Lee Pulliam got the pair of wins, but it was Philip Morris who made the biggest move.
Pulliam swept the Star Country Twin 100s at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., this past weekend to give him 10 asphalt Late Model wins. Morris, who has 11 wins, finished second in the first feature to take over the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points lead.
Morris has 599 points to edge past Connecticut’s Keith Rocco.
Rocco has 590 points after a win in the asphalt Modified division at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl. Pulliam is third overall with 582 points.
“It was a really big weekend for us,” said Pulliam, “especially with Philip there.
“It definitely boosted our confidence. I have a lot of respect for him, so it feels really good to beat him. He’s been there, done it. When you beat the best, it makes you better, and he’s definitely shown he’s one of the best short-track drivers in America.”
Motor Mile’s twin features included five drivers who are in the top 10 in national points, including NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Tennessee points leader Nate Monteith.
Pulliam and Morris will go head-to-head again Friday back on Morris’ new home turf as South Boston (Va.) Speedway hosts the FindItHere.com 200.
Morris, from Ruckersville, Va., is a seven-time track champion at Motor Mile and three-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion. He’s the points leader at South Boston, where he is concentrating his racing schedule this season.
Pulliam, of Semora, N.C., leads the points standings at Motor Mile. He finished second to Deac McCaskill at the extra-distance South Boston race last season.
“I really want that race really bad,” Pulliam said. “We ended up letting it slip away last year when I thought I had the car to beat.”
Both Morris and Pulliam have 14 top fives and 15 top 10s in 17 starts.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 18 are counted toward their state and national points totals, and the champions are decided on overall points total.
Rocco, the defending national champion from Wallingford, Conn., has 10 wins, 15 top fives and 19 top 10s in 22 starts racing at Waterford, Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway and Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
Because Rocco has already exceeded 18 starts, his total will go up incrementally as he replaces some of his poorer runs with better finishes. He is the only driver in the top 10 to reach 18 starts.
CE Falk III (South Boston and Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.) and Monteith (Motor Mile and New Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway) are fourth and fifth, respectively.
Frank Deiny Jr. (South Boston, Motor Mile and Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.) is sixth, followed by Brandon Davis (Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.)), Davin Scites (Motor Mile and Caraway), Bill Leighton Jr. (Adams County in Corning, Iowa; I-80 Speedway in Omaha, Neb., and Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.), and Daniel Pope III (Kingsport and Motor Mile).
Davis won the Coors Light Pole Award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on Saturday. He was battling for the lead when he had engine issues on Saturday. After retiring for the race, he traveled back to Irwindale, where he picked up his sixth Late Model win of the season at Toyota Speedway.
Under the points structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner received two points for every car in the event up to 20. Second place received two fewer points, and so-on through the field. Race winners received an additional five bonus points. For example, if there are 20 cars, the winner received 45 points, second gets 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner received 35 points, second gets 28 and third 26.
Track, state and provincial champions and the top three finishers in the national standings earn invitations to the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet.
National Top 500 NASCAR Points Leaders