Tag Archives: Lee Pulliam

Lee Pulliam and Philip Morris Split Twin Bill in 2019 South Boston Season Opener

Lee Pulliam power through turn four during practice for the Danville Toyota Twin 100. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer)

South Boston, VA– It was time to knock the dust off the racing boots and clean those helmet visors because it was time to get back to good ole American asphalt short track racing this weekend at one of NASCAR’s most historic short tracks – South Boston Speedway.

As been tradition, South Boston Speedway kicked off the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with a pair of one hundred lap twins. Seventeen cars from all over Virginia and North Carolina made the trip all hunting for the first wins of the season. It was no surprise to see names like Philip Morris, Lee Pulliam, and Peyton Sellers on the entry list. It was also no surprise to see those names at the top of the leader board. Peyton Sellers being the fastest in first practice while Pulliam paced second.

It was Peyton Sellers who earned not only the honors of leading the field to the green flag for the first race but also broke the track record with his 14.676 (98.119 MPH) lap. Lee Pulliam, Philip Morris, Mike Looney, and Mike Jones were the fastest five cars during euro style qualifying. Race number two would be set per the NASCAR rule book for when twin races are run – no less than an eight-car invert.

As usual race number one was tame. Drivers settled in line early and gave more room than usual. Peyton Sellers got to the gas quick, assumed the lead early, and set the cruise control. The defending track champion looked poised to take the first win of the year and set a precedent that he was here to defend his title. As the laps counted down the field got strung out which prompted NASCAR to throw the yellow flag, bunch up the field, and allow the drivers to take the cone. As the control car, Sellers took the outside which proved to be a sound strategy throughout the race; Pulliam and Morris elected to stay low.

When officials threw the green flag it didn’t take long for things to heat up. Sellers had to go on the defense as Pulliam wanted to take the lead and Philip Morris was there to capitalize should things go south. He looked like he was going to be able to use the high line to do just that but would eventually succumb to Pulliam’s perseverance losing the lead on lap 45.

The second caution of the race came just shortly after when Jason Barnes looped it out of turn two. Unfortunately, Justin Carroll locked up his brakes to try and avoid and ended up sliding right into the tires and water barriers at the entrance to the back pits. NASCAR decided to stop the field on the front stretch to take care of the tires. Pulliam took control once the race went back green and that was all she wrote. Morris made more than an honest attempt to take second from Sellers but was not able to and would have to settle with a third-place finish. Mike Looney and Austin Thaxton would round out the top five.

Pulliam was very happy climbing out of the car in victory lane for the first time in years.

“Well, this is the first new car I have had in nine years, I have been driving an old car,” Pulliam said in victory lane. “Got to thank Mr. Kiker for giving us the opportunity to build this thing, I have been dying to get in a new one for a while. Man, it feels good to have what these guys have and be back in victory lane. This is a special day for me.”

Pulliam was also asked about the quality of drivers and what was more difficult getting around or staying in front of [Philip] Morris and [Peyton] Sellers.

“It was tougher to pass them than stay ahead of them,” Pulliam explained. “We had a really good car right there. Philip [Morris] is always tough, he’s trying to protect the bottom and ride the brake, I had to move him because I knew he was going to be pretty impossible to pass riding that brake pedal. Peyton and I had a good battle there side by side and we were giving all we had. I knew if we could get out front it would be over, had to get that clean air. Feels good for sure. I hadn’t gotten a win at South Boston since 2016, it was my first on this new pavement. Gotta think my fans, my family, my crew I can’t do it without all of these guys.”

Nine cars were inverted for the start of race two handing the front row over to Mike Jones and Mark Wertz. Both drivers ran into issue quick, however. Jones had to come down pit road so his crew could torque all four tires. Because of NASCAR rules, Thomas Scott and the rest of the inside row moved up. Mark Wertz soon ran into issues of his own when something seemed to go south in the power plant. Luckily he was able to make it to pit road without causing any damage – Thomas Scott assumed the lead and tried to put distance between him and the rest of the field.

