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Lee Pulliam continues to lead chase

Can anyone catch Lee Pulliam at South Boston Speedway?

That will be one of the questions racing fans will be looking to be answered Saturday night as NASCAR racing returns to the .4-mile oval with the CenturyLink NASCAR Whelen Late Model 150 racing program.

Pulliam, the defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion, has won five of his seven starts at South Boston Speedway and finished as the runner-up in the two races he did not win.

As a result of his early-season consistency, the Semora, N.C. resident holds an 81-point lead over NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division rookie Bobby McCarty of Summerfield, N.C. entering the 150-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division race that headlines Saturday night’s card.

Former multi-time NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion Philip Morris of Ruckersville sits in third place in the points standings, trailing McCarty by a slim four-point margin.

Another big event on Saturday night’s five-race program, which begins at 7 p.m., is a twin-race event for the drivers and teams of the track’s NASCAR Limited Sportsman Division.

Danny Willis Jr. of Cluster Springs, a three-time winner, continues to rule in the Limited Sportsman Division ranks. Willis holds a 47-point advantage over Garrett Bunch of Front Royal in his quest for the 2013 division championship.

With a bigger car count this season, the Limited Sportsman Division has been very competitive this season. Bunch is six points ahead of third-place Mark Simpson and seven points ahead of fourth-place driver Blake Stallings of Danville. Tommy Peregoy of Red Oak rounds out the top five in the Limited Sportsman Division standings. He is just three points behind Stallings.

The drivers in the Pure Stock Division will go at it in a 30-lap battle Saturday night, a battle that will begin with a new leader in the division points standings.

Halifax resident Rany Hupp is the new division points leader, and he stands six points ahead of a second-place tie between multi-time winner Joe Allred III of Scottsburg and Stuart Crews of Long Island.

The Modified Division drivers will return to action Saturday night. Including Saturday night’s event, the drivers in the Modified Division have only three race dates remaining at South Boston Speedway this season.

That should increase the intensity of the competition among the division’s drivers and teams as they battle it out for the division title.

Tanner Rumburg of Beaverdam holds the lead in the Modified Division standings, sitting eight points ahead of second-place Chris Johnson and nine points ahead of third-place Mike Johnson.

 Pit gates will open Saturday at 1 p.m. and practice for all divisions will be held from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Grandstand gates will open Saturday at 5 p.m. and qualifying time trials to set the starting grids for the night of racing will roll off at 5:30 p.m. The first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.