DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It was 16 years in the making for the driver out of Danville, Virginia, as this week Peyton Sellers was named the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion for the second time in his career.
Sellers won his first Weekly Series championship in 2005 at age 21, then the youngest champion in the history of the series.
“Congratulations to Peyton on his second NASCAR national championship,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “It is just amazing to see what he‘s done this year, also adding in two track championships, the Virginia state championship, and the Southeast Region championship. The Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series is really the bedrock of NASCAR, and having a champion like Peyton continue to dedicate himself to competing at such a high level week-to-week is what makes this racing special.”
In addition to winning the Weekly Series national championship, Sellers also won the Southeast Region and Virginia state titles, as well as the track championships at South Boston Speedway and Dominion Raceway. It marked his sixth South Boston track championship and the second for him at Dominion, where he raced last season while South Boston was shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sellers credits the newfound dual-track loyalty to putting him in the hunt for the national championship by July this season. He was able to bank wins early in the season and could race more frequently close to home as the schedules didn‘t conflict at South Boston and Dominion.
“When we sat down at the beginning of last year, we were wanting to race like everybody, and when COVID set in, we didn‘t have a place to race because South Boston pulled the plug pretty early in the year,” said Sellers. “Dominion Raceway was a track we had raced at and they said we‘re still going to try to do it. We were able to win the track title there.
“And then this year when South Boston opened up, obviously it‘s our home track and we wanted to go back there. We still had allegiance to Dominion because they gave us a place to race last year. We were winning some races and doing pretty well at both places, one thing led to another and we were competing for two track titles.”
Sellers tallied 21 wins (12 at Dominion Raceway and nine at South Boston Speedway) in 37 starts this season, finishing in the top 10 in all but two of those races. He also accumulated 29 top-five results, including five runner-up finishes.
“Peyton has been a mainstay competing on NASCAR‘s home tracks for years and is renowned for being an incredible driver and great representative of short track racing,” said Jason McDonell, Advance‘s executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and E-commerce. “We congratulate Peyton and his team on becoming NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champions in what was a season for the record books.”
Jacob Goede, the 2019 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion based in Minnesota at Elko Speedway, finished second in the national standings. Goede also won the Midwest Region championship and is the current Elko Speedway points leader heading into the final race weekend of the season.
A trio of drivers battled it out in the Northeast Region with Craig Von Dohren taking the regional championship and track title at Grandview Speedway as he finished third in the national standings. Todd Patnode was fourth while the third Northeast driver, Brett Kressley, was fifth in the final standings.
The national Jostens Rookie of the Year is Gunner Martin out of the Midwest Region, who races out of Central Missouri Speedway. He recorded nine wins in 20 starts, also putting together 18 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes.
Martin narrowly edged out Landon Pembleton, the 16-year-old teammate of Sellers, in the Southeast Region for the national honor.
The complete list of regional Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champions and Jostens Rookie of the Year awards is below:
- Champion: Peyton Sellers (Dominion Raceway, South Boston Speedway, Langley Speedway)
- Rookie of the Year: Landon Pembleton (Dominion Raceway)
- Champion: Craig Von Dohren (Grandview Speedway)
- Rookie of the Year: Alexander Wyatt (Beech Ridge Motor Speedway)
- Champion: Jacob Goede (Elko Speedway, LaCrosse Speedway, Madison Speedway)
- Rookie of the Year: Gunner Martin (Central Missouri Speedway)
- Champion: Eric Rhead (Magic Valley Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring)
- Rookie of the Year: Patrick Gold (Magic Valley Speedway)
Eric Rhead, based in Utah, travels four hours to Magic Valley Speedway or seven hours to Las Vegas to race each weekend. He ultimately finished seventh in the national standings while capturing the West Region crown.
“Advance is also thrilled to recognize Craig Von Dohren, Jacob Goede and Eric Rhead as our regional Weekly Series champions,” said McDonell. “Becoming a champion requires sustained excellence, commitment and passion for the sport, and we congratulate these drivers and team members for their title-winning seasons.”
Sellers said this nationwide competition for Weekly Series honors — while still being able to work his job during the week helping run the family construction business, Sellers Brothers, Inc. — is what keeps him coming back to race in the series each year.
“It allows you to run on a national platform on a local level by having the opportunity to run and compete for a national title,” Sellers said. “NASCAR and the Weekly Series give me the opportunity to compete against Jacob Goede from Minnesota, this guy from Irwindale and this guy from Lakeside. That‘s what‘s really special about what NASCAR‘s got.”