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Lee Pulliam wins Saturday twinbill

Lee Pulliam wasn’t really sure what he was going to get when he arrived at South Boston Speedway for Saturday night’s twin 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division races.

He and his team had hardly slept, having spent most of the night tearing apart his car, making repairs and putting it back together so he could race at South Boston Speedway.

When Saturday was over, Pulliam and his team knew they could rest easier.

Pulliam swept both of the 75-lap races, running his overall season win total to 10 and his South Boston Speedway total to seven victories in 10 starts.

“It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to get the job done,” Pulliam said after the sweep.

“From how the car was at Caraway Speedway yesterday, I’d have never thought it would be in Victory Lane here tonight.”

Pulliam went to the Asheboro, N.C. track with the intention of competing in a race there. But, things didn’t go well. So, Pulliam and his team packed up early and went back to his Semora, N.C. shop.

“It (the car) was so bad we went back home and cut the (front chassis) clip off to fix it and race here at South Boston Speedway tonight,” Pulliam explained.

“We worked hard last night to get this car back together. My crew has worked incredibly hard in the shop with me, and I’ve got to give them a big thank you.”

Pulliam, the reigning NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion, had everything his way in a flag-to-flag win in the first race. He edged Bruce Anderson of South Boston by 1.856 seconds in a 30-lap dash to the finish that followed the race’s only caution period.

For Anderson, the runner-up finish was his best finish of the season.

“It was a good run for us,” Anderson said.

“We’ve got to get one more spot.”

Anderson said he was glad to see the caution period that gave him one more shot at Pulliam.

“I had absolutely nothing for him,” Anderson said of Pulliam.

“He’s got his act together and they’re doing a great job. Every time I looked into the mirror I could see the whole field there. I was having to play defense. I knew I didn’t have anything for him, and I was trying to save a little bit of my tires for the second race.”

Josh Oakley of Rougemont, N.C., Peyton Sellers of Danville and Dustin Storm of Huntingtown, Md. rounded out the top five finishers in the first race.

Pulliam started fifth in the nightcap after a drawing for an inverted start among the top finishers of the first race. But, he needed only 28 laps to pass Austin Thaxton of Cluster Springs for the lead. Once in front, he held off Sellers, a former South Boston Speedway and NASCAR National Champion, for the win. Pulliam’s margin of victory over Sellers was 1.485 seconds.

“The car was decent if I could get out front,” Pulliam pointed out.

“In traffic it just wouldn’t turn in the center of the corner like I needed it to.”

For Sellers, the runner-up finish was something of a rebound, but it didn’t match his finish in this event of last year when he swept this twin-race event.

“I beat him on this night here a year ago,” Sellers noted.

“We’re not far off, but we need to be a little better. It (the second-place finish) is very respectable. We took off the last two races to try to get our stuff a little better. Philip (former NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion Philip Morris) has been struggling a little bit. We’re all kind of down right now, but everybody is pulling in the same direction.

“We’ve been chipping away at it,” he added.

“It’s good to rebound.” 

Division rookie Bobby McCarty of Summerfield, N.C., Shayne Lockhart of Chester and Thaxton completed the top five finishers in the nightcap.