- Last Updated on 07:50 AM 05/14/12
- BY Joe Chandler
C.E. Falk III has been the driver many have been watching in the early weeks of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points season.
The Virginia Beach resident has won races at his home track, Langley Speedway, South Boston Speedway and at Motor Mile Speedway, and is looking like one of the top drivers to beat in the national championship chase.
Naturally, Lee Pulliam, who won at South Boston Speedway in big fashion on May 5 in his return to NASCAR racing, wanted to know just how strong Falk is as he, too, is chasing the NASCAR national title.
The pair faced each other for the first time this season Saturday night at South Boston Speedway. Round One went to Pulliam.
Falk gave Pulliam a battle until he started to fade 13 laps from the end of Saturday night’s CenturyLink Presents BoJangles 150 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division race at South Boston.
With his left front tire going away quickly, Falk struggled home with a fourth-place finish. Pulliam went on to win the 150-lap race, finishing 2.327 seconds ahead of runner-up Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, who edged former South Boston Speedway and NASCAR National Champion Peyton Sellers of Danville in an exciting battle for the runner-up spot over the final 10 circuits.
“Falk has had a dominant car,” Pulliam pointed out after the race.
“He’s won here, he’s won at Langley and he’s won at Motor Mile. To go out there and beat him tonight meant a lot. This was our first stack-up against each other, and I had been wondering how it would go down.
“I’d seen him run, but I didn’t really know how good he was,” Pulliam added.
“You don’t really know until you get out there and size a guy up on the racetrack. He’s definitely got a good ride right now, but I think he’s still go a little more to go.”
Falk said he came to South Boston Speedway looking for his second win of the season here.
“I came here thinking we were going to win,” Falk said.
“Everything in practice showed we were pretty good, and we qualified pretty good and I was happy with that. We were way too tight and burned the right front (tire) off.
“We need to keep working,” continued Falk.
“Lee’s back and congratulations to him. The season isn’t over yet. It’s all prep for the 200-lapper in July (at South Boston Speedway). We’ll come back bigger and stronger than ever.”
Pulliam, who led the race three times for a total of 135 laps, said he felt good about his chances coming into the race.
“I felt we had a good enough car to do it,” Pulliam remarked.
“You always want to be confident, but you also want to be cautious of your expectations. C.E. gave me a run for the money and make things pretty interesting a time or two. It was really good, hard racing. We rubbed a little bit, but nobody wrecked. It was just good short track racing. I finally got back by him on a restart. Once I got a few laps on my car, it really came in and it got better as we ran.”
Bowling added a slight cushion to his South Boston Speedway points lead over Sellers by winning their late-race battle.
“It was tough,” Bowling said of his battle with Sellers.
“Peyton doesn’t cut me any slack. He’s about the toughest person there is to pass. We’ve got a little bit of work to do to catch Lee, but I’m happy with what we wound up with tonight.”
RESULTS OF THE 150-LAP LATE MODEL STOCK CAR RACE
4.C.E. Falk III150
• Time Of Race: 55 Min. 44 Sec.
• Ave. Speed: 64.588 MPH
• Margin Of Victory: 2.327 Sec.
• Cautions: 4 For 29 Laps
• Lap Leaders: Pulliam 1-73, Falk 74-75, Pulliam 76-81, Falk 82-94, Pulliam 95-150
• Pole Winner: Lee Pulliam
• Time: 15.656 Sec.
• Speed: 91.978 MPH