PULLIAM SWEEPS FRIDAY NIGHT FEATURES

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2011 Track Champion reclaims top spot in track title race – JW Martin

 

 

It could have been the defining moment of the 2013 WHELEN All-American Series national championship race.

 

At the conclusion of 250 laps of Late Model action, the 24-car field could only wonder where the cautions were. Standout driver Garrett Campbell could only wonder ‘what if?’ And Lee Pulliam stood in victory lane, wondering whether his back-to-back wins in the New River Bank Twin 125s presented by Cavalier Supply and ABC 13 were enough to secure his second consecutive national title.

 

“It sends tingles down your back just thinking about how big tonight is. We’ve been so close to having that perfect season. It still isn’t perfect, but we’ve got it a lot closer,” Pulliam said. “This was a pivotal day for us.”

 

Pulliam recorded his second sweep of the season Friday night, besting two 24-car fields in two caution-free contests. Pulliam notched his second Price’s Body Shop Pole Award of the season in the opener and led rag-to-rag to claim the win by a colossal 3.9-second margin of victory over runner-up Dennis Holdren.

 

It was another impressive outing for Holdren, who posted his first top five of the season on August 10th. The second place showing was his best effort of 2013.

 

“We’ve been digging all year. I know a lot of people say that…but this is awesome. I feel like this is a win tonight,” Holdren exclaimed. “A lot of people don’t know this, but I’ve been coming up here for 15 years trying to get a Late Model win—I’ve finished second probably five or six times. Maybe, one of these days, I’ll get lucky and get in the winner’s circle.”

 

The most eye-opening performance of the evening belonged to Garrett Campbell, who was making his 2013 debut. After qualifying sixth in the first feature, Campbell rallied to third by race’s end while logging lap times mirroring that of the leader.

 

Campbell’s promise in race No. 1 posed a threat to Pulliam in the nightcap. However, a sixth place starting spot proved to once again impede Campbell’s progress, and without the aid of caution, Campbell was forced to settle for an identical finish in Race No.2.

 

“No cautions mean no help with track position. But it was a good run…that’s it,” Campbell said.

 

Tommy Lemons, Jr. trailed Pulliam in the finale to claim second—his best finish of the 2013 season.

 

Perhaps the biggest storyline of the race was the racing itself; the two caution-free features set an unprecedented benchmark thus far this season.

 

“I was pretty shocked,” said Lemons. “The first race went by pretty quick. The second race we were a little bit better and it seemed like it took forever. But that is very unusual to run caution free here.”

 
For Pulliam, the twinbill sweep bolsters his hopes of another Motor Mile Speedway Bull & Bones Late Model division track championship. Although Pulliam entered the night 14 markers out of first, the victories, coupled with points leader Peyton Sellers’ struggles, equated to a 26-point swing in the standings. Pulliam now enjoys the lead by 12 points over Sellers with just one night of racing remaining in the 2013 regular season. The track title will be decided on September 21st.

 

IN OTHER DIVISIONS

Preston McGhee captured his second consecutive checkered flag in the Collision Plus Limited Sportsman division, outpacing Matt Taylor to claim the win. Bryan Reedy rounded out the podium.

 

Chucky Williams claimed his second straight victory in the New River Nissan MOD-4 division, surpassing points leader Brittany Cockram in the standings by a slim two-point margin. Doodle Lang and Cockram finished second and third, respectively.

 

Scooter Hollandsworth visited victory lane for the third consecutive race in the Carpet Factory Outlet Street Stock division, overtaking Jessica Harmon in the division points race by two markers. Harmon finished second, and Toby Phillips notched his best run of the season in third.

 

Rodney Howell scored the victory in a wild UCAR finish Friday night, nipping runner-up Scott Howell and Ricky Howell, Jr. at the finish.