- Last Updated on 05:25 PM 05/26/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Lee Pulliam says he is blessed to have recorded eight wins in 11 starts this season at South Boston Speedway.
“I’ve been on the other end,” the reigning NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion said following his win in Saturday night’s Bojangles NASCAR Whelen Late Model 150 at South Boston Speedway.
“In 2011, it looked like we couldn’t finish second or third, and Philip Morris won basically every race here. It feels good to be on the other end of it right now.”
Bidding to repeat last year’s national title, Pulliam successfully fended off challenges from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series star Timothy Peters and former South Boston Speedway and NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion Peyton Sellers of Danville to win Saturday night’s 150-lap race and run his season win total to 11 victories.
The victory in the Bojangles NASCAR Whelen Late Model 150 gives the Semora, N.C. resident 24 career Late Model Stock Car Division wins at South Boston Speedway,
putting him in sole possession of fifth place on the track’s all-time Late Model Stock Car Division win list.
While Pulliam was celebrating his third win in a row at South Boston Speedway Sellers was pondering what more he has to do in order to beat Pulliam.
Sellers grabbed second place from Peters with 40 laps to go and tried to chase down Pulliam, but trailed Pulliam by 1.774 seconds when the checkered flag fell.
“I thought I was as good as I’ve been all year,” Sellers following his second straight second-place finish to Pulliam.
“I don’t how you get beat by a straightaway by being that good. But, that’s the way it is.”
Peters, who drove to victory at South Boston Speedway in his most recent outing on May 4, finished third. He led 24 circuits after wrestling the lead away from Pulliam on the 13th lap on the restart that followed the race’s first caution period but could not hold Pulliam back any longer.
After losing the lead, Peters then had to play defense to try to hold off Sellers, but lost that battle with 40 laps to go and had to settle for third place.
“The handling went away,” Peters said, “but we’ve got to try a little bit of different stuff to win. We just missed it (the chassis setup). We were a little different from the night when we won.
“You’ve got to keep up with the track, and I did a poor job. I made some adjustments and I adjusted it right outside the park.”
C.E. Falk III of Virginia Beach and Bruce Anderson of South Boston rounded out the top five finishers. Ronald Hill of Rougemont, N.C. finished sixth and Patrick Coleman of Greensboro, N.C. finished seventh. The top seven drivers finished on the lead lap.
Mark Wertz of Virginia Beach, Eric Winslow of Danville and Austin Thaxton of Cluster Springs rounded out the top ten finishers.
Six of the 18-cars that started the race crashed in the second turn on the third lap. All six cars were damaged, and three drivers that have been top contenders throughout the season, Bobby McCarty, Dustin Storm and Josh Oakley had their cars damaged too extensively to continue.
Pulliam, who led twice in the race for a total of 126 laps, averaged 65.831 mph in the race that took 54 minutes and 41 seconds to complete. The race was slowed by two caution periods.
4.C.E. Falk III150
8.Mark Wertz 146
15.Josh Oakley 4
18. Sam Beaty1
Time Of Race: 54 Min. 41 Sec.
Average Speed: 65.831 MPH
Margin Of Victory: 1.774 Sec.
Lap Leaders: Lee Pulliam 1-12, Timothy Peters 13-36, Lee Pulliam 37-150
Red Flags: 1
Pole Winner: Lee Pulliam
Time: 15.631 Sec.
Speed: 92.125 MPH