04/08/19

ROUGEMONT, NC (April 8, 2019) - Adding to his legendary status once again, Lee Pulliam penned another chapter in the history books on Sunday afternoon after winning the $30,000 CARS Tour Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway, the richest race in the history of late model stock racing.

Pulliam's journey to greatness was no easy feat as dozens of challengers lined up for their chance at glory, beginning during Saturday's qualification process at the .375-mile high-banked oval. Five drivers locked themselves into the field through time trials including polesitter Taylor Gray, Brandon Pierce, Josh Berry, Pulliam and Corey Heim.



The remaining competitors were forced to run a heat race to determine their starting positions, and each heat, while entertaining, was relatively clean with no major incidents. Layne Riggs ran away with heat one to claim the sixth starting position while Jacob Heafner surprised many by laying claim to heat two. OCS veteran Timothy Peters dominated his heat, winning the third qualifying race of the evening. Nine additional drivers transferred through the last chance race, also an event with minimal incidents which was won by Myatt Snider.



After claiming the Hedgecock Racing Pole Position, Taylor Gray led the 29-car field to green on Sunday afternoon in front of a packed house. The DGR-Crosley racer, and most recent winner on the tour, led the opening half of the race until Josh Berry rocketed around the outside of Gray 94 laps into the event and took the lead for the first time in the race.



A caution flag on lap 151 slowed the field with Berry ahead and almost all teams chose to take their two change tires during the stoppage. Utilizing a controlled caution format, teams re-entered the race in the same order they came down pit road behind those who elected not to stop for service.



Trevor Ward led the field to the green flag with Adam Lemke alongside. Lemke failed to fire when everyone else mashed the throttle, creating a bottleneck and damaging the cars of Bobby McCarty and Corey Heim badly enough where Heim soon retired. Soon after the next restart, however, Timothy Peters found his way around Ward for the race lead on lap 153 and galloped away from the pack.



A caution for Jacob Heafner and Carson Kvapil's accident on lap 119 set the stage for a legendary race to the finish. Josh Berry, Timothy Peters and Lee Pulliam diced it up for several laps before contact by Pulliam and Peters opened the door for the No. 5 Chevrolet to take the lead for the first time on lap 122. Josh Berry quickly disposed of Peters and began to chase down Pulliam for the lead.



Peters' race ended on lap 137 when a cut right front tire sent his car careening straight into the turn one wall. With 13 laps remaining, Berry and Pulliam restarted side by side on the front row and nearly everyone was on their feet for the final 13 lap shootout to the finish.



Pulliam chose the outside lane on the restart and quickly felt Josh Berry underneath of him and leaning on his car in an attempt to take the lead. The two swapped the lead back and forth multiple times in a five lap span before Pulliam ultimately moved Berry up the hill in turn four and ran away from the pack. Behind him, Berry, Taylor Gray, Brandon Pierce and Adam Lemke fought for second, allowing Pulliam to extend his lead and ultimately claim the checkered flag by 1.418 seconds. Gray won the battle for second with Lemke, Berry and Pierce rounding out the top five.



"His messed up when he pissed me off and nearly ran me in the wall two or three times," Pulliam said emphatically in Edelbrock Victory Lane as he began to fight back tears. "It was a hell of a show, hard racing right there. I figured once he cleared me, I was going to give it right back to him. You know, you ain't going to push this 5 car around or it's going to push back. It was an awesome effort by all the guys, really a home track for me. I went to school 15 miles down the road, so a lot of family and friends and this is big for me. To put it in victory lane here at Orange County, words just can't describe it.



"Man, we're getting close to 200 wins in this stuff, and it's pretty special," he continued. "The Lord's blessed me with a great business and I've got great drivers. Me, Corey and Brandon all ran in the top five the whole race. We've got a good thing going with LPP, and I'm proud of everyone's effort at the shop. This is a big statement we've made here today."



The CARS Late Model Stock Tour is in action again May 3 at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, NC, for the Race At Ace 125 featuring the same drivers who packed the facility's grandstands at Orange County in addition to other local divisions.



For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at CARSRacingTour.com, or follow them on Facebook (@CARSTour), Twitter (@CARSTour), Instagram (@cars_tour), and Snapchat (@carstour). The series also has its own YouTube channel, Roku channel (available through its TV website), and a new Amazon FireTV app coming soon.





THE FINISH


CARS Late Model Stock Tour                


Old North State Nationals presented by Visit Orange County & Chapel Hill, NC                


Orange County Speedway - April 7, 2019                


                


POS    NUM    DRIVER    LAPS    REASON OUT


1.    5    Lee Pulliam    200    


2.    17    Taylor Gray    200    


3.    98    Adam Lemke    200    


4.    88    Josh Berry    200    


5.    2    Brandon Pierce    200    


6.    25    Zack St. Onge    200    


7.    77    Trevor Ward    200    


8.    81    Mini Tyrrell    200    


9.    07    Bradley McCaskill    200    


10.    63    Tyler Matthews    200    


11.    17P    Stacy Puryear    200    


12.    01    Camden Gullie    200    


13.    22    Bobby McCarty    200    


14.    1D    Terry Dease    200    


15.    2S    Myatt Snider    195    


16.    12    Timothy Peters    187    Accident


17.    78    Corey Heim    155    Accident


18.    57    Justin Carroll    149    Mechanical


19.    27    Tommy Lemons, Jr.    111    Mechanical


20.    95    Jacob Heafner    101    Accident


21.    1M    Craig Moore    101    Accident


22.    35    Carson Kvapil    101    Accident


23.    08    Deac McCaskill    87    Engine


24.    2Y    Joshua Yeoman    84    Mechanical


25.    99    Layne Riggs    77    Accident


26.    18    Ty Gibbs    77    Accident


27.    4C    Mike Chambers    60    Mechanical


28.    23    Terry Brooks, Jr.    26    Accident


29.    74    Ronald Hill    7    Oil Leak



Failed to qualify: Jessica Cann, Jonathan Findley, Cameron Bowen, R.D. Smith, Josh Oakley, Leland Honeyman, Ryan Gray, Jason York, Jeremy Burns, Tracey Chambers


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