Lemons Jr., Pulliam Take Opening Day Wins

The first day of March also meant the first day of the 2014 Southern National Motorsports Park racing season.  While practice and qualifying saw overcast skies and cooler temperatures, the clouds dissipated just in time for a sunny and warm afternoon in Lucama.

In the first of two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock races, Justin Snow was the fast qualifier and led early.  It wasn’t until a mid-race caution came out that Tommy Lemons Jr. made a move.  Lemons and Snow battled side-by-side for ten laps, with Lemons leading the bulk of the laps by a nose.  Eventually Lemons would succumb to the Danville, VA driver.

The 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series North Carolina champion, Deac MCaskill, looked to improve on his third-place starting position.  McCaskill fought with Lee Pulliam hard, with both drivers taking shots at one another.  On a Lap 46 restart, McCaskill and Pulliam made contact again, this time sending Pulliam around.  Michael Hardin found himself with nowhere to go, impacting Pulliam’s passenger-side door hard, leaving the Semora, NC driver out of the remainder of the race.

Snow would pull away from Lemons, seemingly winning the first 75 lap event.  Snow’s car, however, failed post-race tech, giving Lemons the victory.   McCaskill finished second, while Myatt Snider, Dillon Bassett and Bradley McCaskill rounded out the top five.

The second Late Model race was to feature an eight-car invert, placing Ricky Jones on the pole.  Jones, though, came on to pit road for service before the green flag and was subsequently moved to the rear of the field.  That, coupled with engine trouble for Bradley McCaskill, placed Myatt Snider on the pole.  The Charlotte, NC driver led the first 20 laps, holding off charge after charge from Brandon Brown.  Brown eventually made his way past Snider, holding onto the lead until Lap 40.

While that racing was taking place up front, Lee Pulliam was meticulously charging through the field in his battered Chevrolet.  Starting 21st, Pulliam made his way to the front using both on-track passes and the cone restart to get to the front.  On lap 40, Pulliam made the pass for the lead and wouldn’t look back.  Though some slower traffic held up Pulliam, Tommy Lemons Jr. couldn’t make a move, and finished second.  Payton Ryan started back in the field after an early exit to the first race and worked his way up to a third place finish.  Ryan, however, failed post-race tech and was disqualified.  Brown, in turn, was credited with third, while Dillon Bassett and Brenden Queen finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“It just shows my team can overcome anything.  After the wreck they got right to work, the toe was knocked out, it was all bent up, and they gave me a car like-new,” Pulliam said.  The two-time national champion will run a full K&N East Series schedule, racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on off weeks.

The 2013 champion, Robert Arch, picked up right where he left off, winning from the pole in the 30 lap Charger division event.  Arch, who had flown in from New Hampshire earlier in the day, had all of five practice laps in his Toyota Camry before running in Saturday’s event.  That was enough to keep the field behind for the length of the race, as Arch cruised to victory.  Tom Sauls and Wayne Goss were credited with second and third, while Paul Williamson and Jeff Rogers rounded out the top five.

In UCARs, James Stroud took the lead 10 laps into the 25 lap event after leader Duane Walker found himself hung up behind slower traffic.   Walker could never recover and Stroud took the win, matching his 2013 win total at SNMP.  Lynn Waller battled mechanical issues but managed to finish third.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to the high banks of Southern National Motorsports Park on March 15 for 150 laps of high-speed action.  The Saturday race has a special 5:00 PM start time, and tickets are $12 for adults (16+), $10 for seniors and military (with valid ID), $6 for kids (6-15) and free for children 5 and under.  For more information, contact the track office at (919) 284-1114 or surf to www.snmpark.com.

Results:

Late Model Stock (Race 1) - 75 laps

1. 27 - Tommy Lemons Jr.
2. 08 - Deac McCaskill
3. 2 - Myatt Snider
4. 44 - Dillon Bassett
5. 7 - Bradley McCaskill
6. 14 - Mike Darne
7. 38 - Ricky Jones
8. 68 - Brandon Brown
9. 3 - Adam Long
10. 28 - Sherman Davis Jr.
11. 01 - GR Waldrop
12. 50 - Garrett Bunch
13. 03 - Brenden Queen
14. 12 - Ryan Wilson
15. 51 - Ray Terczak
16. 29 - Melvin Langley
17. 21 - Dalton Sargant
18. 06 - Terry Dease
19. 5 - Lee Pulliam
20. 5g - Bobby Gower
21. 7b - Jonathan Cash
22. 7w - Michael Hardin
23. 42 - Craig Stallard
24. 23 - Jonathan Findley
DQ. 0 - Justin Snow
DQ. 23 - Payton Ryan

Late Model Stock (Race 2) - 75 laps

1. 5 - Lee Pulliam
2. 27 - Tommy Lemons Jr.
3. 68 - Brandon Brown
4. 44 - Dillon Bassett
5. 03 - Brenden Queen
6. 42 - Craig Stallard
7. 51 - Ray Terczak
8. 12 - Ryan Wilson
9. 7b - Justin Snow
10. 14 - Mike Darne
11. 21 - Dalton Sargant
12. 50 - Garrett Bunch
13. 38 - Ricky Jones
14. 06 - Terry Dease
15. 28 - Sherman Davis Jr.
16. 29 - Melvin Langley
17. 01 - GR Waldrop
18. 08 - Deac McCaskill
19. 2 - Myatt Snider
20. 5g - Bobby Gower
21. 3 - Adam Long
DNS 7 - Bradley Mcaskill
DNS 7w - Michael Hardin
DNS 23 - Jonathan Findley
DQ. 0 - Justin Snow
DQ. 23 - Payton Ryan

Charger - 30 laps

1. 16 - Robert Arch
2. 45 - Tom Sauls
3. 31 - Wayne Goss
4. 29 - Paul Williamson
5. 74 - Jeff Rogers
6. 11 - Bruce Bizzel
7. 06 - Alton Coombs
8. 77 - Nicholas Fulgham
9. 57 - Eddie Mooring
DQ 61 - Michael O'Brien
DQ 55 - Gerald Benton

UCAR - 25 laps

1. 4 - James Stroud
2. 48 - Duane Walker
3. 5 - Lynn Waller
4. 24 - Thomas Bradner
5. 28 - Tyler Horne
6. 6 - Brian Obiedzenzski
7. 08 - Joseph Pittman
8. 14b - David Wiggins
9. 99r - Mickey Conner
10. 60 - Lee Horner
11. 89 - John Ordiway
12. 01 - Chad Scott
13. 03 - Greg Wood
14. 31 - Roger Peeden
15. 99 - Travis Miller
16. 12 - Savannah Beasley

 

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