Pembelton, Sellers split Saturday twinbill
Published 3:23 pm Friday, August 11, 2023
History repeated itself for Landon Pembelton and six-time South Boston Speedway champion Peyton Sellers snapped a four-race winless streak at his home track as the pair split wins in the twin 75-lap races for the Late Model Stock Car Division that highlighted Saturday night’s race at South Boston Speedway.
Pembelton won the opening 75-lap race after Sellers spun with three laps to go when a tire suddenly went flat while he was leading the race. The incident resulted in the second and final caution flag of the race. Grabbing the lead on the restart, Pembelton fended off a strong challenge from Jacob Borst, edging Borst by .299-seconds for his second career Late Model Stock Car Division win at South Boston Speedway.
Trevor Ward of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, CARS Tour competitor William Sawalich and Blake Stallings of Danville rounded out the top five finishers.
“I won this race two years ago on the same night with the same exact result,” the Amelia resident said with a smile. “We qualified on the pole, won the first race, and finished second in the second race. It was pretty much a replica of what happened then.”
Sellers won the second race, taking the lead when race leader Aaron Donnelly and Borst spun on lap 26 while battling for the lead. He got a good jump on Pembelton on the race’s final restart with 27 laps to go and beat Pembelton to the checkered flag by 1.338-seconds to score his sixth win of the season at the .4-mile oval.
Sellers’ win in the second race vaulted him into a tie with four-time former NASCAR national champion and former South Boston Speedway track champion Lee Pulliam of Alton, Virginia for second place on the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division career wins list with 52 career victories.
Ward, Sawalich and Stallings completed the top five finishers in the nightcap.
Sellers called his night bittersweet. He entered Saturday night’s twinbill trailing Carter Langley of Zebulon, North Carolina by 11 points in the chase for the track championship. He finished 11th in the first race and won the nightcap.
Meanwhile, Langley struggled with his car in the first race and finished sixth. He finished 11th in the nightcap after losing a lot of time in the pits as the result of a mechanical failure. At the end of the night Langley’s points lead unofficially had been cut to a five-point lead.
“It was kind of bittersweet because we were on our way to winning the first race and it just wasn’t meant to be,” the Danville resident said. “We had a tough first race. That would have been a real big points deal for us if we could have won that race. So, we just had to work a little harder and dig a little deeper to try to win the second race. To be able to rebound like we did and gain a few points has put us in the (championship) hunt.”
Despite his misfortunes during the event, Langley said “it was still a fun day at the racetrack. That’s all that matters. Hopefully we can get everything fixed and come back stronger on August 19.”
Only two more events and two more races remain in the 2023 South Boston Speedway points season.
JOHNNY LAYNE SWEEPS
Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division Twinbill
Johnny Layne took a big step forward Saturday night in the chase for the division championship by sweeping the twin 15-lap Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division races Saturday night at South Boston Speedway.
The pair of victories gives Layne seven wins in 10 starts in the division this season.
In the opening race, Layne sped under the checkered flag .867-seconds ahead of Caleb Sanford of South Boston. Former division champion Scott Phillips of Halifax finished third, Zach Reaves of Danville finished fourth and B.J. Reaves of South Boston rounded out the top five finishers.
Layne started fifth in the second race due to an inverted start among the top finishers of the first race. He sped past Phillips on the eighth lap and pulled away to a 1.579-second win over Phillips.
Sanford, B.J. Reaves, and Zach Reaves completed the top five finishers.
DECARLO WINS HORNETS RACE
Jason DeCarlo of Chase City, Virginia inherited the lead on the eighth lap when race leader Cameron Goble spun and drove to victory in Saturday night’s 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
DeCarlo edged Landon Milam of Keeling by .431-second in claiming his second win of the season. Chris Barrett, Kendall Milam of Keeling and Dillon Davis of Nathalie rounded out the top five finishers.
Charlotte County’s own Jordaine Penick finished just out of the Top Ten, coming in 11th on the night. Prince Edward County resident Christian Sangillo was right behind her in 12th place.
NEXT RACE AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY
NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing returns to South Boston Speedway on Saturday night, August 19 with the Italian Delight Family Restaurant Night Race.
The five-race event will feature a 100-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and a 75-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division that will pay $1,500 to the winner.
Also slated are a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, a 20-lap race for the HEAT Hornets Division and a 25-lap race for the Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club.
Frontstretch spectator gates open at 3:20 p.m. Practice will start at 3:30 p.m. and qualifying will begin at 6 p.m. The first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.