With a second-place finish at the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway, Lee Pulliam captured his second Virginia Triple Crown and the $7,000 bonus that comes with it.
The Virginia Triple Crown is a three-race mini series across the South Boston 200, Hampton Heat 200 and the Martinsville 300. Previously a $10,000 bonus was paid to the driver with the best average finish. That same sum will now be distributed $7000 to the winner, $2000 for second place and $1000 for third place.
With a second-place finish, Pulliam outscored Peyton Sellers with an average finish of 3.33 to 3.67 or by one position to score the bonus.
Pulliam admitted he didn’t even think about the Triple Crown until crossing the line, when he was told that he had won. He was instead focused on chasing down Josh Berry for the win. Without realizing it, that battle with Peters ultimately saw him through to the bonus.
“We were all racing for second,” Pulliam said. “I lined up third on that last restart behind Josh. I’ve been in the same position he’s been in several times. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t. I wanted to race him clean. He was the best car and the best car went to victory lane. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you lose a race and you have a winning car, but tonight wasn’t the case.
“It makes it a little bit easier to swallow. This is the fifth time I’ve finished second in this race, it’s kind of crazy. We had a good run. Me and Timothy had heck of a battle there. I had to race him hard because it came down to one position to beat Peyton (Sellers) there. Peyton had a win on me. If we had tied, he would’ve won it. I appreciate him (Timothy) racing me clean.”
Despite wanting to take the race win, Pulliam expressed excitement about winning $15,000 in race purse and Triple Crown funding.
“I’ve been in this situation so many times,” he said. “I was trying to win the race. It was a great day. We took home $15,000 between the Triple Crown and second place. We wanted to be where Josh is right now.”