Timothy Peters scored his second career ValleyStar Credit Union 300 victory, outdueling Peyton Sellers in the closing laps to become the race’s first winner under the lights at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
“It means a lot,” Peters said about the victory. “Especially with the way the year has been, with a bit of adversity. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Peters lost his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ride earlier this year when the Red Horse Racing team shut down.) You can always stay positive and never lose your faith.”
Peters took special pride in the win, due in part to the “first-time” nature of the event. This year’s race was the maiden voyage of Martinsville Speedway’s new permanent LED lighting system, making Peters the first driver to win under the lights in front of a record crowd for the Late Model race.
“This is special. This is history. There will be multiple winners, but there will only be one first-time winner. So, I feel like we made history tonight, and what better place to do it than in Barry Nelson’s (car owner) backyard.
“When the sun went down, you couldn’t tell it was dark; just really, really good energy tonight. Look at the crowd, with the camping and the spectators, this ranks up there with a truck weekend.”
Sellers battled with Peters during the final 25 laps for the win, but ultimately couldn’t make a winning move.
“It’s like a dog chasing a car,” Sellers said. “If you catch him, what are you going to do with him? I could catch him, but I knew mustering up a pass would have been a different thing. We tried to catch him, but it wasn’t quite enough.”
Lee Pulliam edged Sellers for second place, taking the spot in a drag race to the line at the finish. Pulliam enjoyed the chance to race against Peters for the win, even predicting the possibility earlier in the week.
“Coming home second means a lot to me,” Pulliam said. “I was just talking to Timothy last week when he was congratulating me on winning the National Championship (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series). I told him I hope we can race for this win at Martinsville for the clock. Really cool to finish 1-2.”
While the feature was a 200-lap race, Pulliam believes the race was decided on a battle between him and Peters at lap 175. Both drivers battled hard to lead at that mark, before an intermission to allow four fresh tires for competitors.
“I got by Timothy there with about four or five laps to go before the break,” Pulliam said. “He moved me to take the lead back a lap before the break. We both knew that leading right there was going to be pivotal. We both wanted to be leading at 175.”
Pulliam echoed Peters’ sentiments regarding racing under the lights at Martinsville Speedway.
“Racing under the lights was awesome,” Pulliam said. “I wanted to be the first one to win. That would have been pretty special. It was really cool, the sparks flying, the brakes glowing, you couldn’t ask for a better show.
“Before we got into the cars, everyone was amped up,” Pulliam continued. “The drivers were, the fans were. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard the fans here for the Late Model race.”
Sellers also noted the excitement of racing at night at Martinsville.
“It was a pretty neat deal,” Sellers said. “Seeing all these fans here, seeing the lights, so crisp and clear. It was perfect all the way around the track. Clay Campbell (President, Martinsville Speedway) and his whole team did an excellent job.”
Story By: Zach Evans – Twitter: @ztevans
Photo Credit: Speed51.com
|6||57A||Justin T. Carroll (NC)|
|7||27||Tommy Lemons, Jr.|