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Radio problem led to late contact between Bobby McCarty and Lee Pulliam at Martinsville

The two Late Model Stock champions nearly collided in the closing laps of the race …

Chris Owens | STS

There have been a handful of battles between Lee Pulliam and Bobby McCarty that have produced antipathy over the years but the latest one for second-place in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 wasn’t as messy as it first appeared.

With Josh Berry repeatedly surging ahead with the lead, the actual race was for second on back and that’s where Pulliam, McCarty and Timothy Peters resided during the closing stages. Pulliam and McCarty connected out of Turn 4 at one point with the four-time NASCAR All-American Series champion feeling as if the reigning CARS Tour champion was blocking and running into him.

Following the race, Pulliam climbed out of his car and spoke to Timothy Peters — the General Manager of the Nelson Motorsports team that McCarty drives for. Pulliam said he simply wanted to debrief following a spirit but clean duel with his fellow veteran but to also opine about what happened between himself and McCarty.

“I told Timothy that I appreciated him running me clean there,” Pulliam said. “I got jacked up pretty good from him at one point. I didn’t get wrecked so it’s fine. It’s just part of it.”

As it turns out, McCarty had developed a radio issue around the time he started to race side-by-side with Pulliam and the aggression was totally unintentional.

McCarty didn’t speak to Pulliam after the race but said he planned to.

“We speak but we’re not very casual with each other,” McCarty said. “There was stuff that happened at the end and I don’t want him to think it was intentional. Something was up in my helmet and all I could hear was buzzing through the end of the race.

“It got to the point that I couldn’t tell who was there and probably damn near squeezed him into the wall but that wasn’t intentional. I really need to talk to him about this one because I didn’t mean for that to happen at all.”

RECAP: Josh Berry breaks through at Martinsville in dominant fashion

As it was, Pulliam was able to finish second for the fifth time in his career, in addition to his two wins, with McCarty finishing fourth behind Peters.

All told, the accidental contact aside, a clean but tough race for three of the top champions in Late Model Stock racing.

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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