However, Philip Morris had other ideas for this race and took the lead from Scott by lap fifteen. The first caution of race two came once again at the hands of NASCAR when officials threw a competition yellow at lap thirty-two to bunch the field up once again. Morris did Philip Morris things on the ensuing restart and jumped back out to the lead and never looked back. A great battle for second ensued between Thomas Scott, Peyton Sellers, and Lee Pulliam sometimes even going three wide. That is when things went south for Pulliam who got into the outside wall hard causing enough damage to end his afternoon early.

Morris took care of business once again when the green flag waved for the last time clearing Scott going into one. Took Peyton Sellers two laps to clear Scott himself which was just enough time for Morris to create a gap that was virtually impossible to collapse. That being said the best show of the afternoon in our opinion was the eventual battle for third place between Austin Thaxton and Thomas Scott. Thaxton was able to use the top groove like most others to hold off Scott for three-quarters of the race. However, a slip out of two with a handful of laps left forced him to surrender the position to Scott.

Philip Morris was asked about his dominance last year and what that means looking forward to another NASCAR National Championship this year.

“Last year we didn’t get a win till after April so I feel great about today and this brand new car,” Morris said in victory lane. “The car responded to all the changes after the first break. I don’t even know my car would have been able to keep up with those guys in the first race, they were really fast, hats off to Peyton [Sellers] and those guys for digging hard. “

Knowing he is going to make another run at a National title Morris was asked where he is going to race this year. Pretty simple answer, anywhere the cars are.

“We are going to go where we can,” Morris explained. “South Boston has a few dates, we will be at Langley, Dominion, Motor Mile; anywhere we can get the car count. Thank god we had some cars here today, South Boston has always been good with that.”

South Boston Speedway will be back in action in just two weeks for the NASCAR Whelen Modified 150-lap feature. Tickets can be purchased at the track or online at http://www.southbostonspeedway.com

(Featured photo: Philip Morris celebrates first of many victories to come in 2019. Andy Newsome/Loose in Tight Off)

 

Race 1 Results;

  1. #5 Lee Pulliam; 100
  2. #26 Peyton Sellers; 100
  3. #01 Philip Morris; 100
  4. #87 Mike Looney; 100
  5. #12 Austin Thaxton; 100
  6. #11 Jeff Oakley; 100
  7. #8 Thomas Scott; 100
  8. #55 Mark Wertz; 100
  9. #39 Mike Jones; 100
  10. #91 Justin Carroll; 99
  11. #28 Jason Barnes; 99
  12. #50 Raymond Pittman, III; 98
  13. #22 Eric Winslow; 64
  14. #09 Trey Crews; 49
  15. #90 Terry Carroll; 37
  16. #14 Dusty Ellington; 31
  17. #9 Chris Denny; 24

 

Race 2 Results;

  1. #01 Philip Morris; 100
  2. #26 Peyton Sellers; 100
  3. #8 Thomas Scott; 100
  4. #12 Austin Thaxton; 100
  5. #28 Jason Barnes; 100
  6. #9 Trey Crews; 100
  7. #11 Jeff Oakley; 100
  8. #91 Justin Carroll; 99
  9. #50 Raymond Pittman; 97
  10. #22 Eric Winslow; 57
  11. #5 Lee Pulliam; 38
  12. #55 Mark Wertz; 9
  13. #2 Chris Denny; 1
  14. #87 Mike Looney; DNS

Lee Pulliam Will Lead the 2017 Thanksgiving Classic Field to Green on Sunday Afternoon

Lee Pulliam rockets down the front stretch during final practice Saturday afternoon at Southern National Motorsports Park in preparation for qualifying time trials. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Lee Pulliam, who had his 2016 Thanksgiving Classic ended early after contact between himself and Matt McCall earned the right to lead the field to the green flag with a 15.407-second (93.464 mph) lap of record earlier in the afternoon during single-car qualifying. 2016 winner, Tommy Lemon Jr., 2017 Hampton Heat winner, Bobby McCarty, Mike Darne and Philip Morris will round out the top five starters.

