MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 21, 2012) – Philip Morris held off Lee Pulliam in a final six-lap sprint to the finish to win the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, but it was a gutsy decision on a late restart that proved to be the difference in the race for the four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.
Morris took the high line and ran deep into Turn 1 on a restart on Lap 126 to get past race leader Matt Bowling. Morris started on the outside and drove deep into the corner to get past Bowling and he remained out front the rest of the afternoon.
For Morris, he was just glad the move worked.
“I didn’t think the car would go through the turn,” said Morris. “I should have wrecked but I didn’t and I got such a good run in to the Turn but I didn’t want to stay up there up high.”
Pulliam held on for second, B.J. Mackey was third with Ryan Wilson and Brandon Butler fourth and fifth, respectively.
Finishing sixth through 10th were C.E. Falk, Matt Bowling, Kris Bowen, Justin Boston and Adam Long.
With the victory, Morris became the first three-time winner of the annual late model stock race at the speedway and it was a great end to a frustrating season for the Ruckersville driver.
“You know it was really frustrating to find out just before the season began that I would not have a ride, but I just knew that meant bigger things were ahead for us,” Morris said. “We tested and ran as much as we could to get ready for this race.”
Pulliam, the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, finished one position short in his attempt to become the first repeat winner of the race.
“We had a really good car today and I tried to save my car in the first half of the race, but we weren’t quite where we needed to be in our set up,’ Pulliam said. “The car was a lot better in the second half but we just couldn’t get started on the restarts and I could get past him on the final run to the finish.”
The race was slowed 11 times by caution. A total of 23 cars out of the 42-car field finished the race.
Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway this weekend with the TUMS Fast Relief 500 week. Qualifying is set for Friday, the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is Saturday and the TUMS Fast Relief 500 is Sunday.
Tickets for all events are available and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at martinsvillespeedway.com.
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