DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Lee Pulliam is now an iconic champion in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history.
He won NASCAR’s national championship of weekly short track auto racing for a second consecutive year in 2013. Pulliam becomes just the third driver in the series’ 32 years to win the national championship more than once and to win consecutive titles.
Pulliam, 25, of Semora, N.C., scored the maximum of 810 points available this season. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series has had various points systems since it began in 1982, and Pulliam is just the fourth to win the title with a “perfect record.”
“It’s just an amazing accomplishment,” Pulliam said. “We won a lot of races that didn’t look like we were going to win with 10 laps to go. Everything just fell into place.”
Pulliam finished with 27 wins, 40 top fives and 44 top 10s in 47 starts to out-distance fellow asphalt Late Model driver Deac McCaskill, who finished second with 794 points.
“NASCAR is proud to honor Lee Pulliam as our 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “Winning this prestigious championship once is an amazing accomplishment, but winning back-to-back championships puts Lee in very elite company with five-time champ Larry Phillips and four-time champ Philip Morris. We congratulate him on a tremendous season, and look forward to formally crowning him at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte in December.”
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards will take place on Friday, Dec. 13. Among those honored will be the 2013 national champion, as well as track champions from 55 tracks across the United States and Canada, state and province champions, and top rookies.
Pulliam seemed overwhelmed at the thought of joining Morris and the late Phillips, a NASCAR Hall of Fame finalist, as a standard bearer in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history. Phillips won back-to-back titles twice (1992-93, 1995-96) and Morris did it in 2008-09.
“Being mentioned in the same sentence with Larry and Philip sends chills down my spine,” Pulliam said. “It’s hard to put into words how that feels. We’re extremely blessed. I’ll cherish this accomplishment forever.
“We worked extremely hard. We were shooting for a perfect season from the beginning. The national championship itself is so hard to accomplish. We were able to get some crucial wins during the last month of the season and pull it off.”