Jared Fryar Running Late Model Double Duty This Weekend
Jul 1, 2022
For the better part of a decade, the South Boston 200 felt like a rerun every Independence Day weekend.
Lee Pulliam in Victory Lane, yada yada yada.
The redundancy of six straight victories from 2011-16 overshadowed the dominance and it’s something that wasn’t easily appreciated in the moment, even by the four-time NASCAR Weekly Series champion himself, as it turns out.
The now 34-year-old returns to South Boston Speedway this weekend entirely as the operator of Lee Pulliam Performance and the two-car effort spotlighted by Corey Heim and Brandon Pierce. The organization hasn’t won a race since July 2020 at Hickory Motor Speedway in CARS Tour competition.
At his peak, Pulliam was winning virtually every weekend across the Mid-Atlantic, so he is aware of how long it has been.
"Winning this race would be huge right now," Pulliam said. "It's the biggest dry spell of my career not getting to Victory Lane. We've had good race cars. We led the first 50 laps at Greenville Pickens with Corey over Berry. We've been close but just couldn't capitalize.
"For the company, it would mean a lot, because let me tell you, I've got the best guys in the sport. They have really worked their butts off. We have two really nice race cars here. I can't describe how gratifying it would be, but I hope I can tell you come tomorrow night."
The national championships and wins at both Martinsville and the Old North State Nationals are major accomplishments but winning at South Boston Speedway hits different for Pulliam. A section of the frontstretch grandstands are now named in his honor and it’s actually where he watched his first races as a kid.
"This race means a heck of a lot to LPP," Pulliam said. "Our shop is 20 minutes down the road. This place is where my love of the sport was born. I set up with my mom and dad where they named the grandstands for me, pretty much every Saturday night. So many special memories before I even started racing here.
"I got to watch David Blankenship, Wayne Patterson and some really really great race car drivers here. Barry Beggarly. As a kid, I wanted to be like those guys so to have this kind of success here means a lot. This weekend, I think we have two cars that will represent what we feel is our home field. It’s definitely a special weekend."
It’s a legacy Corey Heim is looking forward to carrying on Saturday night.
"There is no following up Lee here," Heim said. "He's probably the greatest driver to get around this place. I've had my fair share of success here. We've won a CARS Tour race (2018) here.
"We're over four years with Lee Pulliam Performance since I ran my first race with them here and I'm really looking forward to this."
Meanwhile, Brandon Pierce is having a solid CARS Tour season sitting fifth in the standings with an 11.4 average finish.
The race begins the Virginia Triple Crown that also includes the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. While a CARS Tour championship and NASCAR national wins and championships are goals, Pulliam places a big premium on these three races.
Pulliam is a two-time Triple Crown champion as a driver.
"Every race is a big deal and we work hard to get back to Victory Lane every weekend, but these are home races and this place, especially, means a lot and it would be a really big deal for all of us."