Philip Morris Loves Virginia!
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – It was an historic afternoon for Philip Morris after he made a gutsy decision on a late restart.
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.
While he held off Pulliam in the late stages of the race, it was his dive into Turn 1 on the restart on lap 126 that made 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 the turn on the restart to get past Matt Bowling.
“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, Va. 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.