SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — History repeated itself for Landon Pembelton and six-time South Boston Speedway champion Peyton Sellers snapped a four-race winless streak at his home track as the pair split wins in the twin 75-lap races for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division that highlighted Saturday night’s Davenport Energy Night Race at South Boston Speedway.
Pembelton won the opening 75-lap race after Sellers spun with three laps to go when a tire suddenly went flat while he was leading the race. The incident resulted in the second and final caution flag of the race. Grabbing the lead on the restart, Pembelton fended off a strong challenge from Jacob Borst, edging Borst by 0.299 seconds for his second career Late Model Stock Car Division win at South Boston Speedway.
Trevor Ward, CARS Tour competitor William Sawalich and Blake Stallings rounded out the top five finishers.
“I won this race two years ago on the same night with the same exact result,” the Amelia, Virginia resident said with a smile. “We qualified on the pole, won the first race, and finished second in the second race. It was pretty much a replica of what happened then.”
Sellers won the second race, taking the lead when race leader Aaron Donnelly and Borst spun on lap 26 while battling for the lead. He got a good jump on Pembelton on the race’s final restart with 27 laps to go and beat Pembelton to the checkered flag by 1.338 seconds to score his sixth win of the season at the quarter-mile oval.
Sellers’ win in the second race vaulted him into a tie with four-time former NASCAR national champion and former South Boston Speedway track champion Lee Pulliam for second place on the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division career wins list with 52 career victories.
Ward, Sawalich and Stallings completed the top five finishers in the nightcap.
Sellers called his night bittersweet. He entered Saturday night’s twinbill trailing Carter Langley by 11 points in the chase for the track championship. He finished 11th in the first race and won the nightcap.
Meanwhile, Langley struggled with his car in the first race and finished sixth. He finished 11th in the nightcap after losing a lot of time in the pits as the result of a mechanical failure. At the end of the night Langley’s points lead unofficially had been cut to a five-point margin.
“It was kind of bittersweet because we were on our way to winning the first race and it just wasn’t meant to be,” the Danville, Virginia resident said. “We had a tough first race. That would have been a real big points deal for us if we could have won that race. So, we just had to work a little harder and dig a little deeper to try to win the second race.
“To be able to rebound like we did and gain a few points has put us in the (championship) hunt.”
Despite his misfortunes during the event, Langley said, “it was still a fun day at the racetrack. That’s all that matters. Hopefully we can get everything fixed and come back stronger on August 19.”
Kenny Forbes, driving the car normally driven by Ronald Renfrow, won the 50-lap Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division race Saturday night at South Boston, while Johnny Layne took a big step forward Saturday night in the chase for the division championship by sweeping the twin 15-lap Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division races.
Jason DeCarlo inherited the lead on the eighth lap when race leader Cameron Goble spun and drove to victory in Saturday night’s 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
Only two more events and two more races remain in the 2023 South Boston Speedway points season.