffic, forcing him to fight his way back to the front.

He passed Kyle Bonsignore for second, and was starting to run down Myers for the lead, but a caution with 24 laps to go set him up in perfect position to make a move on Myers, who hadn’t pitted for tires.

“I got a good launch and tried to hook the bottom through turns one and two to keep up the speed,” Silk said. “I was really loose on the first run, but I knew once we pitted and changed tires we would be in pretty good shape.”

Chase Dowling, who made his first start of the season driving for veteran Jamie Tomaino, moved around Myers on the late restart, but couldn’t chase down Silk. The second place was his fifth career runner up finish.

“We spent time this winter putting the car together, and obviously we are really happy with it,” Dowling said. “We unloaded fast and just tweaked throughout the day.”

Jimmy Blewett finished third, scoring his second podium in two races, and positioning him second, just one point off Doug Coby in the series points standings. Kyle Bonsignore was fourth and Myers finished fifth.

Chris Pasteryak was sixth, followed by Patrick Emerling, Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Craig Lutz.





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