After racing each other for the win in twins on Saturday night, Philip Morris and Peyton Sellers protested one another. Morris initiated the protest following the race and Sellers countered the protest.
The two drivers split the victories on the track with Morris winning the first one and Sellers rallying from a last-place start to win the nightcap. Morris then protested the bore, stroke, cam, and heads on Sellers engine. Sellers counter-protested the bore, stroke, cam, and heads back on Morris’ engine.
Morris declined to discuss the protest immediately after the race but Sellers says that he told him that he was protesting the top three no matter who finished there this weekend.
“I have raced since 1991 and I’ve never been protested and I’ve never protested anyone,” Sellers continued. “I was in new territory for me there. We counter-protested because I felt like if my stuff was going to be looked at I’d like to see them go through the same. Make sure everybody is on the up and up.”
“Philip come and told us that he was going to protest whoever runs in the top three regardless before the event even happened,” Sellers explained. “After he had already protested he come and told us ‘guys I was going to do this regardless. I was going to protest whoever finished in the top three. We seen that he did not protest Mike (Looney), so I took that personal.”
Sellers also responded to Morris’ claim in his interview with RACE22 about not bringing motor.
“He gets in his interview and says he didn’t bring enough motor to the table,” Sellers stated. “Said he got beat on motor. Said he was getting through the corners good but said he wasn’t getting down the straightaway good enough. That’s something he needs to take up with his motor man. I thought my car was handling good through the corners and Billy Banks gave us a strong engine.”
Sellers seemed a little frustrated with the protest but he was glad everything came out good and praised the Dominion Raceway officials for doing a good job.
“Everything came clear on both engines,” Sellers told RACE22. “They did it yesterday at Lewis Bar’s shop in Fredericksburg. Both motor builders were there and the track officials were there and everything was clear. We deal with reputable engine builders. Darrell Poe has a good reputation and Billy Banks has got a good reputation. I did take it personally that Philip was slighting me. He told us point-blank he was going to protest the top three motors and he didn’t protest Mike.”
Sellers feels as if Morris is just desperate and grasping for straws as he and the Late Model Stock Car guys have fallen behind the Midwest racing duo of Nick Panitzke and Jacob Goede in the last few weeks.
“Do I believe he’s desperate and grasping for straws trying to win a National championship doing whatever he can? Absolutely. I think that’s what it boils down to. Weeks are getting short. Everybody is getting to the point where they’ve got to do something to get points. I wasn’t happy finishing second in the first one. I know to win a National championship I’ve got to win races right now and he’s no different.”
Sellers said he felt good about going to Morris’ home track and getting one of the wins.
“I feel good about going to someone’s home track and I’m calling that Philip’s home track because he’s been there more this year than anyone else has. To qualify on the pole and run second to him and then beat him in the second race, I felt like we had a solid week.”
When asked if he would protest Philip if they raced against each other this year, Sellers says that isn’t his style.
“I don’t take cheap shots,” Sellers responded. “I’m here to race. It is what it is. We can protest these cars all day long and nobody is going to win. It’s hard on everybody. Saturday night when they protested us I called Billy Banks and told them here’s what they’re doing and he said ‘ok no problem’. I didn’t lose much sleep over it because I trust my engine builder.”
Sellers didn’t mince words on his frustration over the protest.
“I don’t know what the truth was,” Sellers continued. “I don’t know if he felt like he got beat on motor or if the truth was he was getting desperate and made a desperate move. I don’t know, he’ll have to be the one who sleeps with that. I loaned him an engine at Langley last year and he beat me with it one night. He must have not thought Billy was cheating that night if I loaned him an engine and he run good with it.”
The finishes are official at Dominion Raceway with the two drivers each picking up a victory on the night. Once the points are officially posted by NASCAR Whelen All-American Series officials we expect Sellers to be eight points behind leader Nick Panitzke in the third position. Morris will likely be fourth according to our calculations four points back of Sellers.
All three of the Late Model Stock Car drivers in contention will likely be split up this weekend with Looney headed home to Motor Mile Speedway to celebrate his track championship, Sellers expected to be back at his home track of South Boston Speedway hoping to solidify his track championship and Morris chasing National points back at Dominion Raceway, where he’s been the most successful this season.
This weekend’s protest and Sellers feelings about it definitely leave you feeling this isn’t a friendly rivalry anymore. Morris could not be reached for comment.