Pulliam Earns Second NASCAR Weekly Title
Pulliam’s wins came at four tracks in two states: South Boston (Va.) Speedway (16), Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., (8), Southern National Speedway in Kenly, N.C., (2), and Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. (1).
McCaskill, 35, of Raleigh, N.C., nearly matched Pulliam. On July 2, the two had identical points with Pulliam holding onto the overall lead with more wins. McCaskill, who was eighth in the nation last year, finished with 18 wins, 31 top fives and 38 top 10s.
“Being able to challenge Lee for the point lead was thrilling,” McCaskill said “He’s just a little more consistent week in and week out. He’s so good at South Boston and Motor Mile. We beat him once at both of them and those wins were a pretty big deal for us. That’s where we need to improve if we’re going to challenge him in points.
“This is a season I’ll never forget. I’m really happy. I’m not disappointed with second place. Right now we’re looking forward to going to the banquet in Charlotte and celebrating with my family and our entire team.”
Rocco continued his ironman-style consistency in the series this year. He won a hard-fight battle with Ryan Preece for the third and final podium position in a match-up of asphalt modified drivers. The 28-year-old from Wallingford, Conn., finished in the top three of national points for the fifth consecutive year and has finished no worse than fourth over the last seven years.
“It just shows how hard this team works,” Rocco said. “Making it to the podium is a respectable finish.”
Rocco matched his 2012 win total of 14 and won his sixth consecutive Connecticut championship. He recorded 30 top fives and 39 top 10s in 48 starts at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway and Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl. He also won his fourth Sunoco Modified Division championship at Thompson.
“We struggled at Stafford all year,” Rocco said. “I won once, and we usually get six to 10 wins a year there. We just couldn’t get the chassis to work at Stafford. It was absolutely unbelievable.”
Preece, 22 of Berlin, Conn., placed fourth in series points racing at Thompson, Stafford and Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. Preece leads the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour point race with three races remaining on the 2013 schedule. Rounding out the top-five in points is dirt modified driver Craig VonDohren who races at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.
VonDohren, of Oley, Pa, is a first-time state champion and won his seventh Grandview title this year. He is the highest-ranked driver in national points who competes at a single track.
Grandview’s Duane Howard placed sixth in the final standings followed by Tommy Lemons Jr. (Caraway, Southern National, South Boston and Motor Mile). C.E. Falk III placed eighth in points and won his fourth Late Model Division title at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. He also competed occasionally at South Boston this year. Chad Finchum placed ninth in national points. He won his first track and state championships racing at Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway. He also made a few starts at Motor Mile. Completing the top-10 is 2005 national champion Peyton Sellers, who raced at South Boston, Southern National, Motor Mile and Langley.