Late Model Stock Car driver Peyton Sellers expressed his surprise and frustration that NASCAR axed two races in August and a third race this past week weekend that resulted in Layne Riggs winning the NASCAR Weekly Series Championship.
Heading into this weekend, Sellers was down four points in the national championship to Layne Riggs. However, he won two races at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia and one race at Dominion Raceway in Woodford, Virginia.
Those wins appeared to have put him in a tie with Riggs with Sellers holding the tie breaker by having more total wins than Riggs.
However, Racing America reports NASCAR performed an audit earlier this week and determined that JD Eversole, who normally competes in the Limited Late Model division entered two races in the Late Model Stock Car division at Dominion Raceway on August 27th without a valid license.
NASCAR stripped Eversole of his 10th and 16th place finishes, but more importantly they completely disqualified those races from counting towards the NASCAR Weekly Series Championship given races need to have a field of 16 cars to count. With Eversole disqualified from those races it reduced the size of the field.
Sellers made it clear he was displeased that NASCAR disqualified these two races nearly a month after they were run, “My whole thing, once you’re heading into that last race, you have to have it right.”
“I built my entire weekend around that four-point deficit,” he added.
Not only did they disqualify those two races from counting towards the NASCAR Weekly Series Championship, but they also disqualified the second race at Motor Mile Speedway last Friday.
Racing America notes, “NASCAR also disqualified from the results of the second race at Motor Mile cars owned by Kyle Dudley and Billy Martin on the basis of artificially inflating car counts without the intent to compete — denying Sellers a full field win.”
However, those cars did follow Motor Mile’s rulebook which states, “In order to be able to compete in the second race of the twins, a car must complete one half of the laps of the first race or have mechanical issues that did not allow completion of one half of the laps.”
Sellers wasn’t happy with this decision either telling Racing America, “For NASCAR to roll in and take two cars out of the results, and another one a month after the fact, I’m caught off guard by it.”
He added, “It caught me flat footed. The two cars at Motor Mile ran over half the first race per the rules.”
Sellers also addressed criticism of him driving the No. 0 car at Motor Mile, which is typically driven by Landon Pembelton.
“Did we have cars and teammates willing to help us? Absolutely,” Sellers admitted. “We’ve worked really hard to have this kind of race team and teammates willing to help us. Landon got in my car and was half a tenth faster than I was in it. He still finished fifth in it and that’s about where we were going to be. We had a teammate with a faster car that was willing to help us out.”
He then closed out by criticizing NASCAR, “At the end of the day, NASCAR has to get the points right going into that final weekend. You have to know the score to know how to plan your weekend. We won 18 races and you can’t take that away from us. We won 12 of our last 15 races. All we can do right now is go to Martinsville this weekend and try to get a grandfather clock.”
Of the 33 starts Sellers had, he won 15 of them. He finished in the top 5 28 times and in the top 10 31 times. Riggs started 40 races and won 16 of them. He had 29 top 5s and 35 top 10s. Riggs won the championship with 594 points compared to Sellers’ 590 points. Craig Von Dohren finished in a distant third with 560 points while racing at Grandview.
A driver’s top 18 finishes are counted to determine the National Champion. Drivers receive two points for every competitor they finish ahead of up to 16 cars. Winners can also receive bonus points. You can receive two bonus points for winning if you start in positions five through eight or four points if you start in ninth or further back.
Riggs was announced the champion on September 22nd with NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy Ben Kennedy saying, “Congratulations to Layne on becoming the youngest Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion.”
He added, “Layne truly exemplified what grassroots racing means in NASCAR by taking advantage of his opportunities to race and grow in the sport this season.”
Riggs told NASCAR.com, “If you had asked me eight, nine months ago what I was going to do, it wasn’t going to be going after a national championship. I’m just proud of my team and everything we’ve done to be able to get this win. We’ve worked hard. We really, really wanted it.”
His father, Scott, added, “We just knew that going for something like a championship with NASCAR would be something that would mean so much for Layne’s future.”
What do you make of Sellers’ comments and Riggs winning the National Championship?