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Sellers, Thaxton split late model twins at SBS

South Boston News
Peyton Sellers gets by Bobby McCarty in the second late model race. McCarty almost immediately spun Sellers. (Victor Newman photo) / June 19, 2017

NASCAR late models fans enjoyed two shows in feature racing at South Boston Speedway Saturday night.

Peyton Sellers kept his line and enjoyed a bruising 75-lap win in the first feature. Sellers repelled late contact with recent winner Bobby McCarty, who ultimately finished ninth, one lap down.

In the second race, Sellers and McCarty dueled, with both drivers sustaining damage.

Eventually, Austin Thaxton rolled to the victory, collecting a 1.930 second win over Jeb Burton. The son of former Daytona 500 champion Ward had a strong night, posting a pair of runner-up finishes.

Sellers overcame his earlier contact with McCarty and finished third. Sellers battled past Danny Willis Jr., who was fourth.

Sellers was 5.1 seconds behind the winner in race two. Willis was 5.7 back, with Stuart Crews fifth.

McCarty had an expensive night and had an 11th place finish, running the second late model feature without a hood. He later retired due to overheating problems at lap 41.

Recapping a scrappy, fender-bending deal:

The top eight finishers were inverted for the start.

Two of the late model drivers became a little physical, with Sellers and McCarty trading paint.

McCarty, running without a hood, had contact with Sellers just after the start. The drivers flailed about in turns 3 and 4, before there was more contact with Sellers moving ahead of McCarty.

McCarty had to watch in frustration, plenty mad about the incident.

Thaxton and Burton late had strong racing in restart action, before the local driver delivered a win.

Thaxton rallied from adversity.

He said no one up and down pit road works harder than his crew. He worked diligently for this win.

“We put in so much work and have had a really, really tough year. To get a win, hopefully this will turn our season around,” said Thaxton.

Burton, getting back into a very competitive car, said crew member Jeremy Ratliff made solid adjustments to his no. 4 car.

“We’re still too tight … in the center,” said Burton. The veteran has lost his full-time sponsorship in NASCAR’s highest levels. He added this is a tough deal against more experienced competitors. He said he had a capable car and needs more practice time.

Sellers had a very positive night, especially since he could have been trashed. Sellers won the first race and kept his equipment basically intact for a points-saving third place effort. Sellers is vying for the SBS track title.

“I was tickled to death the car was a little better than it was in the first race. H.C. (Sellers) made good adjustments to it,” said Sellers.

He said he’s had a very good season so far. He did not have the best car, and Sellers praised Thaxton for a very stout run in race two.

Sellers noted he’s out here at SBS to win races, not just settle for top three finishes.

The first lap model expanded the repair budgets of late model teams.

Macy Causey and Willis made contact in lap two. McCarty later held a narrow lead on the lap 26 restart.

Brandon Pierce spun and collided with the turn 4 wall on lap 70. Sellers held for the win.

The caution set up a five-lap duel to the end.

At the end, Sellers and McCarty joisted for the lead, with plenty of contact.

Sellers plowed through to win in regulation at lap 75, with fans unsuccessfully lobbying for a green-white-checker.

McCarty sustained an explosive hit to the outside turn one wall, with Thaxton getting caught up in the fracas, too.

Eventually, S. Crews took sixth, with Causey seventh. Thaxton finished as the final driver on the lead lap, eighth, 14.3 seconds off the pace.

“I was racing Bobby hard …. I really feel he came down on me. I hated he got the car (22) tore up,” Sellers said. The former national champion believes he has video evidence.

“I don’t want to win races like that, but I’m not going to take a lot of verbal abuse either,” he said.

McCarty was doing what he had to do to win, said Sellers.

Willis lamented his contact with Causey. He was racing here hard and got under her, spinning both drivers.

Stacy Puryear finished fourth in the first LMS twin, with Madeline Crane fifth.

Thaxton was plenty bent out of shape after getting unjustly caught up in the race ending wreck. He promised to get it together for the final race of the night.

Heading towards just before midnight, Thaxton delivered.

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