Weekend Sweep Brings Pulliam Within Six
Over this past weekend two-time defending Whelen All-American Late Model Stock Car champion Lee Pulliam pulled quadruple duty to help plead his case in this tainted National points race. Yes I said quadruple duty, Friday night Pulliam headed to Sophia, North Carolina to Caraway Speedway for Twin 40 lap races! The best part of the who thing, nineteen cars took the green flag with him making it a “full field” in NASCARS eyes. Pulliam took the win in both events which means he was awarded two maximum point wins (39 points are the assumption) to help plead his case in the hunt for a third national title. Now I wasn’t there to see what kind of competition but with names like Myatt Snyder, Dillion Bassett, Tyler Ankrum I can almost assure you there was no pulling over and slow spins to help Pulliam win.
The guys were not done there! South Boston Speedway, who along with just about every other track in Virginia has been plagued with to many rain outs this season, finally got a clear weekend and played host to not only the PASS Super Late Models but Twin 75 lap features for the Late Model Stock cars. Matt Bowling, driver out of the Sellers stables was able to put his machine on the pole for the seventh time of the season Saturday with a time of 16.006 seconds (89.966 MPH). It took Pulliam just 26 of the 75 laps to pass four-time national champion Phillip Morris to capture win number one of the night, win three on the weekend in yet another NASCAR sanctioned full field event.
By virtue of the invert Pulliam would have to start the second race in the seventh position, and in my opinion he should have elected to start three position back in tenth for the chance to gain five more bonus points. However, maybe Pulliam decided not to do this to prove you do not have to manipulate the system to win a title. It only took twenty-one laps for Pulliam to grab the fourth spot, and was scored third just four laps later. Pulliam then took the lead away from Bowling by lap 51 and went on to win the second race of the night (4th of the weekend) by just over two seconds.
With those four wins Lee Pulliam was able to pull within just six points of current leader Anthony Anders. What I want to point out in the article is what Pulliam has had to do to earn these points compared to what Anders is doing to buy these points. First off remember Pulliam did not start the season off running in a Late Model, he spent a few weeks driving the #11 Hattori Motorsports machine in the K&N series. Anders on the other hand came out to the public that winning a national title was his main focus of this season, which I have to give the guy credit for being so bold, but you have to work for it!
With all of the controversy, shady protests, and the start and parks going on at Greenville Pickens Anders only holds onto a six point lead with 25 wins on 42 starts this season (T5-37 // T10-40). Pulliam on the other hand is sitting at 19 wins on just 36 starts this season, makes you think if Anders wasn’t able to start 10th or worse and have cars pretty much pull over and let him by allowing him to gain more bonus points, what the points standings would look like then? Now before anyone goes and try’s to make a stab at the fact that I have never been down there, in the recent weeks I have had more than one source contact me and give me some insight as to what is going on. From current drivers, drivers who have decided to take there cars elsewhere because of what is going on and fans alike.
South Boston has only two more nights of Late Model racing which means four total starts for Pulliam to earn points, which he will have to hope eighteen or more cars make the journey as well. Caraway Speedway still has a handful of twin races left on their schedule that Pulliam could run to try to gain as many points as possible. Of course I have to throw this in here but Langley Speedway has three more races, all in which Pulliam is within driving distance to.
My question that I have for you fans is what is going to take for Pulliam to ultimately pull off the upset? You would have to imagine the wheels are turning down in Greenvile to figure out what it’s going to take to make Anders the champion. I have been trying to stay pretty unbiassed in this whole situation but there is still that Late Model fan inside of me pulling for Lee to grab number three in a row just to show everyone that you can’t hide hard work.
As we quickly approach the end of the season there is one thing us Late Model fans have to look forward to and that is Martinsville! October 5th, 2014 is the date set for the MDCU 300 (formerly the Virginia is for Lovers 300), arguably THE largest Late Model Stock car race in this region. I think its safe to say if Anders does end up holding on and winning the National Title that he and his car better show up for this event and ready to race his ass off and prove that he is worthy of me calling him a national title. Another race growing in popularity in the “off season” is the Thanksgiving All-Star classic hosted by Southern National Motorsports Park, again Mr. Anders if you end up pulling this National Title* off I expect to see you at this event to prove to all of us that you in face deserve that honor.