“We had a good car all weekend,” Pulliam said.  “The guys have been working hard.  We had a couple different packages that we tried yesterday.  We feel pretty good about it and think we’ve got a good piece for the race.  I don’t normally like predicting results, but I think we’ve got a good shot at it.  Hopefully, we can be in the right place at the right time.”

Others posting times fast enough to guarantee themselves a spot in the 2017 Solid Rock Carriers Thanksgiving Classic was Matt McCall, Bradley McCaskill, Mason Diaz, Peyton Sellers, Jonathan Findley, Justin Johnson, Brenden Queen, Cameron Bowen, Layne Riggs, and Jason York. The rest of the field will be set with a 25-lap Last Chance Race Sunday morning.

Grandstands will open at 9:45 AM. On track autograph session will begin at 10:15 AM and run ill 11:30 AM with the green flag scheduled to wave at noon.

 

2017 Thanksgiving Classic Qualifying Order

1 5 Lee Pulliam 15.407
2 27 Tommy Lemons Jr 15.447
3 22 Bobby McCarty 15.465
4 21 Mike Darne 15.470
5 01 Philip Morris 15.474
6 51 Matt McCall 15.477
7 07 Bradley McCaskill 15.494
8 24 Mason Diaz 15.522
9 26 Peyton Sellers 15.547
10 4 Jonathan Findley 15.548
11 44 Justin Jonhson 15.555
12 03 Brenden Queen 15.656
13 19 Cameron Bowen 15.660
14 63 Tyler Matthews 15.692
15 99 Layne Riggs 15.702
16 18 Jason York 15.754
17 9 Alex Brock 15.760
18 82 Will Burns 15.772
19 41 Sam Meyer 15.794
20 17 Stacey Puyear 15.800
21 55 Mark Wertz 15.831
22 9 Devon Dodson 15.843
23 24 Colin Garret 15.868
24 90 Terry Carroll 15.871
25 2 Robert Powell 15.923
26 22 Grayson Cullather 19.936
27 91 Justin Carroll 15.953
28 33 Ryan Haddock 15.958
29 46 Thad Moffit 15.975
30 82 Cameron Burke 16.009
31 5 Adam Resnick 16.062
32 82 Mike Ganoe 16.082
33 15 Noland Pope 16.181
34 9 Charlie Watson 16.184
35 28 Jason Barnes 16.219
36 1 Juan Guanzalez 16.248
37 9 Rodney Boyd 16.450
38 16 Rusty Daniels Prov

Green Flag Set to Wave on 17th Annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park

Frontstretch and grandstand area at Southern National Motorsports Park (Andy Marquis/SNMP photo)

The 17th Thanksgiving Classic presented by Solid Rock Carriers gets underway on Friday night and runs through Sunday with a total of 775 laps of racing for the 11 divisions which will compete. The schedule for this weekend can be found below.

With Thanksgiving dinners wrapped up, some of the best drivers and their families in the Mid-Atlantic region will converge on the .400-mile high-banked oval of Southern National this weekend. Philip Morris, who was victorious in the first recorded Thanksgiving Classic, looks to continue his hot streak this year and will be making his return to the North Carolina Speedway. He will be one of the drivers to keep an eye out for one Sunday.

Lee Pulliam, newly crowned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National champ, and Brenden Queen are looking for strong outings this weekend in the Late Model portion of the show. Pulliam, coming off of a disappointing finish in last years classic as well as at Myrtle Beach Speedway, Pulliam will be looking for victory lane one final time this year. Brenden Queen, who was forced to start at the rear of the field last weekend at Myrtle Beach one-week prior and fought his way back up to the fourth position, will be looking to improve his finishing position from last year.

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series crew chief Matt McCall will be making his return to Southern National this weekend. McCall, who is no stranger to victory lane, will be looking to finally check The Classic off his checklist. In 2016 McCall finished third to Lemons and Queen after contact with Pulliam battling for the lead on a late race restart.

