Sellers Readies for NASCAR Nationwide Debut; Young Driver Made it on His Own Terms Lexington, NC: Peyton Sellers is not exactly a household name in NASCAR...yet. But anyone inside the sport will tell you that they have been watching this...
Sellers Readies for NASCAR Nationwide Debut; Young Driver Made it on His Own Terms
Lexington, NC: Peyton Sellers is not exactly a household name in NASCAR...yet. But anyone inside the sport will tell you that they have been watching this young man for years, building experience as a driver and respect as a person. On Saturday, April 4, the 25 year old will step into his #77 SFP Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway in one of NASCAR's top series for the first of ten races this year.
For many, he's proof that you can still make it in this grassroots American sport without a wealthy family or an inside relationship with a Fortune 500 CEO. Natural talent combined with the American virtues of good old fashioned hard work and perseverance are still rewarded.
Sellers has patiently worked his way through the ranks of the racing world, becoming NASCAR's youngest ever Whelen All American National Champion in 2005 with ten poles and fifteen wins that year. The next step took him to NASCAR's top developmental series, the Camping World Series West and East where he garnered Rookie of the Year honors and three subsequent top ten season performances.
But it's more than just the interest in a new face on one of NASCAR's major circuits that has folks pulling for Peyton Sellers; it's how he's gotten there: with heart, with his own skin in the game, and with his family at his side.
Ask anyone who watched the Toyota All-Star Showdown the past two years and witnessed Sellers' last lap battles for the win in his own equipment against the likes of JGR's Joey Logano. Not only can the young man drive, but his experiences have led to a level of maturity rare for his age.
Sponsor SFP of Leawood, Kansas recognized Sellers' potential as a driver as well as his strong personal values during its sponsorship with the team in three NASCAR Camping World Series East races in 2008. The innovative agricultural products company returns as the primary sponsor of the team for all ten Nationwide races this year.
"We are very excited to sponsor a driver like Peyton, who shares the same values as SFP. We are impressed by his professionalism, good nature and smart thinking on and off the track. We're looking forward to a successful 10 races this year," commented Jake Sanders, Vice President of Market Development for SFP.
Over the years, Sellers has developed a "do it myself" mentality out of necessity. This, combined with his business background and support from some key NASCAR notables, has opened up an opportunity for a new kind of team.
"I believe we have to find a way to provide sponsors with more value in this sport," says Sellers. "Yes, we have to be competitive -- I want to win as much as the next guy. But we have to recognize that it's not just about us. We've been hired to do a job for our partners. And it goes well beyond what happens on the track."
Cardinal Motorsports, based in Welcome, NC, was built with both performance and added sponsor value in mind. Will Spencer, President of JKS Motorsports, is part owner of the team. The well-known company provides high quality executional services and products for marketing companies, teams, sponsors and manufacturers. The alliance brings Cardinal Motorsports in-house resources that other teams do not have.
"We are also focused on a limited schedule that suits our sponsor's needs," stated General Manager Ed Berrier, who himself is a former Nationwide Series winner. Berrier is also part owner in the team. "This is a model that is about quality, not quantity. We've got a small group of passionate folks here. We all feel like we're a part of something pretty special. That kind of chemistry and motivation can make all the difference when it comes down to crunch time."
Sellers is also part-owner in the team, something relatively unheard of for a 25 year old, which brings a level of sponsor accountability directly to the driver's seat.
The new team has spent the last few months preparing from the ground up, fielding their first official entry in the ARCA Re/Max race at Daytona in February. Sellers' long-time
Crew Chief and brother H. C. Sellers will be at his side again, and has been directing the efforts in the shop.
"This is something we've worked together on for a long time," said H. C. "Peyton and I have always done our best when we've had a real sense of ownership."
Sellers maintains his partnership with SkillsUSA, one of the country's largest student non-profit organizations, supporting students entering the skilled trades. Sellers is a national spokesperson for the organization.
"It's a group that does amazing things for these students and for the future of America's skilled workforce. It's something I feel very strongly about," stated Sellers. The SkillsUSA association also adds to the team's ability to provide additional value to its sponsors by offering an association with this influential group of over 300,000 students and 9.3 million alumni.