SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — Carter Langley found himself facing what many people viewed as a must-win situation at the start of the 150-lap Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division race that highlighted Saturday night’s Halifax County Farm Bureau Championship Night Race at South Boston Speedway.
He responded in a big way, winning the race that paid $5,000 to the winner and capturing the South Boston Speedway Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division championship.
Langley entered South Boston’s final points race of the season leading two-time NASCAR national champion and six-time South Boston Speedway track champion Peyton Sellers by three points in what was one of the closest championship points battles in the speedway’s history.
When the 18-year-old Zebulon, North Carolina resident won the pole in qualifying, Sellers, who was going to have to start the race mid-pack in seventh place under the track’s handicapping system due to his having won the previous two races, elected to start the race at the rear of the field.
If Sellers had won the race from the rear of the field, he would have received two bonus points. In that scenario, if Sellers had won the race and Langley had finished second, Sellers would have won the title by one point.
At the end of the night, Langley took the win and earned his first career Late Model Stock Car Division championship. Sellers finished third in the race behind Langley and runner-up Kyle Dudley. The win was Langley’s eighth win of the season at the quarter-mile oval.
“I was calm, cool, and collected,” Langley said when asked about being put into a must-win situation. “I looked at it as another day at the racetrack. Anytime we go to the race track we try to win. Having fun and winning has helped me a lot. It helps keep my mind cool and helps me to keep hitting my marks. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.”
Winning the division championship is a special accomplishment. The emotions of winning the race and the division championship spilled over in victory lane.
“This means a lot to me and my team,” Langley remarked with a huge smile. “I started tearing up in victory lane. I can’t tell you whether it was tears of joy or if I started crying because everyone else was crying. I don’t know what it was.”
Sellers said attempting to win the race from the rear of the field was his only option.
“That was the only card I could play,” Sellers explained. “His car was so good today. When he qualified on the pole, I knew that was my play because if I beat him by one spot, I couldn’t beat him (for the championship). I had to beat him by points.
“I was going to have to start seventh anyway,” he continued. “I decided to go back a little further. I knew I had a little more time this week to get back up to the front. That’s the card we had, we had to play it, and we just came up a little short.”
Langley led twice in the race for a total of 126 laps, including the last 98 circuits. He crossed the finish line just over a second ahead of Dudley. Sellers finished third, Bobby McCarty, who had won a race at South Boston earlier this season, finished fourth and Aaron Donnelly rounded out the top five finishers. McCarty led 24 laps in the race that had two lead changes among two drivers.
Jason Myers won his first career South Boston Speedway Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division title Saturday night with a win in the division’s 50-lap race.
It was six years ago that Johnny Layne won his most recent Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division championship. Layne won Saturday night’s 25-lap Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division race and secured his third career division championship. He won eight of the division’s 12 races this season.
Jared Dawson won Saturday night’s 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division. Kendall Milam won his first career division championship with a ninth-place finish in the race.