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Morris breaks his own record at SBS

Philip Morris has eclipsed another South Boston Speedway record and strengthened his bid for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship in the process.

Morris swept the twin 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division races that headlined Saturday night’s American National Bank Presents Charles Anderson Lawn Care Night Twin 75s racing program at South Boston Speedway.

With the pair of wins, Morris now has a single-season South Boston Speedway Late Model Stock Car Division record 16 wins, eclipsing the mark of 15 wins that Morris set while winning the South Boston Speedway championship in 1998.

In addition, Morris now has 50 career NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division race wins at South Boston Speedway, the most of any driver.

“It’s going to take awhile to sink in,” Morris said in the wake of his sweep.

“I’m just happy to get to win. Every time I come into Victory Lane at South Boston Speedway. I’m pinching myself because it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t get there.”

Morris entered the night with a massive 146-point lead in the chase for the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car Division title. While the wins enabled Morris to pad his lead, it’s not the South Boston Speedway title that has Morris’ focus.

The three-time former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion is in the midst of an intense battle for the national championship. He entered Saturday night’s twinbill trailing national leader Keith Rocco by 39 points and second-place driver Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C. by 14 points.

Morris’ pair of wins is a big boost to his title effort. Not only did Morris win the two races, Pulliam was unable to score a victory, having to settle for a third-place finish behind Morris and runner-up Bruce Anderson of South Boston in the opening race and a runner-up finish to Morris in the nightcap.

“It’s been about the national championship for a long time,” Morris said.

“It’s been that way for H.C. Sellers and all of the guys at Sellers Racing since halfway through the year.

“I really wish we had 16 wins with a full car count because all we would need is two more (full car count wins) to make a perfect season. We’ve still got a lot of races left. We’ve got seven more events. We can still make it a perfect season. I think we’re right where we’re supposed to be.”

While Pulliam was shut out of Victory Lane Saturday night, he didn’t see the night as one that would damage his bid for the national championship.

“Philip would have won both races if I hadn’t been here, and he would have had a full car count both races,” Pulliam pointed out.

“I either could have sat at home and watch him win or come down here and try to beat him. We didn’t have anything to lose by coming here and trying. We gave it our best and came out of here with a second and third.”

A driver’s best 18 results through September 18 are counted toward their state and national points totals. Under the points system, if 20 or more cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points.

Entering this weekend’s action, 10 of Rocco’s wins have provided the maximum number of points. Morris now has 10 wins with the maximum number of points. Pulliam has six wins providing the maximum number of points.

Morris battled hard for his wins, having to fend off a strong bid from Anderson, Pulliam and fourth-place finisher Peyton Sellers of Danville in the first race, which saw two lead changes among Morris and Anderson.

The nightcap was just as challenging as Morris edged Pulliam by .491 second in a battle that saw the lead change hands six times among Morris, Anderson and Pulliam.

“I ran the car awfully hard, as hard as I’ve run it all year to keep it out front.” Morris pointed out.

“I was a little worried (in the second race). I used a lot of tire up in the first race, but Bruce (Anderson) was doing such a good job. There was nothing I could do except let him go and try to run my race and let my car settle down.”

While Anderson had to settle for a fifth-place finish in the nightcap after having posted a runner-up finish in the first race, it was still a good night as he had led twice and had been among the frontrunners all night.

“All in all, to get a second-place finish and a fifth-place finish, it’s a real big night for us,” Anderson said.

“We led a bunch of laps and got race hard with Philip and Peyton and Lee. Those three are the best in the business in my eyes. Peyton Sellers is my hero, Lee is my old rival and Philip Morris just wins everywhere. It was a pretty cool night.”

1.    Philip Morris    75
2.    Bruce Anderson    75
3.    Lee Pulliam    75
4.    Peyton Sellers    75
5.    Kyle Waltz    75
6.    Matt McCall    75
7.    Ronald Hill    75
8.    Natalie Sather    75
9.    Matt Bowling    75
10.    Michael Hardin    75
11.    Sam Hunt    75
12.    Tommy Peregoy    75
13.    Dennis Holdren    75
14.    Julia Landauer    74
15.    Brian Creasy    73
16.     Jonathan Smith    73
17.    Bobby Cash    73
18.    Terry Dease    41
19.    Matt Waltz    39
20.    Mike Darne    30   
21.    Barry Beggarly    19
22.    Joey Throckmorton    3   
23.    Drew Holdren    3
24.    Brian Rundstrom    1
AVG. SPEED: 66.952 MPH
LAP LEADERS: Philip Morris 1-22; Bruce Anderson 23-26; Philip Morris 27-75
POLE WINNER: Philip Morris
TIME: 15.783 Sec.
SPEED: 91.237 MPH

1.    Philip Morris    75
2.    Lee Pulliam    75
3.    Peyton Sellers    75
4.    Dennis Holdren    75
5.    Bruce Anderson    75
6.    Kyle Waltz    75
7.    Matt Waltz    75
8.    Barry Beggarly    75
9.    Matt McCall    75
10.    Michael Hardin    75
11.    Ronald Hill    75
12.    Mike Darne    75
13.    Sam Hunt    74
14.    Matt Bowling    74
15.    Julia Landauer    74
16.     Bobby Cash    73
17.    Tommy Peregoy    73
18.    Jonathan Smith    73
19.    Brian Creasy    50
20.    Natalie Sather    39
21.    Drew Holdren    14
22.    Terry Dease    6
23.    Joey Throckmorton    4
24.    Brian Rundstrom    2
AVG. SPEED: 43.325 MPH
LAP LEADERS: Philip Morris 1; Bruce Anderson 2-8; Philip Morris 9-39; Lee Pulliam 40-44; Philip Morris 45; Lee Pulliam 46-48; Philip Morris 49-75