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Timothy Peters and Peyton Sellers have been making the trip west on U.S. 58 for decades.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
MARTINSVILLE — When the Winston Cup Series made its annual trips to Martinsville Speedway in the late 1980s and early 90s, it wasn’t surprising to see Peyton Sellers and Timothy Peters making the short trips west on U.S. 58 with their respective families to the races.
The two Danville natives grew up in racing families and breathed the sport as youngsters. Both were successful in the go-kart ranks before moving up into the stock car world where both won track championships to garner notice in the national touring series.
As both of their careers have moved forward — Peters is contending for victories in the Camping World Truck Series and Sellers is a weekly threat to win on the Late Model level — both still view winning at Martinsville as the pinnacle of their respective seasons.
Heading into today’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, the Danville residents enter with the best shots to claim the second Virginia Late Model Triple Crown title, as well as aiming for the grandfather clock that comes with winning the nation’s most prestigious Late Model race.
Sellers won the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway in late July to give him a 25-point edge over Peters. Peters led the majority of that race before getting shuffled back over the last two restarts.
“It’s pretty cool. You know, the coolest part this year is being able to run a handful of Late Model races and the races that we picked ended up being the Triple Crown,” Peters said. “It’s pretty cool. This kind of racing, its my roots. We’ll see what happens. Maybe we can walk away with this thing and be the winner; if not, we’re here to have fun.”
Peters enters this weekend coming off a victory in the most recent Truck Series race last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, marking his and Red Horse Racing’s first win at a mile-and-a-half track.
He won the 2005 edition of this race and picked up his first Truck Series victory in 2009 at Martinsville.
“Timothy obviously is winning races right now at the upper level. He is coming off a mile-and-a-half win this past weekend,” Sellers said. “If there’s anybody that I wouldn’t want to be second right now behind me, it would be Timothy Peters at Martinsville. His record at Martinsville is pretty stout. I know he’ll be up front at the end of the day, so I know I’ve got to be up front. Fortunately, we’ve got a little bit of breathing room, so we can loosen our collar up little bit and race hard. As long as we have a good solid day, we’ll be fine.”
Sellers finished 10th in the Whelen All-American Series national standings, his best finish in the national points since his 2005 national title year.
Coincidentally, Sellers’ best finish in the Martinsville Late Model race came that season with a third-place showing. Peters won that race and finished seventh in his most recent Late Model race at the 0.526-mile oval in 2010.
“It’d be nice. I’ll be honest with you, I’d like to get another clock,” Peters said. “We have a clock already from this race; the clock I would like to get would be in the Kroger 200. But, I’d like to have my cake and eat it, too. Why couldn’t I have one from here and for that? This is a tough race as well as the Truck race. If we could get it, that’d be great.”
Both have said that winning the $5,000 bonus that comes with the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown title would be nice, but the ultimate goal for both is claiming the grandfather clock that comes with the $25,000 prize.
“Every day I walk in the shop and my car is sitting right beside Philip’s grandfather clock. I hear that thing chiming and I want my name on it,” Sellers said. “It would be a really big deal for us to be able to win it. As far as Late Model Stock races, I’ve been very fortunate to do a lot, but I’ve never won at Martinsville. That’s the thing in my peripheral vision that’s always there. It’s always there looking back at me as wanting to win that race.”
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