PULLIAM PLACES EXCLAMATION POINT ON CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
Berry crowned 2012 Bull & Bones Late Model Stock Car Track Champion- JW Martin
From the very bottom, Lee Pulliam has ended the 2012 season at the very top.
“I started the season the lowest of lows having to watch everybody else race and now to end it like this is just amazing,” Pulliam told NASCAR Home Tracks.
Pulliam’s belated 2012 Late Model season began on May 5th in the aftermath of a four-month suspension from NASCAR. Saturday night, a historic season reached a climatic conclusion as Pulliam celebrated an improbable WHELEN All-American Series national championship in victory lane at Motor Mile Speedway.
A sweep of the Weigh Station / Hedgecock Racing Academy / Blue Ridge Copier Twin 100’s was the exclamation point.
“It’s a dream come true. It’s the most humbling thing ever,” stated an emotional Pulliam from victory lane. “I’ll tell ya, as a little kid watching people like Barry Beggarly, Wayne Patterson and David Blankenship…to now share a national title with Barry, Philip, and all the rest of the greats, it feels real special.”
Pulliam coasted to the checkers in the opener from the pole; a race slowed by just one caution period. Tommy Lemons, Jr. and Frank Deiny, Jr. finished second and third, respectively.
Pulliam followed up the performance by routing the competition in the nightcap. Pulliam’s advantage swelled to over 6.0 seconds in the waning stages of the caution-free feature. A colossal 5.5 margin of victory encapsulated the dominance that has become the hallmark of Team no. 1.
Lemons and Kris Bowen rounded out the podium.
The Bull & Bones Late Model Stock Car division track championship remained undecided entering the finale. Deiny had whittled the deficit down to 28 points after race no. 1, and points leader Josh Berry needed to finish fourteenth or better to clinch the title.
From a nineteenth-place starting spot, Deiny mounted a remarkable rally to finish the latter feature in seventh. But the effort wasn’t enough to unseat Berry; following finishes of sixth and fifth in the pair of races, respectively, Berry capped a consistent season with the Motor Mile Speedway Late Model track championship.
The title marked the first ever championship for JR Motorsports spanning all levels of competition.
“I’m glad to get JR Motorsports their first championship,” Berry said. “I’m just some kid they picked to drive their Late Model. To do it, man, it means a ton. I’ve been given such a great opportunity. To deliver them a championship, it’s awesome.”
Berry captured the championship with a total of 666 points, 32 markers ahead of Deiny. Since the ownership change in 2004, Berry becomes just the fifth different driver to win a Late Model track championship at Motor Mile Speedway. It marks the third consecutive season the class has crowned a new titlist.
IN OTHER DIVISIONS
COLLISION PLUS LIMITED SPORTSMAN
Preston McGhee remains winless in his career at Motor Mile Speedway.
Well, not completely winless. Saturday night, the newly minted Rookie of the Year captured the Collision Plus Limited Sportsman division track championship.
McGhee becomes just the third competitor since the track ownership change in 2004 to win a track championship without winning a race, joining an elite shortlist that includes Jeff Montgomery (MOD4, 2006) and Anthony Barnes (LS, 2008).
“Rookies don’t win championships!” McGhee exclaimed. “This is all I’ve ever wanted. It’s unbelievable for this race team…for me. I’ve wanted it since I was a little kid.”
Placing second to McGhee in the point standings was Scott Lancaster, who netted his second consecutive victory of the season in an electrifying two-lap dash to the checkers.
The battle for first climaxed in turn one as Lancaster applied a classic bump-and-run to leader Garrett Bunch. The scramble that ensued precipitated a dustup in turn three involving Bunch and teammate Matt Taylor.
“There wasn’t nothing to it. I think the no. 50 went down in there and jammed the brakes. I guess he thought he was going to keep me from winning,” Lancaster said. “It’s a little too late, but this great. We’re good right now.”
Kyle Dudley and Steve Dalton finished second and third, respectively.
CARPET FACTORY OUTLET STREET STOCK
For Barry Gregory, it’s been a long time coming.
Since 2009, Gregory has finished each season second in the Carpet Factory Outlet Street Stock division standings. Always the bridesmaid, Gregory enjoyed a breakthrough Saturday night as the team celebrated their first Street Stock track championship.
“It means a whole lot. These are hard to come by,” Gregory said. “I’m just out here to win races, but the team wanted the championship. And I’m glad we got it.”
Gregory finished runner-up in the 30-lap heat, behind winner Matt Gusler. The victory marked Gusler’s third straight in Street Stock competition.
Dr. Sheryl Carls, the 2011 Street Stock division titlist, finished third. In the standings, Carls defended her championship until the last lap, placing second in the points a mere fourteen markers behind Gregory.
NEW RIVER NISSAN MOD-4
Rocky Yates officially sewed up the 2012 New River Nissan MOD-4 track championship Saturday night, earning the title by 36 points over Doodle Lang.
“They get all the wins, but I’ve got the championship,” Yates stated. “I’ve come a long way. I’m racing against the best in the world, as far as I’m concerned. This is the cream of the crop, and I’m glad to be on top.”
Yates finished third in the season finale, behind Lang and Chucky Williams.
Williams snared his fifth consecutive first-place trophy after a daring last lap pass in turn one.
“I thought I’d try it [on the apron]. Doodle’s raced me clean ever since I’ve been here. I thought if I could do it, and stay off of him, it was worth a shot. It was a little hairy, but we managed to pull it off,” Williams said from victory lane.
Motor Mile Speedway congratulates the 2012 class of Track Champions: Josh Berry, Preston McGhee, Barry Gregory & Rocky Yates.