NASCAR officially crowns Peyton Sellers as Dodge Weekly Series national champion
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. — It's official.
NASCAR announced this week that 21-year-old Peyton Sellers had officially clinched the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship. Sellers is the first-ever national champion from South Boston Speedway and he is the youngest driver to ever lay claim to the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national crown.
"We are so happy for Peyton Sellers and his entire family," South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice said. "To achieve what they did here at South Boston Speedway where the competition is so very competitive is truly something very special.
"Peyton will be a good spokesperson for South Boston and all surrounding communities," Rice added. "He's a perfect gentleman and he and his entire family are good, Christian people. Peyton always takes time to meet and greet fans and he has done a wonderful job already of promoting motorsports and South Boston Speedway. This is a championship that the entire family certainly worked hard for and truly deserve."
Sellers, who had earlier locked up the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division I crown, secured enough needed points to win the national championship this past weekend at South Boston Speedway when he placed third in the 150-lap race for the Barkhouser Late Model Stock Car Division.
"We sat down at the beginning of the year and thought we had a chance to win a track championship," Peyton said. "The rest has all been a blessing from God."
Despite starting 11th in the 28-car field and not advancing into the top 10 during the opening half of the event, Sellers roared through the pack in the late stages of the race to gain a third-place finish and secured the needed points to lock up the national championship.
The national championship capped off a banner season for Sellers. The Danville, Va. resident tallied 15 overall triumphs for the season, including 12 at South Boston Speedway.
"To win 12 races with the high competition level that we have week-in and week-out here at South Boston Speedway is truly incredible," Rice said. "Peyton showed the fans throughout the season how talented of a performer he is. We wish him the very best in his racing career."
"This is definitely a big stepping stone right here for us," Sellers said after the victory. "It's every kid's dream to one day be a driver in the [NASCAR] Nextel Cup Series. I think this may be the first step to fulfilling that dream."
"I grew up watching drivers like David Blankenship, Barry Beggarly and Maurice Hill compete," Sellers added. "We came out this year and competed with the likes of them and we showed that we can compete with the great drivers. This year's results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of this race team."
Sellers and his family probably never dreamed of claiming a NASCAR national championship in 1991 when Peyton's dad, Bert Sellers, loaded up a pair of go-karts he had recently purchased on the back of a 1980 stepside pick-up truck and took his sons, H.C. and Peyton to a track in Madison, N.C. to compete.
Bert's wife, Mary Edna, was in the truck also. She filmed the racing action that night and has filmed every lap that her sons have ever completed.
H.C. was 12-years-old at the time, while Peyton was a mere seven-years-old.
"We started go-kart racing in 1991," Peyton Sellers said. "Mom and dad supported me and H.C. then and they've been right there supporting us the entire way."
H.C. continued racing for several years and enjoyed a good deal of success, however, he saw something special in his younger brother.
"I saw something in him," H.C., who now serves as Peyton's crew chief, said. "I felt like he had a little above average ability. I think others are starting to realize that now. It just took us a while to get him in a good enough car to show his talent."
It started in 1991 with a go-kart in the back of a 198o stepside pick-up truck and progressed to a 2005 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship.
South Boston Speedway will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 1, for the running of the Emergency Services Day program.
The event will have a special starting time of 3 p.m.
The featured attraction of the day will be a 200-lap race for the drivers in the Limited Sportsman Division. Other events slated on Oct. 1 include a 100-lap race for the Super Trucks and a 75-lap shootout for the drivers in the Virginia Army National Guard Pure Stock Division.
For more information about South Boston Speedway, phone the speedway at 434-572-4947 or 1-877-440-1540.
South Boston Speedway
Director of Media Operations
Office Phone: (336) 599-0162, extension 111
Speedway Office Phone: (434) 572-4947