After not opening their gates in 2020 due to COVID-19, South Boston Speedway was set to get their 2021 season kicked off with twin 75 lap Late Model Stock Car features.
17 Late Model Stock Cars would show up, but Austin Thaxton had problems in qualifying resulting in him hitting the turn three wall, ending his day. A field of 16 Late Model Stock Cars started the first 75 lap feature.
Peyton Sellers would start on the pole with Chris Denny, Jacob Borst, Landon Pembelton, and Rajah Caruth rounding out the starting five. As the green flag flew, Sellers shot out to the lead only for a caution to come out on lap 3 for debris. While under caution, Mark Wertz pulled his Late Model Stock Car to pit road with overheating issues.
Caution number two would come out on lap 4 for Camden Guille, Chris Elliot, and Raymond Pittman piling up on the front stretch. The final caution would come out on lap 15 for Camden Guille spinning around in turn three. With the race going green the final 60 laps, Sellers had only a few challenges for the lead between, Chris Denny and Stuart Crews. Neither one would be able to put the number to Sellers to take the lead.
Sellers would go on to lead flag to flag to pick up the 2021 season opener in the Late Model Stock Car division. Landon Pembelton, Jacob Borst, Chris Denny, and Stuart Crews rounded out the top five finishers.
Sellers stated in his interview it was good to be back home.
“We’ve been very fortunate here,” said Sellers. “This car is solid, it won a track championship at Dominion last year, but we’re just glad to be back at South Boston. It feels good to see this orange and white 26 back in victory lane here at South Boston, our home track, in front of our fans.”
Sellers stated that he used up a lot of the tire trying to get the bottom line to work. “I think I could’ve moved up to save a little bit of tire, but I was just trying to run the track in the get it dry so it’d be a two groove track.
With the NASCAR rule of inverting the second twin Late Model Stock Car series race, the field was inverted by nine. This would put Zach Lightfoot and Isabella Robusto on the front row. Josh Oakley, Rajah Caruth and Stuart Crews rounded out the starting five.
In a caution-filled race that totaled six cautions, race number one winner, Sellers was involved in the first caution of the race with Jacob Borst. Borst would not continue, but Sellers battled his way back to the front before the race was over.
Pembelton, who had a great first race, got stuck in traffic for most of the race. With some help from late-race cautions, Pembelton found himself in the top five in no time. Pembelton even took the lead on lap 44, but it was short-lived when Sellers took over on lap 46.
Mark Wertz, after having overheating problems in the first race, had to start shotgun on the field for the second race. He would battle up into the top ten shortly after the green flag flew. While avoiding a few wrecks and taking advantage of the cone rule, Wertz joined the top five with 10 laps to go and would go on to finish fourth.
With a caution coming out late, it set up a ten-lap shootout. Sellers would hold off Oakley and Pembelton to double down on the night and start the 2021 season with two victories.
In victory lane, Sellers said that was a tough one to win and that it wasn’t handed to him.
“Awesome day here, to be able to come back and get that second win, we had to work for that one. These guys didn’t give it to me that’s for sure.”
Cover photo by Joe Chandler.