MARTINSVILLE, Va. -For 14 years, victory was not attainable for Peyton Sellers in the prestigious ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
Despite scoring numerous accolades like the five South Boston Speedway race championships as well as two Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series titles, Sellers could never quite be able to join the others Late Model Stock elites in winning the sport’s most anticipated event.Sep 25
2022 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway
Any doubts prevalent in Sellers’ ability to visit Victory Lane at Martinsville were erased on Saturday evening when he held off JR Motorsports driver Carson Kvapil on a green-white-checkered restart to finally bring home a grandfather clock in his 15th Late Model Stock appearance at the historic facility.
The triumphant catharsis for Sellers was a perfect occasion for his career in a variety of ways.
“I used to take a ride on the Jesse Jones hot dog truck with my grandpa on the way to Martinsvillewhen I was a child,” Sellers said. “I would be seated in the turn 1 and observe the races as he brought hot dogs to the track. I grew up in Martinsville and I was a kid who went to Clarence’s Steakhouse and all I’ve ever wanted do was become a racer on the short track. It’s huge that my entire family and I are in the position we are today.”
Sellers recalls vividly his first day of being tagged to drive the famous No. 26-Clence’s Steakhouse late model stock in the 2000s’ early years.
Despite his lack of experience when he started out, Sellers made the most of his opportunities and would go on to have an enviable career that would see him gain successes in a variety of types in stock-car racing such as ARCA Menards Series East and West. ARCA Menards Series East and West Series before finding a residence in the same number. 26.
Today, the company is one of the highest-performing Late Model Stock operations along the East Coast, Sellers knew the work his family , and his team put into their vehicles will eventually be rewarded with the grandfather clock in Martinsville.
This moment seemed as if it was set in stone for Sellers after he passed the 2016 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner Mike Looney during the final 25 laps. But two cautions at the end of the race pitted Sellers against a mixture of veteran and rookies to decide the 2022 edition of the race.
Highlights 2022 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway
Although Sellers believes that the racing has been smooth and thrilling throughout the evening He was aware that this trends could quickly change with the grandfather clock and $32,000 in the bank.
“I found myself at ease with the level of drivers close to me. However, one can’t expect to see anything at Martinsvilleand Martinsville],” Sellers said. “When they told me to clear of Turn 2 at the end of that restart, I needed to make a strong turn 3 and 4 to allow myself some breathing space when I came to the white [flagand the white [flag].
“My leg muscles were as cramped during those last 25 laps and my feelings were running high however it was a certain thrill. They handed my the green flag, and I did another lap because I wasn’t sure.”
Even with the glitz of the Martinsville victory on the line Kvapil was not in the position of transferring a veteran such as Sellers to win.
After learning a lot of Josh Berry, who led wire-to-wire at the 2019 ValleyStar Credit Union 300, Kvapil had a better understanding about what to anticipate in Martinsville however, he was forced to fight an automobile that wasn’t in his favor for much weekends.
A long race was what Kvapil thought was required to beat Sellers to take the victory however he was happy to be able to fight clean with Sellers and plans to review the weekend thoroughly to be ready ahead for the next ValleyStar Credit Union 300.
“Hopefully Peyton gained some respect for me this evening,” Kvapil said. “This was the first time we were having a race side-by-side. I could have pulled away from him but I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to earn some respect and not look like the man.”
The decision to hold off Kvapil to secure victory in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 victory was not the only achievement Sellers was able to enjoy on Saturday evening and he also won the fourth time he has won the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown title.
Sellers thanked Martinsville President Clay Campbell and everyone at Martinsville for maintaining the tradition that has made the place unique to him and many short track racers since its opening in 1947. He also said that he’s anticipating bringing home the second grandfather clock in the coming year.
When that day arrives, Sellers intends to place the clock that was built by the grandfather in Clarence’s Steakhouse to show gratitude to those who gambled on an exciting Virginia racing shorttrack more than two decades back.
“[This clock] belongs to Clarence’s, and I’m going donate it to them,” Sellers said. “If I find an additional one, I’ll set it on my TV. I’ll put down my TV and just watch it beep and buzz.”