Just last week Peyton Sellers had a 44 point lead over Philip Morris in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National points standings. This week following a win and a second-place finish with full car count at Motor Mile Speedway, Morris closed the lead to within eight points.
Sellers did not compete anywhere during the weekend after coming off of a big $10,000 victory in the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway. With Sellers home track off, the veteran driver and former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion took the weekend off. That gave Morris a chance to play some much-needed catch up after crashing out of the 200-lap race at South Boston.
Morris, who’s had an interesting season filled with bad luck brought a new car to Motor Mile and after race one had a win right out of the gate. Race two provided a much different story as the front end was ripped off and he had to make a couple of pit stops before returning to the track and racing to the front of the field. He came up just one spot short of winning both races despite the damage.
Mike Looney was ninth in points a week ago but with tracks all over the country off in observance of Independence Day, the Billy Martin Racing driver took advantage of twins at Motor Mile at his home track. Looney qualified on the pole for the first 50-lap race but was relegated to start shotgun on the 17-car field after his right rear tire was found to be flat just before the green flag. Looney would rocket through the field but with no caution late would have to settle for second behind Morris.
In race two the veteran driver started seventh but after a couple of wrecks in front of him had damage to the body of his car. After a couple of pit stops, he rallied late in the race and came out on top after a four-car battle for the top spot for the final 11-laps. Looney’s win from a seventh-place start would net him some bonus points as well moving him from ninth to fourth in the standings.
Zach Telford, who competes at Meridan and Mountain Valley Speedway, made the biggest gain of the week leapfrogging from tenth in the standings a week ago to third, just ahead of Looney. Nick Sanchez and Thomas Beane had the weeks biggest drops without competing anywhere, they slipped from fourth and fifth to eighth and ninth respectively.
In the state battles, nothing changed in North Carolina with not one of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned track competing. That leaves Thomas Beane leading over Chris Hudspeth and a trio of Bowman Gray Stadium Modified drivers. The same can be said for South Carolina with no track competing over the weekend. Sam Yarbrough still leads Justin Milliken and a trio of other Myrtle Beach Speedway regulars.
In Tennessee, Zeke Shell by virtue of his win and a DNF for leader Nik Williams closed the gap by four points. He now sits just 22 points behind Williams (166-144). The two tangled in race one but Williams rallied back for the win before switching cars for race two and the transmission got stuck in third gear ending his night while Shell drove off to victory. Joey Trent slipped a few points further back after his car was destroyed when Shell and Williams wrecked while leading on a restart. Trent still maintains third in points ahead of Wayne Hale who retains fourth with two second-place finishes and his rival Derek Lane moved up to fifth with two third-place finishes.
In Virginia, Morris put himself back ahead of Sellers by tying him in points. Each driver has 424 points and both will be looking for some separation this weekend. Morris gets the top spot because he has two more wins (7) than Sellers (5). Looney is third with Jeff Oakley and Greg Edwards completing the current top five.
This weekend many of the Late Model Stock Car competitors competing for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points will be back in action across the region. Three of the four Virginia tracks will square off once again for car count with each of the three (Dominion, Motor Mile, and South Boston) staging twin Late Model Stock Car races.
It’s a sure bet that Sellers will be at South Boston Speedway continuing his quest for the track championship and Looney will be at Motor Mile Speedway looking to add to his points lead as well. The question is where will Morris compete at this weekend? The expectation is that he’ll be racing at Dominion Raceway, where car counts have been steadily at the full 16 mark or above this season.
South Boston and Motor Mile both have only had one night of car count dip below 16 with the lowest for South Boston being 15 and 14 for Motor Mile. Dominion, on the other hand, hasn’t had less than 16 cars and have consistently had 20 plus cars at more events than not. The concern for Morris’ team is that with only 17 cars at Motor Mile last weekend and not one other track racing Late Model Stock Cars and many out of towners filling the field, it’s unlikely for Motor Mile to have a full field this weekend. However, car count these days can’t be guessed very easily.
Cover photo by Dinah Mullins.
Current NWAAS National Standings Top Ten:
(Updated July 8, 2019)
1 – Peyton Sellers 462
2 – Philip Morris 454
3 – Zach Telford 396
4 – Mike Looney 370
5 – Jacob Goede 362
6 – Keith Rocco 360
7 – Todd Owen 346
8 – Nick Sanchez 326
9 – Thomas Beane 326
10 – Jeff Oakley 320