With a combined seven Whelen All-American Series National Championships, five combined victories in NASCAR’s most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race and countless track championships and feature wins, Lee Pulliam and Philip Morris seemingly have nothing left to prove in the Late Model Stock Car ranks.
However, both drivers will be in the field for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 on October 16 at Martinsville Speedway.
“I think I always have something to prove,” Pulliam said. “I want to win more than anybody else. It’s a never ending deal as a racer. Once you’re in a sport you want to achieve the best that you can be and for me it’s all about setting goals and marks and trying to acquire them.”
The field regularly includes more than 80 of the best Late Model Stock Cars from the Southeast. That’s what keeps Morris and Pulliam motivated.
“You get the competition from all over,” Morris said. “There’s a lot of attention that’s put on Martinsville, especially for the young guys coming up and even some Cup teams that come back for it.
“It’s great to be able to go and shine against that bunch, because, if you do, you know you’re the best of the best.”
“In a driver’s lifetime he only gets so many chances to win there, so you want to make sure you do anything you can to prevent any type of failure,”
Pulliam said. “This is a big deal. It’s our Daytona 500 and we only get to do it one time a year.
“We put a lot of preparation in no matter where, but Martinsville you get to do it one time a year. We get one shot to bring a trophy home, and then you have to wait a whole year to try again, which seems like forever.”
For Pulliam, the motivation comes from not letting the sport pass him by.
“This sport constantly evolves,” Pulliam said. “It’s different rule packages, cars, motor combinations. Just to stay on top of it is a lot of hard work. I think that’s what makes it such an adrenaline rush.”
And Morris, well it’s just a love of the game.
“I guess I’m a glutton for punishment,” Morris said. “I love racing.”
The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 pays $25,000 to win.
The day starts with three 25 lap heat races and a 25 lap “last chance race” to set the field, followed by the 200 lap feature.
Last year Tommy Lemons Jr. held off a furious charge from Timothy Peters on the final lap to win his second grandfather clock trophy.
General Admission grandstand seating is $30 for adults and $5 for youth 12-and-under.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
-Martinsville Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com