Timothy Peters Outruns Virginia’s Pulliam And Sellers To Win First ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Night Race At Martinsvilleby Hunter Thomas September 24, 2017
RIDGEWAY, Va. – Timothy Peters held off a stout field of drivers to capture his second-career ValleyStar Credit Union 300 win while racing underneath the LED lights for the first time at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday night.
Peters, who is known for his success in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, started the prestigious 200-lap race in the ninth position. In the closing laps, Peters, driver of the No. 12 Autos by Nelson/Little Caesars Toyota held off Virginians Lee Pulliam and Peyton Sellers. The race’s final caution came out on lap 175, when the field pitted for fresh tires, so the closing laps were an all-out fight for one of the most historic race wins that the state of Virginia has ever seen. In the end, Pulliam and Peyton had their shot at overthrowing Peters for the top spot, but they came up just short.
“You never know what tomorrow’s going to bring,” Peters said. “I’ve learned this year, with all the adversity that has come about, that you never give up and lose your faith. It’s really special. Barry Nelson is a go-getter. He gives us the resources and shame on us if we don’t use them. We’ve tried for so long and finally now get it a second time, it only took 12 years.”
Prior to Saturday, the last time that Peters had won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at Martinsville was back in 2005. Saturday’s win not only resulted in a $25,000 check and a gorgeous grandfather clock for Peters, but he also won an extra $10,000 because the ValleyStar Credit Union victory earned him the Virginia Triple Crown title that’s held between Martinsville, South Boston Speedway and Langley Speedway.
The 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, Lee Pulliam, started the race in eighth. He lost the race to Peters by just over a second, but he did compete up front for most of the night in his No. 5 Kiker Tree Services Chevrolet.
“I just talked to Timothy last week and he congratulated me on winning the (National Championship) and I said hopefully we can race for the win in this race,” Pulliam said. “So, it was pretty cool to finish one and two. I just fought and clawed the whole race trying to get track position and we had about a third or fourth place car and ended up finishing second.”
Peyton Sellers began the race in the fourth position. At the halfway mark on Lap 100, Sellers was in the race lead, but the top-six were inverted to kick off the second half of the race. Sellers looked as if he had the fastest car in the closing laps of the race. As the laps ticked away, Sellers, the driver of the No. 26 Clarence’s Steakhouse/Danville Toyota Toyota was right on the back bumper of Peters, but he didn’t knock him out of the race. Eventually, Sellers got shuffled back to third, and that’s where he ended up finishing.
“Track position hurt us,” Sellers said. “We had some wiring issues, voltage issues and the motor just would not go like we needed it to. What an awesome job by my team to get where we’re at. It’s satisfying with the night we had though to overcome all the adversity and not crash the car. Just very pleased to be here.”
Rounding out the top-five was pole sitter Jake Crum and Heat No. 1 winner, Trevor Noles.
Justin T. Carroll finished six, followed by Tommy Lemons Jr., Stacy Puryear, Brandon Pierce and CE Falk.
Throughout the race, there were 10 cautions. Two of the accidents resulted in a red flag. The first red flag came out after a huge pile up in Turn 4 on lap 124. More than 10 cars were involved. The second red flag came out after drivers piled up on a restart on lap 155.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com