The IMCA style Modified’s will be making their return as well with a 40-lap feature on Saturday night along with one of two Limited Late Model features of the weekend. Brandon Clements will look to pick up another dominant victory in the Mini Stock feature after coming back from what should have been a race-ending crash the month prior at the Spooktacular.

Other divisions racing this weekend will be the INEX Legends and Bandos, Chargers, UCAR, Street Stocks, as well as Super Late Models. The Weekly Racer will be on the road Friday afternoon and will provide coverage all weekend long on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer)

 

Friday, November 24th: Bandoleros (20 laps), Chargers (40 laps), Legends (25 laps), Limited Late Model Dash (40 laps). Green flag at 8:15pm.

Tickets: Adults – $15; Seniors, active military, and students (with ID) –$12; Kids 6-12 – $5; Kids five and under – FREE.

 

Saturday, November 25th: Bandoleros (20 laps), Legends (30 laps), Southern Lightning Modifieds (40 laps), Mini Stocks (50 laps), U-CAR (30 laps), Street Stocks (15 laps), Limited Late Models (40 laps). Green flag at 4:30pm.

Tickets: Adults – $20; Seniors, active military, and students (with ID) – $15; Kids 6-12 – $5; Kids five and under – FREE.

 

Sunday, November 26th: Late Model Stock Car Last Chance Qualifier (25 laps), Super Late Models (125 laps), Late Model Stock Car feature event (200 laps). Green flag at 12pm.

Tickets: Adults –$25; Seniors, active military and students (with ID) –$20; Kids 6-12 – $10; Kids five and under – FREE.

3-Day Tickets: Adults –$45; Seniors, active military and students (with ID) – $35, kids 6-12 –$20.

 

Previous Winners

1998 — Philip Morris

1999 — Scott Riggs

2000 — Frank Deiny, Jr.

2001 — Kirk Leone

2002 — Brandon Butler

2003 — Denny Hamlin

2004 — Jamey Caudill

2005 — Jamey Caudill

2006 — Deac McCaskill

2007 — Denny Hamlin

2008 — Joey Coulter

(SNMP closed 2009-2011)

2012 — Greg Edwards

2013 — Ronnie Bassett, Jr.

2014 — Brayton Haws

2015 — Lee Pulliam

2016 — Tommy Lemons, Jr.

Timothy Peters Makes History by Winning First Valley Star Credit Union 300 Under New LED Lights

Timothy Peters signs autographs during the on-track meet and greet Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway for the 2017 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 under the lights. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Ridgeway, VA – Timothy Peters can now call himself the first race winner under the new LED permanent lights at Martinsville Speedway this past Saturday night. Collecting his second Valley Star Credit Union 300 victory holding off late race charges from both Peyton Sellers and Lee Pulliam.

Peters, a former full-time competitor in the Camping World Truck Series with Red Horse Racing, spent most of the second half of the 200-lap feature battling with Trevor Noles. The two would exchange the lead several times as Noels continued to use the cone to take the outside line on the restarts. Peters put the final nail in the coffin with just about fifteen laps to go. Two former national champions would keep Peters honest, however, in the closing laps mounting a charge for the race lead. There were just not enough laps left on the board. Peters would go on to collect the $25,000 check and famous Grandfather Clock trophy.

Sellers, who discovered an electrical issue on his machine at the lap 175 break, lost second to Pulliam by inches off turn four coming to the checkered. Jake Crum, who started from the pole position and dominated the first 100-laps, wound up in the fourth position after being involved in a caution down in turns three and four. Trevor Noles was able to salvage a fifth-place finish after using the outside groove like a pro in the closing laps.

We caught up with Peters have the race to find out just what this race meant to him and his team.

“It means a lot,” said Peters. “Especially the way the year has been with a little adversity. You just have to stay positive and on top of it. The biggest thing is you just never lose your faith. We come here under the lights and this was special this was history,” Peters said. “Thank you guys [Martinsville Speedway], thank the fans and thank MRN for doing this. There will be multiple winners but there is only going to be one first-time winner, I feel like we made history tonight and what better place to do it than in Barry Nelson, and everyone else at Autos By Nelson backyard.”

