Bristol II: Peyton Sellers race report

Sellers Snaps Back: Bristol Brings Second Best Qualifying Run of Season Bristol, TN.: Peyton Sellers and the ...

Sellers Snaps Back:
Bristol Brings Second Best Qualifying Run of Season

Bristol, TN.: Peyton Sellers and the #77 SFP Chevrolet arrived at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend with something to prove. And prove it they did, qualifying 18th for the Food City 250. And although he promising night for the Cardinal Motorsports team was cut short when Sellers encountered a shove from another car midway through the race, the night was by many measures a good one.

Sellers had narrowly missed qualifying at two prior races. At Iowa, a freak accident during practice forced him to an untested backup car, and then at Watkins Glen the team was bumped by one-tenth of one second from the race.

"The last month has been tough for us", said Sellers. "As a new team with no owner's points, we have to qualify on time for every race. And with the testing ban this year, it's put that much more pressure on us." The performance of Cardinal Motorsports surprised many this season when they qualified well for their first six races in a planned eleven race Nationwide Series schedule.

"The challenges we've faced though have really brought us together as team. We have to learn to be competitive, but we also have to learn to recover. We feel really good about what we put on the track this weekend at Bristol. Our only regret is that the night ended early. We had a top fifteen maybe even top ten finish coming our way, but you just never know -- especially here."

Sellers and the bright orange car posted some of the strongest lap times of the day during practice on Friday, with a fast lap of 16.059 seconds on the half-mile oval. He then went on to qualify in 18th place in the final 43 car field. Sellers was second fastest among the 19 entries that were required to qualify on time.

Bristol showed some of its true colors early, with five cautions coming in the first half of the race. The night was filled with close side-by side racing and narrow misses which kept the crowd of 110,000 on their feet most of the night. Sellers and his spotter managed to pick their way through the early incidents, including one in which the leaders slammed hard into a lapped car coming out of turn four, bringing out the red flag.

The Cardinal Motorsports entry continued to tick off solid lap times and strong pit stops, maintaining position mid-pack. As the crew continued to dial in the car and it began to respond, the #11 car shoved Sellers from behind down the front stretch on lap 162, spinning the bright orange #77 SFP Chevrolet nose first into the inside wall. The car suffered extensive damage, ending Sellers' night early and placing him 31st for the evening.

The team's next scheduled NASCAR Nationwide Series race will come in two weeks at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team will then travel to the home territory of their primary sponsor, SFP, for the race at Kansas Speedway on October third.

-credit: cm

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Drivers Peyton Sellers