Timothy Peters led a majority of the 2015 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, but it was an altercation in the last corner of the last lap that led to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s victory.

 

An intense battle took place in front of a standing and packed crowd of fans at South Boston Speedway (VA) Thursday night in the closing circuits between Peters, Hickory Motor Speedway track champion Josh Berry, two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Lee Pulliam and 2014 event winner Matt Bowling.  Often times the four were running side by side in a high speed pace lap formation for the top spot and $10,000 check.

 

On the final lap of the race, which went 210 circuits due to late-race carnage, Peters appeared to hold the slight advantage, but was relentlessly challenged by both Berry and Pulliam.  The result would end up with Berry making contact with Pulliam, ending both drivers’ pursuit for the prestigious victory.  Peters avoided the altercation and came around for the win, one of the biggest in his career.

 

Timothy Peters celebrates the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown victory with his crew.  (Speed51.com photo)

Timothy Peters celebrates the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown victory with his crew. (Speed51.com photo)

“This brings back memories from when we won the big race at Martinsville back in 2005,” Peters said.  “When you have this platform and you are on this stage, regardless of the guys that run Truck, XFINITY, and Cup; the guys that run the Whelen All-American Series are tough and every single one of them deserves to be in the top three.  It just goes to show you how tough it is to get there.”

 

Pulliam made contact with Berry after the checkered flag in turn two as they limped back to complete the race.  Berry was penalized for aggressive driving and was put to the tail of the running cars at the end of the race.  He was credited with a 17th place finish.

 

“Me and Timothy were just doorslamming and beating and banging and we kind of went up the track,” Berry explained to Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “I went in there to fill the hole and they pulled up and I was there.  It’s just a tough deal.  I hate tearing up racecars.  I hate that that happened, but I guess I could have went in easy and guaranteed myself a second.

 

“I probably did the wrong thing.  All these big races like this that’s what it turns into at the end.  I wish that would have turned out differently, but at this point it didn’t and it happens.”

 

Although Peters had the dominant car early, the former track champion knew something eventful could occur as the race wound down, especially after a lap 150 break in which teams were permitted to make adjustments and take on new tires.

 

“With 50 laps and everybody has four fresh tires the crazy stuff is going to happen,” Peters said.  “I know if you are racing for bragging rights and $10,000, coming to the checkered flag I’m going to use you up and that’s what happened tonight.  Unfortunately, for (Pulliam) he ended up getting turned around and we were on the receiving end of it.  If Lee would have got any higher we would have found out what rear gear and pinion he had.”

 

Pulliam relayed, through a track security guard that remained with him throughout the post-race goings-on, that he would not be speaking or commenting on the end of the race incidents, but did send out his opinion on Berry via Twitter following the race.

 

 

Following the race, NASCAR issued the following statement:

 

“NASCAR is gathering information from the post-race incidents on the track and in the pits, and any decision made on penalties will be announced early next week.”

 

At the end of the day, Peters reminded what the intention for the event is despite all of the sore tempers.

 

“We are here to have a good time,” Peters said. “Denny has a great foundation.  It’s awesome he supports that and it’s awesome that he started this deal eight years ago, and how cool it is to have it be at South Boston Speedway the last two years.  Anybody can sit here and be upset, but look at the fans that were here tonight.  How great is that for the area?  At one point with less than five to go the top four were side by side.  It’s good short track racing.  My heart is just beating talking about it.  This is where we all came from.  This is where we all cut our teeth.

 

“It’s kind of a bucket list deal,” continued Peters.  “I can check the box on that now that we won the eighth annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.  Everybody is here for one thing, and that’s that beautiful trophy.”

 

Click here to replay the Speed51.com Trackside Now coverage of the DHSTS at South Boston

 

-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @Aaron_Creed

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

 

Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Results

1              1              17           Timothy Peters                 210

2              9              91           William Byron                    210

3              36           56           Mark Wertz                        210

4              19           27           Tommy Lemons Jr.          210

5              18           58           Tyler Ankrum                     210

6              3              12           Austin Thaxton                 210

7              16           61           Dalton Sargeant                                210

8              21           51           Kaz Grala                             210

9              27           03           Brenden Queen                               210

10           4              5              Lee Pulliam                         210

11           29           18           Quin Houff                          210

12           8              83           Matt Bowling                     210

13           31           25           Hermie Sadler                   210

14           32           55           Curtis Markham                                210

15           6              23           Payton Ryan                       208

16           13           77           David Ragan                       207

17           33           88           Josh Berry                           210

18           10           10           Nick Smith                           202

19           12           40           C.E. Falk                               201

20           2              99           Peyton Sellers                   193

21           14           6              Bobby McCarty                 192

22           7              9              Chase Elliott                       192

23           35           57           Eddie Johnson                   124

24           17           73           Bruce Anderson                               124

25           30           7              Dude Gibbs                        124

26           25           42           Kyle Plott                             120

27           26           71           Juan Garcia                         119

28           28           4              Jeb Burton                          117

29           20           2              Myatt Snider                      99

30           11           0              Matt Waltz                          81

31           5              11           Denny Hamlin                    69

32           34           06           Davin Scites                        63

33           23           19           Chad Finchum                   45

34           15           72           Garrett Campbell             9

35           22           21           Travis Swaim                      3

36           24           41           Brayton Haws                    3

 

 

 

– By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Pennsylvania/Central New York Editor  – Twitter: @aaron_creed

– Photo credits: Speed51.com

Champions Clash, Peters Prevails in Hamlin Showdown