- Last Updated on 03:48 PM 07/05/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Lee Pulliam has scored some big triumphs at South Boston Speedway during his racing career. None of them matched his dominance of Tuesday night’s FindItHere.com 200 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division race.
Interrupted by only one caution period, Pulliam led all 200 laps and sped to a 3.550-second win over runner-up C.E. Falk III of Virginia Beach to collect the $5,000 winner’s check.
With the victory, Pulliam became the first driver to score a repeat win in South Boston Speedway’s annual pre-Fourth of July showcase event and became the event’s second two-time winner.
“That is probably the most dominant car I’ve had here in my career at South Boston Speedway,” Pulliam said after recording his fifth win of the season at South Boston Speedway and his eighth victory of the season.
“We’ve been working hard on getting speed early. We’ve had speed on the long runs, but have sacrificed some on the short runs. Tonight, I knew on the first lap. I said “man, that thing really took off good.” Once I got the lead, I said I think we’ve found what we needed.”
Brandon Butler, competing in only his second race of the season, tried to give Pulliam a run early, but was unable to keep pace.
Falk attempted to make a run at Pulliam after taking second place from Butler on lap 83. He cut the gap to about five car lengths with 40 laps to go while Pulliam navigated lapped cars. Once Pulliam cleared the lapped traffic, he was untouchable.
“I had some trouble getting around some lapped cars,” Pulliam noted.
“They were racing each other pretty hard. Once I got clear of them, I decided I needed to put a little more distance between us and I was able to do that.”
Falk, who sat seventh in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings and led the Virginia state standings entering the race, finished about a quarter of a lap behind Pulliam.
“Congratulations to Lee,” Falk remarked.
“He had an exceptional car. Lee’s a good competitor. He’s tough, but he can be beat”
Falk said his car was very good as well.
“We had a great car,” Falk pointed out.
“I had a better car tonight than I did when I won here at South Boston the other week. I was trying to be as patient as I could and not wear the tires out. I think that showed. We had the rest of the field covered.”
Butler finished third, almost eight seconds behind Falk, as the field stretched out in the 82-lap green-flag run to the finish that followed the race’s one caution period.
“It was a good run for us for not being down here in a year,” said Butler who has finished third in both of the two races he has run this season.
“To come out here and run third to those two guys (Pulliam and Falk) is nothing to be ashamed of. They’ve been getting it done everywhere they go. If we raced on a regular basis I think we’d have something for them.”
Austin Thaxton of South Boston started third and finished fourth, with veteran Eddie Johnson of Midlothian rounding out the top five finishers.
South Boston Speedway points leader Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, who stands second in the state standings and eighth nationally, finished sixth, a lap down. Ronald Hill of Rougemont, N.C., Jeb Burton of Halifax, Austin Self of Austin, Tex., and Jeff Oakley of Prince George completed the top ten finishers.
Pulliam averaged an event record speed of 82.574 mph in the race that took 58 minutes and eight seconds to complete.