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Lee Pulliam chasing big wins, fourth crown and the HOF

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Lee Pulliam went on a winning spree over the weekend in pursuit of a fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship.

Leading California driver Trevor Huddleston by a single championship point, the 29-year-old traversed the region, winning three times in two states over a span of four days. He began the weekend at Dominion Raceway in Virginia and was beset by a flat tire and a poor finish.

Then he made his way south to Anderson Motor Speedway in South Carolina. There, he split a pair of 50-lap twins with David Roberts. Next up was his 2017 home track of Myrtle Beach Speedway where he picked up his 15th victory of the year and his first track championship at the historic South Carolina venue.

He capped off the weekend by splitting a pair of twin-40s at Southern National Motorsports Park with Jonathan Findley.

Again, this was all in pursuit of wins at NASCAR home tracks with full fields in the hopes that he could outpoint Huddleston of Kern County, Tucson and Irwindale. In short, it was a productive weekend.

“I’m just trying to chase Larry Phillips and Philip Morris,” Pulliam said. “They are the only two people ahead of me on the all-time list and hopefully they’re all of Famers with their wins and accomplishments.”

READ MORE: Todd Gilliland chasing two NASCAR championships in one season

NASCAR established the Weekly Racing Series back in 1982 to provide a system that would establish a national champion between every sanctioned track in North America. The system takes every track’s Division I division and formulates a top-500 ranking based on wins, starting position, top-5s and top-10s.

Since its debut, the format has produced 26 national champions and only three have done so more than once — Pulliam (3,) Morris (4) and Phillips (5.)

Pulliam claims he isn’t too worried about his legacy or his own Hall of Fame credentials but he’ll lay out his case regardless when asked about it.

“I don’t know if I am,” Pulliam said. “I’ll leave that to you guys to figure out. We’ve been forunate to win so many titles. We’ve won state championships and track championships. We have two more this year in South Carolina and Myrtle Beach. Three States and three national championships. All the big races you can win pretty much.

“All you can do is all you can do. I’ve had a good career and that’s true even if I don’t win another race.”

The North Carolinian is also a two-time winner of the Martinsville 300. Should he win a third next Saturday night, he would break the two-win tie he shares with Tommy Lemons Jr.

“It’s no joke going after national championships or putting the time in you need to win these big races,” Pulliam said. “It’s a lot of prestige. There’s nothing cooler than to set or beat records when you think about how good some of these guys are.”

Martinsville winners include Mark Martin, Mike Skinner, Timothy Peters, Dennis Setzer and Morris.

Good company indeed.

READ MORE: Dale Jr., Matt DiBenedetto reflect on Martinsville 300 experience 

As for the national championship, the chase for it ends this weekend. It remains to be seen how many races both contenders run or where they would run them. But Pulliam has clearly marked it as his primary goal this season.

From there, he would then shift his focus onto Martinsville, especially with the annual open test coming up on Thursday night.

“My mentality is always the next goal, whatever that is,” Pulliam said. “It would be really cool to tie Philip with four this year because he’s one of the best to ever suit up. I really hope we can get that that done this year. If not, I have a lot of years left driving.

“This is just cool, you know. You look at the history and only three guys have won more than one. It’s a pretty special group to be a part of. I’m just proud of it.”

About Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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