Langley, Sellers split late model wins

Published 5:05 pm Friday, June 23, 2023

By Joe Chandler

South Boston Speedway

Carter Langley and Peyton Sellers repeated an earlier performance Saturday night, splitting wins in the twin 60-lap Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division races that highlighted the Sentara Health Prelude to the 200 at South Boston Speedway.

The pair had split a twin-race event at South Boston Speedway on April 1.

Langley, from Zebulon, North Carolina, won the first 60-lap race, taking the lead from Sellers with 13 laps to go and edging Sellers by 1.881-seconds at the finish. It was the sixth win of the season for Langley at South Boston Speedway.

Eddie Slagle of Powhatan, Jacob Borst of Elon, North Carolina and Camden Gullie of Durham, North Carolina rounded out the top five finishers in the race that saw the lead swap hands twice among the two drivers.

Sellers took the lead from Langley on the tenth lap and, at one point, appeared to have the race in hand. However, Langley rallied and sped past him to take the lead on lap 48.

“I really didn’t think I had anything for Peyton,” Langley remarked. “The car just came to life once the sun went down.”

Sellers was confident about his chances to take the win after taking the lead from Langley early in the race.

“I thought I was going to have enough to hold him off,” Sellers noted. “I think he was sandbagging on me a little bit. That’s part of racing. He did a good job. He made a good run to the top side, and I couldn’t move up.”

With the top eight finishers of the first race inverted for the start of the second race, it took Sellers and Langley some time to get to the front of the field.

Sellers won a mid-race battle with Gullie, taking the lead from Gullie on the 36th lap. Two caution periods in the last 22 laps of the race, the last of which created a restart with 13 laps to go, gave Sellers an opportunity to cool his tires. That proved to be the difference.

Sellers got a good start on the restart, opened up a small lead, and held it the rest of the race. His margin over Langley was .400-second.

“That restart helped us, no doubt about it,” said Sellers, who earned his fifth win of the season at South Boston Speedway and his eighth victory for the season. “I was able to cool the tires and get a good run for the last 10 laps of whatever it was. Sometimes you’ve got to be luckier than good, and tonight we were good, but we were lucky too.”

Langley had closed the gap on Sellers and was battling Sellers for the win until the final caution flag flew. That caution flag hurt Langley’s effort.

“The last restart really hurt us because I couldn’t take off on the short run,” Langley explained. “He and I were going to duke it out to the end. Peyton had a really good short-run car and that’s what paid off.”

Borst finished third, Mark Keesee of Altavista earned a fourth-place finish and Jessica Cann of Kernersville, North Carolina rounded out the top five finishers. It was the best finish of the season for both Keesee and Cann at South Boston Speedway.

Gullie, who had led 32 laps of the race, finished sixth after being involved in the mishap that resulted in the race’s final caution flag with 13 laps to go.