Peyton Sellers hangs tough for top-20 at Gateway in No. 23 Brandt Chevrolet Overcomes two flats, soft brakes and avoids big wreck for good finish CHINA GROVE, N.C. (October 24, 2010) -- Peyton Sellers certainly had a memorable race in the No. 23...
Peyton Sellers hangs tough for top-20 at Gateway in No. 23 Brandt
Overcomes two flats, soft brakes and avoids big wreck for good finish
CHINA GROVE, N.C. (October 24, 2010) -- Peyton Sellers certainly had a memorable race in the No. 23 Brandt Chevrolet in his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the year on Saturday.
After all 200 laps were run in the final NNS race at Gateway International Raceway, the Danville, Va. native overcame two flat tires within four laps, a huge wreck and the tricky 1.25-mile track to earn a respectable 20th place finish.
With about 75 people from Brandt in attendance cheering for the No. 23 Brandt Chevrolet of R3 Motorsports, Sellers took the green flag and immediately started picking up positions. Earning 10 of them in the first five laps, Sellers startled to settle in and find his rhythm around the track.
In addition to being his first NNS start of the year, Sellers was also making his first start with Brandt, the agriculture professionals, on board. Overcoming all the firsts didn't take long as his lap times were very consistent throughout the race.
By lap 24, he radioed in that his brake pedal was getting "soft" as he entered Turn 1. Because of the track's tricky layout where Turns 1 and 2 are tighter than Turns 3 and 4, the braking into Turn 1 is paramount to get around Gateway.
The first caution didn't wave until lap 47 allowing Sellers to come in for tires, fuel along with a track bar and air pressure adjustment. The ever-efficient R3 Motorsports pit crew did the stop fast enough that Sellers picked up three positions for the restart.
However, that was for naught as Sellers radioed in that he had a flat left rear tire after contact with another car. Coming down pit road under green on lap 54, the crew changed both left-side tires. Four laps later, Sellers came back down pit road for a flat right-rear tire under green.
A quick inspection of that tire showed a large hole caused by a piece of debris. This whole process of both flat tires put the No. 23 Brandt Chevrolet down four laps to the leaders. Now running in 34th position, all Sellers could do was run a smart race and hope to capitalize on others mistakes.
Sure enough, that became possible on lap 103 when a nine-car pileup occurred coming out of Turn 4 on the fronstretch. With cars blocking both the high and low groove, Sellers brought the Brandt Chevrolet to a halt just behind the carnage. After carefully maneuvering through the crashed up cars like an obstacle course, NASCAR displayed the red flag to clean up the track.
Lining up 24th for restart on lap 108, he was still dealing with the brake issue saying he was having to "pump the brakes two or three times just to get into Turn 1." While that might have happened in the car, the laps times on the scoreboard showed him having consistent lap times that were the same as most car in the top-15 positions.
Making one more pit stop for tires, fuel and adjustments allowed Sellers to pick up three more positions to finish in 20th place. For his first time at Gateway, first start in NNS completion this year and with R3 Motorsports, all were pleased with effort and results.
The NNS will be off next weekend before heading to Texas Motor Speedway to begin the final three-race leg of the 2010 season. Robert Richardson, Jr. will return to the No. 23 Chevrolet at his home track.
Peyton Sellers: "Well, that wasn't the finish we wanted here today at Gateway, but considering all we went through to get it I guess it's not too bad. Two flat tires in four laps is just unheard of, but you have to change them and keep going. I saw what was going on up there in front of me just before that big wreck, so that's why I just kind of hung back there. Im glad I did, too. I sincerely appreciate everyone's hard work in the two practice sessions and getting ready for this race at R3 Motorsports. We just need to do this some more so we can get better and better. I would like to thank everyone at Brandt for coming on board, coming to the track and being a big part of our race weekend."
-source: peyton sellers PR