Special to the Register & Bee
SOUTH BOSTON — Former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam continued his recent domination of South Boston Speedway on Saturday night, winning the 100-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division race that headlined the NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program.
The win was Pulliam’s fourth straight victory and his sixth win of the season at South Boston Speedway.
A restart with four laps to go set up one of the most intense late-race sprints of the season, with Pulliam, of Alton, taking the lead on the last lap and edging defending track champion and former NASCAR national champion Peyton Sellers, of Danville, by a car length or .272-seconds at the finish.
Thomas Scott, of Efland, North Carolina, held the lead heading into the final lap, only to be edged out by Sellers by a few feet and having to settle for third place. Austin Thaxton, of South Boston, and Daniel Silvestri, of Great Falls, rounded out the top-five finishers.
The win marked a great recovery by Pulliam who spun with 15 laps to go in the race after contact from Trey Crews as they battled for the lead on a restart. Pulliam restarted the race from the fifth spot while Crews was penalized by track NASCAR officials and forced to restart the race from the back of the field.
Pulliam quickly made his way to the front of the field, taking advantage of two late caution periods, one on lap 95 and one on lap 97, to position himself for a run at the win.
Scott held the lead on the final restart, only to be shuffled back to third place on the final lap as Pulliam muscled his way into the lead and Sellers followed to capture the runner-up spot.
The race featured five lead changes among three drivers with Pulliam leading the race on three occasions. Scott led 11 of the race’s last 15 laps while trying to secure what would have been his first win of the season.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series standout Jeroen Bleekemulen, of the Netherlands, competed in his first oval track race and his first NASCAR race in Saturday night’s 100-lap race.
Bleekemulen, who was at nearby Virginia International Raceway over the weekend to compete in Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge for Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports, finished 15th after being sidelined after 22 laps. He had posted the 10th-fastest time among 16 drivers in qualifying for the race.
Six caution periods punctuated the 100-lap race.
Daniel Moss, of Danville, and Danny Willis Jr., of South Boston, split wins in Saturday night’s pair of 25-lap Limited Sportsman division races.
Moss started on the pole and scored a flag-to-flag win in the opener, edging Willis by about a car length or .246-second to take the win. The win was the fifth victory of the season for Moss.
Drew Dawson, of Nathalie; Kenny Daniel, of Sutherlin; and Landon Pembelton, of Amelia; completed the top-five finishers.
Willis started third in the nightcap as the top four finishers of the first race were inverted, took the lead from Daniel on the seventh lap and won the race by a 1.446- second margin over Dawson who recorded his best finish of the season. The win was the sixth of the season for Willis who leads the division points chase.
Moss finished third with Pembelton and Daniel completing the top-five finishers.
Nathan Crews, of Long Island, started at the rear of the field, took the lead from Randy Hupp, of Halifax, with nine laps to go and sped to victory in the 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock division race.
The win was the eighth of the season for Crews, who leads the division points chase.
Hupp; Bruce Mayo, of Halifax; Scott Phillips, of Halifax; and Jimmy Wade, of Halifax, rounded out the top-five finishers in the race that saw the lead swap hands three times among four drivers.
Steven Layne, of Nathalie, scored a flag-to-flag win in Saturday night’s 15-lap Budweiser Hornets Division race.
The win was the fourth of the season for the first-year driver.
Josh Dawson, of Halifax, took the runner-up spot with Kevin Currin, of Chase City; Tyler Stanley, of South Boston; and Andrea Ruotolo-Sarnataro rounded out the top-five finishers.
Southern Ground Pounders
Jimmy Rice. of Gibsonville, North Carolina, won the 20-lap race for the regional touring Southern Ground Pounders series and took the Sportsman division win in the process.
Rodney Dye, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, took top honors in the Modified Division.
It will be Championship Night when NASCAR racing returns to South Boston Speedway at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 with the running of the GCR Presents LS Tractor USA NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s racing program.
Twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car division competitors headline the night’s action. Also included on the night’s five-race card are a 50-lap race for the Limited Sportsman division, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock division, and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets division.
Registration and pit gates open at 2 p.m., practice runs from 4 to 5 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and qualifying starts at 6 p.m. The first race gets the green flag at 7 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Learn more at www.southbostonspeedway.com or call (434) 572-4947 or 1-877-440-1540.