Lee Pulliam’s CARS Tour sojourn now includes an iconic victory at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion just barely beat the rain and held and outdueled defending winner Myatt Snider to claim the Response Energy 100 at the historic Tennessee half-mile on Saturday night.
Track and series officials declared the race official after 64 laps when weather moved into the area. Just before the race-ending caution waived, Pulliam disposed of Snyder and held-off a hard-charging Layne Riggs for the second victory of his season after Myrtle Beach.
“I was trying to be cautious,” Pulliam said after the race. “You are running so fast here I was trying to not wreck (Myatt). I wanted to race him hard but not wreck him. I was able to maintain it and was able to hold him off. I like to win races, that’s the main goal and it’s what it’s all about for me.”
The victory was especially important because it marked a return to a place that hadn’t treated Pulliam well in the past.
Pulliam had planned to compete for the K&N Pro Series East championship in 2014, and was in contention when a crash at Thunder Valley destroyed his Hattori Racing Enterprises car and left it virtually un-drivable.
Now he came back and propelled himself into the CARS Tour championship mix as a result.
“For me, this is very self-rewarding,” Pulliam said. “To come back four years later after that crash and to be able to win makes this a very special night for me and my family. My little girl was here, but I think she fell asleep, but it’s really cool to win in front of her, my wife, and everyone else that was here.”
Snider resumed where he left off in the inaugural race, leading the first 32 laps until a caution for a Bradley McCaskill stall at the entrance of pit road in Turn 2. This set up the only restart of the night, with Pulliam beating Snider out of Turns 3 and 4.
At this point, rain was looming over the mountains and Riggs made his charge to take the lead, not even realizing how bad the weather was about to get. His efforts were unsuccessful and the race-ending yellow flag waved on Lap 64. The race was called shortly after half an hour of rain.
Riggs, Snider, Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry completed the top-5.
Championship leader Bobby McCarty finished seventh, allowing Pulliam to close the gap, not that it’s the most pressing issue on his mind.
“I just like winning races,” Pulliam said. “Championships are awesome, and I’ve won four national titles and countless other track and state championships, but winning races is what its all about for me. We did make up points on Bobby, and we did make up points on Deac, so all around, it was a great night.”
The complete results can be found below.
- Lee Pulliam
- Layne Riggs
- Myatt Snider
- Ty Gibbs
- Josh Berry
- Justin Crider
- Bobby McCarty
- Deac McCaskill
- Sam Mayer
- Cody Haskins
- Justin Hicks
- Terry Brooks Jr.
- Trevor Ward
- Ronald Hill
- Charlie Watson
- Danny O’Quinn
- Joey Trent
- Nik Williams
- Mike Chambers
- Bradley McCaskill
- Grayson Cullather
- Paul Nogradi
- Austin Peters
- Brandon Rogers
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