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Lee Pulliam stepping away from full-time Late Model competition

Matt Weaver | STS

Lee Pulliam will be taking a step back from full-time short track competition this season.

The news was made public in a video produced by Myrtle Beach Speedway on Friday, the historic track where Pulliam claimed another track championship and his fourth overall Whelen All-American Series championship this season.

“I want to be able to put some focus back on my family,” Pulliam said in the video.  “My little girl is growing up fast. I’ve accomplished a lot of cool stuff in racing and I don’t really have anything else to prove on this level. Believe it or not, there are more things in life too so I don’t want to miss out on that stuff.”

Pulliam and wife wife, LeAnne, gave birth to their daughter, Brantley, in July 2016.

The 30-year-old still hopes to make the occasional spot start throughout the Carolinas and Virginias this season, but wants to place more focus on his growing driver development program — Lee Pulliam Performance.

“I want to take care of my business and make sure my customers are getting 100 percent because, when we’re focusing on me trying to run 50 races a year plus them, it takes away from their program too,” Pulliam commented.  “I want to make sure everyone running our shop gets all the detail and focus they can have.”

Pulliam did leave the door open for his eventual return, hoping to follow in the form of fellow four-time champion Philip Morris.

“Philip is the perfect example,” Pulliam said. “He had to take two years away and when he came back, he was better than ever. Sometimes, in life, you have to hit the reset button.”

And if he does eventually come back, he has some lofty goals, too.

“Before I hang it up for good, I would like to have the chance to tie Larry Phillips with five (NASCAR National) championships. I think that would be really special. But I’m blessed to be sitting here with four and if I never win another one, it’s been a great career.

“But I would like to win number five and tie and maybe number six to beat him.”

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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