It is no secret that Timothy Peters has been on an up and down roller coaster ride since we have all converged on the half-mile paperclip. Peters was involved in a pretty violent wreck coming to the checkered flag then later on the next year had the truck team he was running for shut down mid-season. We asked Peters with all that has happened where does this win rank in his career?

“Winning the race is the icing on the cake,” Peters said. “I love short track racing and I love this race the most out of anything you can think of. When you win at home it’s always special you can ask anybody where they want to win, they want to win at home. They want to win this race. This is very prestigious; it certainly ranks up there with number one. You never get an old feeling of a taste of victory, that’s for sure.”

The finish was Pulliam’s second year in a row finishing in the runner-up position. This coming off on the heels of winning his fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National title. Continuing the trend of national champs not being able to win the race.

“Coming home second at this race means a lot to me,” Pulliam said. “I was just talking to Timothy last week and he was congratulating me for winning the nation. I told him I really hope that we can race for this win at Martinsville and for that clock. It is pretty cool to finish one and two. We just didn’t have enough. We struggled all day yesterday our guys changed stuff all day for qualifying. Just fought and clawed all day to get track position. We had about a third-place car and ended up getting second. Just got to give it to the guys, we have had a shot to win this thing every time we come since 2010. Racing under the lights created a whole new element.”

Pulliam went on to comment that at this point in the year you are so tired and worn out from chasing that national title it just makes winning races hard. He also went on to thank all of his guys, Eddie and Travis Kiker with Kiker Tree Services and his family for making everything possible for him this year and this race.

 

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Results

  1. #12 Timothy Peters; 200
  2. #5 Lee Pulliam; 200
  3. #26 Peyton Sellers; 200
  4. #01 Jake Crum; 200
  5. #2 Trevor Noels; 200
  6. #57A Justin T. Carroll; 200
  7. #27 Tommy Lemons Jr.; 200
  8. #17 Stacy Puryear; 200
  9. #2C Brandon Pierce; 200
  10. #02 CE Falk; 200
  11. #25 Derrick Lancaster; 200
  12. #22D Grayson Cullater; 200
  13. #03 Brenden Queen; 200
  14. #2B Myatt Snider; 200
  15. #12A Austin Thaxton; 199
  16. #01A Philip Morris; 198
  17. #2A Dennis Holdren; 198
  18. #4 Annabeth Crum; 192
  19. #15 Kres VanDyke; 188
  20. #57 Eddie Johnson; 179
  21. #24 Mason Diaz; 176
  22. #12B Nick Smith; 171
  23. #88 Josh Berry; 155
  24. #92 Casey Wyatt; 154
  25. #17C Bruan Reedy; 154
  26. #77 Trevor Ward; 153
  27. #8 Thomas Scott; 144
  28. #87 Mike Looney; 122
  29. #16 RD Smith; 122
  30. #4A Timmy Phipps; 113
  31. #21A Travis Swaim; 80
  32. #22 Bobby McCarty; 78
  33. #2D Matt Leicht; 72
  34. #18A Jason York; 61
  35. #50 Jamey Caudill; 57
  36. #77D Blake Stallings; 55
  37. #14 Ryan Repko; 38
  38. #22C Scott Lancaster; 32
  39. #26C Danny Edwards Jr.; 24
  40. #21 Mike Darne; 14
  41. #44 Justin Johnson; 9
  42. #12C Ryan Wilson; 4

Lee Pulliam OFFICIALLY Clinches Fourth National Title Despite Vargas DQ

As the NWAAS came to a close on the east coast this weekend, it appeared that Lee Pulliam had all but won his fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship with Huddleston’s second and first place finishes at Kern County Speedway, located out in Bakersfield, California. However, a late disqualification of race one winner Ryan Vargas due to an ignition system that was deemed illegal by track officials, allowed Trevor Huddleston to be credited with both wins in a full field according to the NASCAR rulebook. The change in finishing order prompted NASCAR to take a long hard look at both drivers results throughout the 2017 season until the announcement was made just a short time ago confirming that Pulliam did, in fact, lock up his fourth National title heading into this weekends race at Martinsville Speedway.

