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Falk holds on for win in wild Martinsville finish

South Boston News
C.E. Falk Falk leads a pack of late models in the closing laps as the fans saw a wild finish to the late model race. (Jeffrey Jackson photo) / October 01, 2018

C.E. Falk III emerged with a dramatic victory Saturday night after a frenzied short track spectacle showcased the extremely wild side of historic Martinsville Speedway.

Falk was scored the race winner after clawing past Corey Heim on the final attempt for a green white checker finish at Martinsville by NASCAR officials.

Falk took home $25,000 and a Martinsvile grandfather clock as a result of his win.

After 13 years of seeking the win in this late model show, Falk showed good judgment and solid racing acumen in battling past Heim, making his Martinsville debut.

“We all come here wanting to win it, but it’s like winning the freaking lottery …we did. We missed the wrecks, we were up front all night long and my team did it. We might not have had the very best car but we were there when it counted and this is something I’ll cherish the rest of my life. I knew coming here that we had a shot at winning, just to drive hard. This is the biggest spotlight I’ve ever been in, I think a lot of people know my name now and I’m glad to be here,” Heim said.

South Boston track champion Peyton Sellers ran into some tough racing luck at the end, getting dive-bombed on restarts when he had a legitimate shot to win the all-star show.

Sellers took home a $10,000 bonus for winning the Virginia Triple Crown.

It’s the third time he has won the Triple Crown. Sellers had the best average finish in three Triple Crown late model events at South Boston Speedway, Langley Speedway and Martinsville.

“I’m walking out of Martinsville Speedway with my head held high,” said Sellers. “We had an awesome car tonight, had momentum all night long, made some awesome changes. To win the Triple Crown is a real honor. It’s a privilege to be (mentioned with) some big names in Virginia drivers and I just hope this puts my name in the history books,” said Sellers.

Brandon Pierce finished third, followed by Trevor Ward and Sellers.

Justin Carroll, Ty Gibbs, Kres VanDyke, R.D. Smith and Kevin Neal completed the top ten.

Oh, what a classic zoo of a finish.

Sellers appeared to have a very solid opportunity for the win before he was denied his best shot after rough driving by Josh Berry.

Then, Berry and fellow competitor Bubba Pollard got into an extended shoving and verbal jousting match in the pits. Pollard was warned by NASCAR to stay away from the Layne Riggs pit stall. No such luck there, and Pollard was ejected from the speedway property.

Sellers got crunched up in a blistering three-wide restart, with more mayhem among the top competitors.

Falk outdueled Heim for the win. Even by Martinsville standards, this was something to behold.

Heim believed he was robbed at the end.

The closing laps showcased divergent tire strategies at lap 180 among the top contenders, but, as usual, good old fashioned short track mayhem took center stage.

The race went overtime, on to lap 218, after three green white checkers.

Sellers was scored the leader on lap 197 ahead by .006 of Josh Berry when the caution came out.

On the first attempt at the GWC, Berry got penalized for aggressive driving. Sellers’ car suffered significant right side damage.

On the second GWC restart at the end, Riggs pulled a dove bomb style charge dive into turn one, wrecking Sellers. Pollard got caught up in the melee.

Riggs was penalized and went to back of the field after being black flagged.

Riggs brought his car on pit lane. Riggs did his best hulk Hogan impression to fire up the crowd. A pit crew member of another team threw a cup of water at Riggs and was ejected from the track, A few moments Pollard, who had enjoyed a strong run, also lost his temper and got the heave, too.

Falk held on in the final restart for the win after a typical Martinsville wreck set up the third GWC.

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