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The pair sit 1-2 in the Whelen All-American Series standings.
Getty Images | File 2011
Lee Pulliam, who won the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 in Martinsville in 2011, has won 22 races in 41 starts this season.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
The road to NASCAR’s Whelen All-American Series crown runs through Radford’s Motor Mile Speedway tonight.
On a night that could go a long way toward deciding the national title, all eyes will be focused on a pair of North Carolina drivers who currently are 1-2 in the standings heading into the New River Bank Twin 125s.
Defending national champion Lee Pulliam, of Semora, N.C., leads Raleigh’s Deac McCaskill by 26 points heading into the card that starts at 8 p.m.
After tonight, Pulliam and McCaskill will go head-to-head in Motor Mile’s $10,000 to win feature Sept. 7; two races at South Boston Speedway, the first of which comes Saturday; and four races at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.
“I think there’s an equal amount of pressure on both of us,’’ said Pulliam, who has won 22 races in 41 starts this season. “[McCaskill] is gunning for his first one; he’s never been able to accomplish that in his Late Model career. You just never know if you’re going to get another opportunity to do that again.
“Then I think we have a lot of pressure as being the defending champion. Winning a lot of races this year … we don’t want to let it slip away because it’s far from over.”
McCaskill, who hadn’t raced at Motor Mile until this season, is playing the underdog role to the hilt.
“I feel like this is David vs. Goliath,” said McCaskill, who has won 14 races in 35 starts this season. “Not taking anything away from Lee Pullliam, he’s a heck of a race car driver.
“But that’s what he does all day; he works on cars and keeps them up. That’s how he makes his living. I’m just not able to do that. This is not a full-time gig. It’s something we do for fun because we love racing.
“I don’t have any pressure on me trying to go after this national title. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. We’re going after it, but I’m not going to be disappointed if we don’t win it.”
Pulliam, who already has sewed up a second straight South Boston crown, has a shot to repeat as Motor Mile’s champion. He trails Danville’s Peyton Sellers by 14 points.
Meanwhile, Natural Bridge Speedway will be in action tonight with regular points races and a U-Car event. Hot laps start at 7:15 p.m.
Area leadfoots will continue to work Sunday at Franklin County Speedway. The Labor Day Classic will feature twin 35-lap LMS races, a $500 to win Any Car race, a kid’s Mini-Cup race, plus action in all regular divisions. Fireworks top off an evening that starts with the first green flag at 6 p.m.
LMS competitors Kyle Dudley (Roanoke) and Steve Dalton (Hillsville) will be under watchful eyes after they were involved in multiple incidents last Saturday at the Callaway track.
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