Pulliam’s (688) 19 win season, most of those wins coming at Myrtle Beach Speedway where he won both track and state titles by landslides, was just enough to edge out Huddleston (685) by just three points in the final standings. The fourth national title (12, 13, 15, 17) ties Pulliam with fellow Virginia driver Philip Morris at four, just one behind record holder Larry Phillips.

Click for the Final Top 500, US States & Canadian Provincial Standings >> NASCAR Hometracks

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Staff Picks & Schedule: Who Should You Be Watching?

Lee Pulliam

Pulliam, looking for his fourth national title, after dominating at tracks that did not follow suit with the SPEC motor that some Virginia tracks opted to allow. Martinsville is one of the hold outs for the motor so Pulliam might have an edge in the motor game and won’t have to swap in a different motor.

 

Timothy Peters

After the sudden closing of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team the Danville, VA driver wasted no time coming back to the late model scene. With trips to multiple tracks in the region to get back up to speed Peters will be ready to get his first grandfather clock.

 

Bobby McCarty

With a sixth-place finish in the first leg of the triple crown at South Boston and a win in his first trip to Langley Speedway for the second leg Bobby McCarty has set himself up well for a strong run at the Virginia Triple Crown title and a win at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Josh Berry

A fan favorite in the region and always a strong competitor will be another driver hungry for the checkers and grandfather clock. Sitting just four points out of first place in the CARS Tour Berry can continue a great season with a win in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

 

 

Ryan Repko

Qualifying third in his Martinsville debut and put on a racing clinic in his heat race, opening up almost an entire straightaway lead. He would ultimately finish the 25-lap heat race in the fifth position and transfer to the feature. Working to pass cars and save tires, Repko eventually ran into issues that took him out of contention. With another year of Late Models under his belt we think you should keep a close eye on this driver under the lights.

 

Tommy Lemons Jr:

The two time ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner can never be counted out at the biggest late model race in the country. Tommy knows what it takes to wheel it around the paperclip and will be in position by the end to try and get his third grandfather clock.

 

Kres VanDyke:

With a forty starts this season, VanDyke was able to collect twenty-five wins, the most of any drivers in the top fifty in the nation. Thirty-four top fives, thirty-eight top ten finishes along with the Tennessee state champion. VanDyke has run well in previous ValleyStar Credit Union and proved he was quick during the Thursday night test.

 

Dark Horse

Brenden Queen – After a track championship in 2016 at East Carolina Motor Speedway Butterbean finished with a solid 5th place in points at Langley, finished second in the Hampton Heat, and finished fourth in the W.O. Grubbs 150 at Dominion. Riding that momentum can set this driver up for a huge win at Martinsville.

Nick Smith – After dominating the 2016 season at Dominion Raceway and winning the track championship, Nick Smith returned to his home track of Langley Speedway this season and earned two wins after dealing with more bad luck than anyone can shake a stick at. Smith had an incredible run earlier in the season at South Boston Speedway and followed that up with top-five finish during the Hampton Heat, proving to everyone the Hampton, VA driver knows how to be there at the end of a long race.

 

 

 

ValleyStar Credit Union 300 Schedule

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Campground opens

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

9:00 AM                               Ticket Office Opens

10:00 AM                             Haulers Enter

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM              Registration

10:00 AM                             Garage Opens

2:30 PM                                Inspection

4:00 PM                                Fan Gates Open

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM                 Practice

8:00 PM                                Pole Qualifying

9:00 PM                                Ticket Office Closes

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

11:00 AM                             Registration and Ticket Office Opens

12:00 PM                              Garage Opens

1:30 PM                                Drivers’ Meeting (Media Center)

2:00 PM                                Fan Gates Open

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM                Autograph Session on the Frontstretch

4:00 PM                                Qualifying Races (4 x 25 Laps)

8:00 PM                                Feature Race (200 Laps)

Pulliam Looking Forward to Martinsville Speedway Under the Lights While On the Heels of Possible Fourth National Title

With the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series officially completed, it is time for Late Model Stock Car drivers to focus on the “postseason.” A handful of big races that are held in the fall months once drivers in the Mid-Atlantic have completed their regular season at their local home tracks. There is no bigger race on any driver’s or race fan’s calendar than the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. There may also be no bigger name this year going into the prestigious event than Lee Pulliam.

