LUCAMA, N.C. :: Lee Pulliam won the second of two 40-lap Late Model Stock races at Southern National Motorsports Park Saturday night. However, his 14th NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) victory was hard-earned.
Pulliam qualified 11th during time trials for the first 40-lapper of the evening, fighting his way to a fourth-place finish in that race. When the top eight finishers were inverted for the second feature, Pulliam fought his way from fifth to the victory.
“I mean, we qualified 11th,” Pulliam said in victory lane following the second race. “That was a long ways to come. We passed a ton of race cars tonight.”
Pulliam offered effusive praise for his team, which helped get his machine on the winning track after the sub-par qualifying effort.
“The car was awesome. We just missed it in qualifying,” said Pulliam. “We overhauled this thing six or seven times today, no joke. Me and my guys have worked our butts off today. We had to put a lot of time in, tried so much stuff, just kept getting it better and better. Finally, we got it where it was good enough to win.”
Pulliam started fifth in the second twin, but quickly worked his way through the field. Pulliam passed eventual runner-up Tim Allensworth 15 laps into the 40 lap race, maintaining a healthy lead thereafter.
Pulliam has won numerous races at the 0.400-mile facility in Lucama, North Carolina, including last year’s Thanksgiving Classic. However, a different set of rules for the track put in place for weekly competition at Southern National in 2015 left Pulliam wondering how much of that past success could translate to tonight’s effort.
“I knew we had our work cut out because a lot of stuff changed last year,” Pulliam said. “A lot of different rules. We had to run a totally different package. Man, that thing, when we finally got it hooked up, it was good.”
“I just can’t thank everyone enough for their hard work,” Pulliam added. “I’m telling you, I ain’t never seen a group of guys work as hard as they did today, and it paid off. That’s what it’s all about, a never give up attitude.”
Allensworth held on to second place after surrendering the lead, while Andrew Grady finished third. Chris Chapman and Louis White completed the top five in the second race of the evening.
Two starters from the first race of the evening were unable to answer the call for the second race following incidents. Still, 19 cars started the second race, composing a full field for NWAAS national points purposes.
- #5 Lee Pulliam
- #21 Tim Allensworth
- #1G Andrew Grady
- #51B Chris Chapman
- #7W Louis White
- #91 Justin Carroll
- #07 Brenden Queen
- #63 Tyler Matthews
- #83 Matt Bowling
- #19 Cameron Bowen
- #44 T.J. Barron
- #54 Michael Fose
- #24 Mason Diaz
- #24 Kenneth Mercer
- #15 Omar Jurado
- #90 Terry Carroll
- #29B Melvin Langley
- #19 Brandon Hobbs
- #77 Paul Williamson
DNS – Ricky Jones, Jonathan Findley