There is not much in the Late Model Stock Car world that Lee Pulliam has not achieved. From winning NASCAR Whelen All American Series National titles to taking down the biggest events at Martinsville Speedway (VA) in the 300 and Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) in the 250, Pulliam’s LMSC resume is as impressive as they get.
But one goal that Pulliam had never set out to conquer was the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway (VA). The event, which has quickly risen to one of the premier Late Model Stock events, if not one of the biggest in the Southeast, drew the Late Model veteran for the first time this past Saturday night.
Pulliam overcame inexperience against the local standouts to work his way back to the front, gain the lead and hang on for a victory after an epic late-race battle with Greg Edwards and Matt Waltz.
“We put on one heck of a show,” said Pulliam. “It was just good hard racing and he (Edwards) pinched me and nudged me a little and I did the same. It took a few laps for my car to come in and that made the final laps really close. It means a lot to win here because this has become such a big race.”
Despite winning the pole, Pulliam was anything but spectacular in the first half. He did lead laps, but slipped to outside the top 10 before working his way back forward.
“I knew what I had to do to make up time,” said Pulliam. “We made some adjustments to make the car better after halfway and it was much better. I really got it working on the top and I chose it for every restart, even when I was the leader.”
Pulliam had a couple of close calls as he swapped the lead with Edwards before he would get it back late on lap 182. After surviving a few restarts, Waltz got to second and Edwards finished third.
“I gave it a try and moved him up a little bit and he did the same to me,” said Edwards. “He was just better on the top tonight. It was a lot of fun and I know it was a good show for the fans.”
Waltz was frustrated after he was spun from the lead after contact with Brenden Queen shortly after halfway. You can hear reaction from both drivers in our 51 Network video recap of the Hampton Heat 200 later this week on Speed 51.com.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Elgin Traylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com