Pulliam had yet another impressive regular season earning nineteen wins in forty-three starts over four different states. The Alton, Virginia driver also won championships at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina as well as winning the South Carolina state championship by over two hundred points. With Pulliam winning his fourth national title in the past six years it ties him with “The King” of Late Model Stock Car Racing. Raising the question, is there a new king rising to power?

The trip to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway was his first in over two years after he won the prestigious Hampton Heat in 2015 and, of course, could not make a trip if he wanted to in 2016 because of issues with the track. With the final weekend to earn National points he figured he would give the twins a go.

“We were just looking for a place to race,” Pulliam said at the end of the evening. “My guys and I have raced hard all years at different places and we hadn’t raced here in two years. Just trying to do something different.”

Pulliam would struggle as the afternoon progressed, qualifying towards the back of the field. Things didn’t get any better for him either; he would only make it up to the seventh position and lose a lap to the eventual race winner, Greg Edwards.

“We struggled all day today,” Pulliam told The Weekly Racer. “We were pretty fast here about a month ago but got rained out. Today we were just off. We didn’t test good, didn’t qualify good, and we didn’t race well the first race. We made some changes for that second race and we thought we were going to win it, just couldn’t hold off the No. 77 with the fresher tires, all-in-all we had a decent weekend.

Pulliam, like most drivers hunting a national title, has certainly not had the easiest summers. Traveling throughout the Mid-Atlantic is no task for the faint of heart.

“We have been blessed,” Pulliam went on to say. “I got a great family and a great crew. Just great people surrounding us. Our business, Lee Pulliam Performance, is doing good, customers are racing good and winning races, I’m really excited about the future and proud of everyone’s hard work and determination to not stop and not give up”

With just a few days till the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 or Christmas as some of my fellow colleagues call it, Pulliam thought he had a good piece under him and was truly excited to race under the lights. Citing that it’s already a prestigious event but to throw in the new lights, it is going to be a good show.

“We had a good piece at the test the other day,” Pulliam said. “We were pretty good and had a top-five car. Need to make just a couple little changes to be better I think, but everyone needs to be better. As a racer you are never satisfied, you can win a million races but it is very, very, rare that I have ever had a perfect racecar and I think anyone who has won a lot of races will tell you that. I am chasing my third grandfather clock, I think it would be really cool to win and tie Philip Morris with that. It’s going to be a stout field and a tough race to win as always. I just hope we can get the job done.”

The race will be the first at Martinsville under the new permanent LED fixtures; however, it will not be the first ever. In years past a Modified race was held at the paperclip where the track used temporary lights. We asked Lee how he felt being the first event there and what it meant to him.

“I am definitely excited to be under the lights,” Pulliam said. “It’s a special event already, a big event, you add the element of that, and it makes it really fun. I think it’s prestigious to win that deal and then you add that, everyone wants to be the first person to win under them. It’s going to be a great show, the fans are going to get to see breaks glowing, sparks flying, everything. It’s going to be fun for everybody involved.”

 Front gates will open to fans at 4:00 PM Friday afternoon for practice that will run until 7:00 PM. Pole Qualifying will start approx. 8:00 PM. Registration and the ticket office will open Saturday morning at 11:00 AM with the garage opening at noon. General Admission gates will open at 2:00 PM with an hour-long autograph session scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 PM. The 25-lap qualifying races will roll off at 4:00 PM with the 200-lap feature race starting approx. 8:00 PM.

Make sure you follow The Weekly Racer on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with everything going on trackside this weekend.

 

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