The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship battle has had the spotlight for the last couple of months as Late Model Stock Car drivers Peyton Sellers, Philip Morris, and Mike Looney have all taken their turns atop the standings but the state battles around our region are also coming down to the wire on the final weekend of points.
Looney and Morris will square off at Langley Speedway for the National title but they’ll also battle for Virginia state supremacy. Looney and Morris have scored all their National points in Virginia, so the battle is the same for Morris to overcome a 12-point deficit. Morris will need to win out in twin 70-lap features at Langley Speedway Saturday night to have any chance to win the title but the State and the National title is in Looney’s control right now.
After his penalty following last-lap contact with Lee Pulliam, Sellers will finish up third in the Virginia state standings. With no mathematical way to win the National title, Sellers is now focused on Martinsville Speedway’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 on October 5th. Pulliam will finish fourth and the only position in Virginia that could change hands is fifth where currently Austin Thaxton sits. However, he isn’t racing this weekend at Langley Speedway and sixth place Greg Edwards is.
Edwards comes into this race on a six-race win streak and still has two points left to count for the State title. Only 12 points behind Thaxton, which means he’ll likely pass him for fifth with two full point earning opportunities on the line this weekend.
The battle in South Carolina is over and has been for a while as Sam Yarbrough has dominated the season in state points. He currently sits 100 points ahead of fellow Myrtle Beach Speedway competitor Justin Milliken. Yarbrough and Milliken’s positions are pretty much sowed up at this point but behind him, third through eighth are in flux on the final weekend. Nick Sanchez sits third but with just 10 starts on the season while Brian Vause is behind him by just six points.
Willie Somero, Tommy Lemons Jr., and David Roberts sit behind them but Roberts is only 36 points behind. Eighth place Taylor Satterfield is also just 26 points back of Roberts and could pass him this weekend as he competes at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Saturday night. Most of the other competitors will be competing in twins at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
The two tightest battles locally are in North Carolina and Tennessee. In North Carolina Bradley McCaskill has closed a huge gap from earlier in the season to find himself within six points of 2019 Hickory Motor Speedway Track Champion Thomas Beane. Beane has led the state points for most of the season but now finds himself in unfamiliar territory having to fend off McCaskill and he’ll have to do so by competing at Southern National Motorsports Park, a track he hasn’t competed at this season.
Southern National is also McCaskill’s home track. McCaskill has traveled to Hickory many times this season to compete against Beane but has rarely finished in front of him. Beane will be looking to finish ahead of McCaskill but with McCaskill having several wins at Southern National this season, he’ll have his work cut out for him. Both drivers come into the event with two 20’s (7th place finishes with full car count) as their low point totals.
Southern National is expecting to host a full field of cars in twins and Beane’s mission is a simple one for this weekend. He simply can’t allow McCaskill to outscore him by more than four points. That means Beane will have to finish within one position of McCaskill in both races unless he’s able to finish in front of him in one of them, which will give him a larger cushion.
In the event that McCaskill and Beane were to tie, McCaskill would win the tiebreaker by virtue of his full car count and maximum point victory at Southern National Motorsports Park on April 20th. Beane’s two wins came from a sixth and second place start giving McCaskill the highest single race point total and the tiebreaker.
The Tennessee state championship battle is also an interesting one. Nik Williams and Zeke Shell are separated by just 10 points in the state battle but what makes this battle more interesting is that Williams has competed in the full 18 counted events, which means he’ll have a drop this weekend while Shell by virtue of missing the start for the first race of the season after his primary car had engine issues and a backup car couldn’t make the start of the race, has just 17 starts and will accrue full points on Friday night.
Either way, Kingsport will finish its season with a single 60-lap feature which means in order to win the state (by our calculations) Shell will have to finish just one position ahead of Williams to tie him. We believe Shell would own the tie-breaker with a high point mark of 30 to Williams high of 28. This could be interesting as these two haven’t been friendly all season and Shell made a promise that he was ‘coming for him’ this race following the finish of the last race.
RACE22.com will have RACEDAY LIVE updates from Langley Speedway following both the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National championship fight as well as the Virginia state title battle. We will also have RACEDAY LIVE updates from Southern National Motorsports Park following the North Carolina state championship battle on Saturday night.
RACE22.com will also update from the other events this weekend including the twin races at Elko Speedway that might impact the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National title battle as Jacob Goede and Nick Panitzke find themselves still in contention to win it with twins on tap there.
Cover photo by Kimberly Austin.