It is no surprise that Lee Pulliam leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National points standings after the first round of points were released on Tuesday. Pulliam is a three-time national champion and he could be on his way to a fourth this year.
The only real surprise is that all eight of his wins have come outside his home state of Virginia. Pulliam has seven wins at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) and another at Southern National (NC). The multi-time Virginia state champion has gotten his work done on the road. His eight wins is tied for the most nationally with Kres VanDyke who is sixth in points.
With conflicting dates at Motor Mile and South Boston’s new asphalt, the state title looks to be open for the state of Virginia, for now. A future win would only fuel Pulliam's national title hopes and possibly give him two state crowns.
Rookie Mitch Keeter is second in points with seven wins in 16 starts. The Dirt Modified driver has done his damage at the Humboldt Speedway (KS) with six wins. He’s 120 points behind, but he has two tracks to chase points at with the high-banks of Salina being the other.
A model of consistency has led Tyler Hughes to third in the points early on. In 19 starts he has four wins and 12 top five finishes. Hughes has already chased points at four different venues with three wins at Dominion Raceway (VA) and another at Southern National (NC).
Trevor Huddleston sits in the mix again, but he’s already pocketed seven wins this year to his total of 11 a year ago. He’s 32 points out of second and he’s already hit three tracks and he’ll look for more out in California this summer.
Fifth finds another rookie in Mason Diaz who has four wins and 18 top 10 runs in 20 starts. His 20 starts is the most of any driver in the top 10. He’s over 200 points out of the lead, but there is still time to chase points as it’s only June.
Other Notables: Ryan Millington is batting .500 at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) with seven wins in 14 starts. Former North Carolina State champion Burt Myers sits 13th with three wins at Bowman Gray. Former national title winners Peyton Sellers, Philip Morris and Keith Rocco are all inside the top 35 with eight wins among them.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com