It was a battle of Late Model Stock Car heavyweights as Philip Morris, Peyton Sellers, Austin Thaxton, and newly crowned Hampton Heat winner Bobby McCarty were joined by Lee Pulliam Saturday night at South Boston Speedway (VA). In the end, it was Morris who ended up winning the heavyweight bout and celebrating in victory lane.
Morris started from the pole position after running a sub 15-second lap in a brand-new car. Sellers lined up to his outside but a shifter issue voided any shot Sellers had at winning, despite his quick tempo during qualifying.
Once the green flag dropped, it was all Morris, who recently eclipsed 100 career Late Model Stock wins. Within the first 10 laps, Morris built up a massive five car-length lead. Despite the repeated cautions giving McCarty and others shots at the lead, Morris was able to pull away and clear the field, at one point holding just over half a straightaway advantage over the field.
“It’s a brand-new car that has never been raced that belongs to Adam Murray, just a guy who supports Forrest Reynolds and gave us an opportunity to drive it, and I think that’s awful big of him for letting us do that. We were a little behind there after the Langley race, we had a few problems with the car,” Morris told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “This car was sitting there all ready to go, it was even lettered up with his number on it, and they stuck my number over top of his. This win is really his.”
Morris repeatedly took the high line on the restarts and that decision paid off over and over again.
“Those guys had us beat pretty bad on motor, we had the crate motor in and took the weight break. I think it paid off on chassis, I was able to roll the center really good and out ran those guys through the middle, but we really didn’t have what those guys had on the restarts and I was getting worried about it,” Morris explained. “I don’t know if we could have stood one more restart, we might have been finishing second tonight.”
McCarty looked to have the best shot at topping Morris, as he held his own against the multi-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion on the restarts, but come turns three and four he wasn’t able to keep pace with Morris.
“I did everything I could, the crew did everything they could they gave me a great car so thank you to Autos by Nelson, Nelson Motorsports, and ValleyStar Credit Union, we just came up a little short tonight. He (Morris) had a little bit more speed on the straightaways,” McCarty said.
“We will go to work on it. We had a few engine problems in qualifying that got us behind but no excuses here; he (Morris) beat us straight up so we will go back and see if we can make it better.”
McCarty did acknowledge that Morris was better on the restarts when explaining what he feels they could do better next time.
“We just need to get ours rotating in the center a little better, he got that Chevy Crate and was getting a little wound up on the high side but we just have to make ours better, make a few adjustments and go win races.”
Pulliam, who was visiting the track on a Myrtle Beach off weekend started sixth, but was forced to work through the field after a lap 18 crash forced him to pit and restart from the rear. Pulliam would come on strong as the race wound down, but couldn’t get past McCarty and ended up third.
“That lapped car spun in front of me and I had to spin to keep from getting into him and it put me to the rear and that just kind of cost us the night.”
Rounding out the top five was Brandon Pierce in fourth and Danny Willis Jr in fifth. Sellers was able to get back on the lead lap towards the end of the race and recovered to finish 11th.
For a full recap of all the action, including run downs of all the races and photos visit our Trackside Now coverage by clicking here.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Unofficial LMSC Results
South Boston Speedway (VA) – July 29, 2017
- Philip Morris
- Bobby McCarty
- Lee Pulliam
- Brandon Pierce
- Danny Willis Jr
- Stuart Crews
- Josh Oakley
- Raymond Pittman
- Charles Barnes
- Jason Pittman
- Peyton Sellers
- Woody Ellington
- Austin Thaxton
- Mark Keesee Jr
- Trevor Ward
- Quincy Adkins