NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES NEWS & NOTES -- SOUTH BOSTON * Hometown Hero Peyton Sellers Heads For South Boston 150 * Track Celebrates 50th Season With Inaugural NASCAR Busch East Series Race * Trevor Bayne, 16, Signs...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES NEWS & NOTES -- SOUTH BOSTON
* Hometown Hero Peyton Sellers Heads For South Boston 150
* Track Celebrates 50th Season With Inaugural NASCAR Busch East Series Race
* Trevor Bayne, 16, Signs With DEI, Teams With Jeffrey Earnhardt For 2008
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 30, 2007) -- The NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series makes its inaugural appearance at "home" for a home-track hero at South Boston (Va.) Speedway Saturday, June 2. The event is also part of the track's 50th anniversary season.
Peyton Sellers (No. 83 Clarence's Steak House/Strutmasters.com Chevrolet) is a fan favorite at the .400-mile showcase facility.
Danville is smack in the middle of racing-rich south central Virginia. According to the 2007 NASCAR Road Atlas, Martinsville, Va. (and Martinsville Speedway) is 28-miles east of Danville on Highway 58. Twenty-seven miles to the west is South Boston. The area surrounding the highway between the towns is NASCAR country. And a lot of those folks will tell you it's "Sellers Country," too.
The 24-year-old Sellers and his crew chief/brother, H.C., 29, have been popular racing figures in their community for years. They captured a lot of racing hearts when they won the 2005 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship.
That title got the attention of team owner Richard Childress, who previously signed 2002 NASCAR local racing regional champion Clint Bowyer as a development driver. Childress signed Sellers, and sent him to the NASCAR West Series to race for Bill McAnally Racing. Sellers won in his sixth start. He completed the season fifth in points and was the series' Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award winner. He also made four NASCAR Busch East Series starts, and posted a best finish of seventh at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Even with that success, 2007 dawned without a NASCAR Grand National Series ride for Sellers.
Now familiar with the division, Sellers set his sights closer to home in the NASCAR Busch East Series. The boys and their father, Burt, acquired a former ppc Racing chassis driven in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series by John Andretti, gave it a new body and a new spec engine, and went racing. They posted an encouraging fourth-place finish in the season-opener at Greenville, S.C., and backed that up with a sixth-place finish at Elko, Minn., May 18. After qualifying fourth at Iowa Speedway on May 20, mechanical failure brought the thud of a 40th-place finish. He happily arrives back home at South Boston Speedway eighth in points, and aiming to run at the full potential for which he and H.C. are known.
"Here we are today with our championship crew from 2005 back together again. We're just glad to be here and glad to be a part of it," Sellers said.
Intimately familiar with South Boston Speedway, where he had 12 of his 15 wins during his national championship season, Sellers was asked to hop back in a NASCAR Late Model Stock Car there for a special event on May 26. The event honored two-time track champion and two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Sam Ard in a race titled the Sam Ard 150. Sellers finished second in the event to Adam Barker.
"I have a lot of hometown support and I'm proud to be racing at home with the NASCAR Busch East Series," Sellers said. "It's a great track. I don't think I'll have a home track advantage, but I'll have a lot of hometown support, that's for sure."
NEWS & NOTES
* Historic venue ... South Boston Speedway hosted ten NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races between 1960 and 1971. Richard Petty scored five of his 200 wins there. Junior Johnson won twice. Single event winners were Rex White, Bobby Isaac and Benny Parsons, who won the final NNCS race there over Petty. The track also hosted 35 NASCAR Busch Series events and three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events.
* Wendell Scott country, too ... Danville, Virginia's first hometown NASCAR star was Wendell Scott, the first African American to win in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. He began his career at the old Danville Speedway, a .375-mile banked dirt track. The track, just out of view from Highway 58, has been closed for decades, but its ruins include a clearly visible oval, a scale area and wooden scoring box.
* Watching from Mexico ... With three drivers from Mexico City competing in the NASCAR Busch East Series, fans back home are highly interested in their progress. Rogelio Lopez is third in points. Ruben Pardo and German Quiroga are also contending and Jesus Hernandez of Fresno, Calif., is fourth in points right behind Lopez. The NASCAR Busch East Series races are seen in Mexico on SPEED Latin America, adding value for Mexico-based car sponsors.
* Competing for spot in prestigious All-Star event ... In addition to the honor of winning the first-ever NASCAR Grand National race at South Boston Speedway, the race winner will also be assured of a starting spot in the 2007 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. Only Grand National race winners and champions of the NASCAR Developmental Series will be locked in to the field. All others must race their way in. Joey Logano and Sean Caisse are the only Busch East drivers to have earned automatic spots with victories.
* DEI signs 16-year-old ... Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Earnhardt will have a DEI teammate in the NASCAR Busch East Series in 2008. Trevor Bayne, 16, of Knoxville, Tenn., will join the team next year. Bayne has been racing for 11 years, starting in go-carts at age five. "Especially for his age, Trevor has both broad experience and a remarkable record of success," said Max Siegel, president of global operations for DEI. "He's proven that he has great potential. With our people and resources behind him we know he can fulfill it." Bayne is scheduled to enter three NASCAR Busch East Series races this year.
What: South Boston 150
NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Race
Where: South Boston (Va.) Speedway
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday June 2
Track layout: .400-mile paved oval.
Distance: 150 Laps, 60 miles.
Posted Awards: $112,234
2006 winner: Inaugural event.
2006 polesitter: Inaugural event.
Records: To be established.
Pre-race schedule: Saturday -- Practice (veterans) 12:00-12:20 p.m.; Practice (rookies) 12:20-12:40 p.m.; Practice (all) 12:40-2:00 p.m. Qualifying, 4:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.