Many of the top Super Late Model racers in the country will be at New Smyrna Speedway for the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing on February 5-13. Joining their ranks will be a premier Late Model Stock competitor, taking on a new challenge to get an early start on his racing season.
Peyton Sellers, a former NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion and five-time track champion at South Boston Speedway, will make the trip south from Virginia to Florida for Speedweeks.
Sellers is competing with Jamie Yelton’s Fathead Racing team, thanks to a friendship formed from their familiarity in the Late Model Stock world.
“Jamie Yelton had called me a while back talking about some Late Model Stock stuff,” Sellers told Speed51. “I had bought a car from Jamie. We’ve just been friends for several years now. He said he was wanting to put together something, and I told him to keep me in mind. A couple of weeks ago, he called me back. Here we are going.
“I don’t have a lot of experience in a Super, but he’s got great equipment. He’s got a lot of experience to go with it. I hope we can go down there, be competitive and have a little fun in the offseason.”
While Sellers admits he doesn’t have much experience in a Super Late Model, he has competed in the machines before. Sellers’ most recent race in a Super Late Model was 2016, when he ran in the top-five for most of the evening in a PASS South race at South Boston before mechanical issues ended his night.
“We were competitive that night,” Sellers recalled. “We ended up breaking a suspension part, breaking a shock mount running in the top five all night.”
Meanwhile, the World Series will be Sellers’ first time racing at New Smyrna Speedway, although he has made the trip to the facility and even turned practice laps at the track before.
“New Smyrna is a track I’ve tested once or twice with customers throughout the years. I’ve never raced there, so that will be a new experience as well.”
Sellers is excited to make the trip south to New Smyrna this year. Not only will he have the chance to take part in the pageantry of Speedweeks, it will get his season started just a little bit earlier than it normally would with his Late Model Stock team in Virginia.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I have been there with customers in years past and been part of it. I’ve seen it, but Late Model Stock guys don’t get a lot of opportunities to race during the offseason. I’m really looking forward to it and getting back in action a little quicker this year.”
Sellers knows the competition will be stout, with more than 20 Super Late Models already entered for the World Series. However, competition is nothing new to the Late Model Stock veteran, whether it’s on a weekly basis on the bullrings of Virginia or pursuing the NASCAR National Championship.
“It will definitely be a high level of competition down there. With running for the national points year after year, we don’t shy away from that. I’m really looking forward to running against some new competitors and a lot of well-funded teams down there.”
Coincidentally, competing in the World Series could give Sellers a leg up on the Late Model Stock competition in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series if he can score some strong finishes during the week. However, Sellers acknowledges that was not part of the thought process when putting the deal together.
“You know, I think if I were setting up here and trying to play up a story, I’d say absolutely that’s why we’re going down there, to get national points. I think we just want to go racing. If we can bank a good run or two, that would be a bonus as well. I think right now, we’re going for the thrill of it. It’s a bucket-list opportunity to race Speedweeks and have a chance to race for a championship in the middle of the winter.”
Sellers is unsure whether the team will be able to commit to every single night of Super Late Model racing during the World Series, but hopes to check off as many as possible and be as competitive as possible.
“I think our goal right now is to hit four or five of the nights and try to put up good numbers. Committing to eight nights is tough, but our plan is to be there all week.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo