NWAAS: Pulliam Masters Martinsville; Collects Second-Career MDCU 300 Triumph

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, Other Late Models, Southeast 0 Comments

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – By Tim Southers, NASCAR — Sara Davis/NASCAR photo — Lee Pulliam realized a few weeks ago that he didn’t have a chance to win his third straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship, but what he accomplished on Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway might ease a little bit of his frustration at not getting another title.

Pulliam took the lead on the restart of a green-white-checkered finish from Peyton Sellers and claimed his second grandfather clock, winning the MDCU 300 for the second time in four years. Pulliam’s first Martinsville victory came in 2011.

On Sunday’s final restart on Lap 198, Pulliam was able to pull ahead of Sellers and take the lead. On the final lap, Sellers and Sam Yarbrough got together in Turn One. The contact sent Sellers into a spin in front of the field. Anthony Anders, the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, was unable to miss Sellers and was collected as well.

Yarbrough was able to rebound from the contact to finish second with defending event winner Tommy Lemons Jr. followed in third. B. J. Mackey, who started 31st in the 42-car field, finished fourth and Mike Darne completed the top five.

“The last four or five years when I felt I had the winning car I got wrecked or something crazy happened and the two years I won it (the race) I didn’t have the best car,” Pulliam said. “They say the best car never wins and you have to be at the right place at the right time.”

For his take on the last-lap accident, Yarbrough felt it was just a product of hard racing between competitors going after the prestigious win.

“Coming in to Turn 1 I thought I had position (on Sellers) and you saw what happened, but we come out the other side in pretty good position,” Yarbrough said. “When went in to the turn I felt I had position and I think it was just one of those racing deals.”

The first half of the race featured three changes among four drivers with 15-year old Kaz Grala leading 52 laps in the segment.

After the halfway break, Darne jumped to the lead and held it three times in the second half of the race before Sellers took the lead for the final time on Lap 181 where he stayed until the final restart of the race.

Matt Bowling, Matt Waltz, Davin Scites, Kyle Dudley and Brayton Haws completed the top 10.

Sellers was credited with a 12th-place finish, which helped him secure the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown challenge sponsored by South Boston, Langley and Martinsville Speedways.

The race was slowed 10 times by caution with two red flags given to the field for cleanup of multicar accidents.

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