After one of the most stressful seasons of his career, Lee Pulliam isn’t quite sure what 2015 will hold. The two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion isn’t sure just yet if he’ll chase the title again this year, but then again, chasing the title isn’t something he’s ever actually done.
“You see, people set goals and say they’re going to be the national champion at the end of the year, but that’s something I’ve never done,” Pulliam told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I hope we win lots of races. The national championship is something I don’t worry about as much as us having fast race cars and being able to win races.”
That said, that doesn’t mean Pulliam didn’t want to win the title last season, and that doesn’t mean he isn’t still bothered by the way in which he lost the title to South Carolina racer Anthony Anders.
“It put a bad taste in everybody’s mouth in the Late Model world,” Pulliam said. “When guys like my car owners spend the money that they do to do what they love they want an equal shot for a title. When you feel like you’ve been robbed and you’ve done everything right… it’s okay to get beat, but when you get beat on the same level. When you get beat the way me and Keith Rocco did last year, it’s highly frustrating. And who wants to spend money to play in an unfair system?”
Anders won the NWAAS national championship in a 2014 season full of controversy. Anders beat Pulliam and Rocco, but was accused all year long of bringing cars to each race to start and park, just to get a full field.
Pulliam was clear in saying that he doesn’t blame Anders, and that Anders took advantage of a system that allowed it to happen.
“You can’t blame it on the guy that won,” Pulliam said. “It was the way they used the system and you can’t do anything about it.
“But I really feel NASCAR is going to step up to the plate here and get it fixed this year,” said Pulliam. “They always do a great job in doing that. We were all let down last year with what happened but hopefully they can fix it for the future.”
Pulliam said he’ll run a majority of the races at Virginia short tracks South Boston Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway, but as of now he hasn’t committed to anything beyond that.
And part of the reason for that is because of the brand new CARS Late Model Stock Tour that Pulliam plans on racing with.
“I know we won’t run the whole season with them,” said Pulliam, “but I’m pretty excited about it. I think it has good potential. They seem like they’re trying to do the right thing and pay good purse money. Hopefully if they govern it right it’ll be a success for us.”
Pulliam is also looking to continue down the road of driver development. Last year he provided cars for 16-year-old Dalton Sargeant, Garrett Bunch and G.R. Waldrop to race with and he’ll be doing the same this year.
“Right now we are trying to fill some spots that we’ve got open,” he said. “We’ve got Dalton Sargeant running a few races this year, but right now we’ve got a lot of races open. We are trying to do some deals with some different people for the CARS Tour and stuff. We are open to anybody who would be interested in running out of our shop. We’ve had success the last four or five years out of this shop. I just really hope we can continue to put good cars out for people to drive.”
No matter what Pulliam does in 2015, his goal is to win races and not look too far down the road.
“I always take it one race at a time,” Pulliam said. “I’m very strong in my faith and I’ve found that you can be humbled very quickly and this is a sport that can humble you.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com