Pulliam tops in ABC13 150 – JW Martin
Saturday night, it was Lee Pulliam’s turn to deliver.
Five days after celebrating the birth of his first child, Pulliam collected a sentimental win in the ABC13 150 at Motor Mile Speedway.
The triumph – Pulliam’s seventh O’Reilly Auto Parts Late Model victory of the season – was dedicated to Brantley Anne, born Monday, July 25th to Lee and wife, LeAnne.
“It makes all of this stuff seem small. This win is for Brantley,” Pulliam acknowledged. “I wish she was here. It puts into perspective what moms do. That’s a miracle, and such a blessing to our lives.”
Pulliam started the marquee feature fifth on the 16-car Late Model grid, and proved to be a non-factor through the first half of the contest. Mired in traffic, Pulliam utilized a pair of competition cautions to methodically maneuver into contention as the nightcap unfolded. Pulliam secured fourth from Ryan Repko two laps after the first restart of the night on lap 45. Pulliam orchestrated a similar offensive on Brandon Butler following the second yellow flag of the race, eclipsing Butler’s third place machine on lap 90.
While Pulliam positioned the no. 5 Kiker Motorsports entry for a late-race bid at the checkers, Philip Morris was putting the strength of the no. 01 Trailer Town Chevrolet on display. After overtaking Price’s Body Shop pole sitter Mike Looney for the top spot on the first circuit of the race, Morris constructed a sizable three-second advantage over the field prior to the first competition caution. Morris paced the race uncontested through the second caution period, and appeared the favorite for the win until the third yellow flag unfurled for a single-car spin on lap 110.
Pulliam had surpassed Looney for the runner-up spot on lap 106, and restarted alongside Morris for the final 30-lap sprint to the finish. The lap 120 restart staged a brief side-by-side tussle for first, with Morris relinquishing the lead on lap 121. The embattled veteran became embroiled in a duel for second with Looney as the laps dwindled.
“We ran good for the first little bit,” said Morris, who staved off Looney for second place at the checkers. “But when Looney got to me on the [lap 120] restart— he was racing me so hard that I couldn’t get back to [Pulliam]. I think I destroyed the right front trying to get back to him.”
Looney’s third-place effort continued a streak of three straight podium appearances.
“I had a really good time racing with Philip. It’s fun when you have the opportunity to race with people with talent like that,” noted Looney. “It was a good night, all-in-all.”
Butler tallied fourth, and Jonathan Findley captured his second-career top-five finish in just his third start at the .416-mile oval.
Pulliam’s 1.252-second margin of victory over Morris marked his second consecutive win in 150-lap contests. In both events, Pulliam led only 29 laps en route to victory lane.
Late Model results remained unofficial at the time of print.
IN OTHER DIVISIONS
Scott Lancaster led rag-to-rag in Saturday night’s Collision Plus Limited Sportsman division contest, surviving a carnage-laden, two-lap shootout to snare his third win of the season.
Fireworks erupted when a multi-car melee on the backstretch claimed four of the frontrunners on the white-flag lap. Karl Budzevski, Amber Balcaen and Dylan Saul were among the competitors involved. John Thornton and Charles Smith posted career-best finishes in the aftermath, tallying second and third, respectively.
Doug Williams swept the Carpet Factory Outlet Street Stock twinbill, besting Scooter Hollandsworth and Casey Cupp in the pair of 30-lap features. Hollandsworth placed second in the opener, while Cupp took third in the finale.
Photo courtesy of: Debra Pulliam