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Lee Pulliam Saves Tires And Outruns Local, Brian Vause To Win IceBreaker At Myrtle Beach

Lee Pulliam Saves Tires And Outruns Local, Brian Vause To Win IceBreaker At Myrtle Beach

by February 11, 2017 0 comments

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Lee Pulliam passed Brian Vause in the closing laps to win the 2nd Annual IceBreaker at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Saturday.

Pulliam, who had been fast all weekend, kicked off the afternoon by sitting on the pole for the 125-lap race. Once the green flag dropped, Chad McCumbee, who started second, took the lead away from Pulliam. Early on, Pulliam began to save his tires, and as a result, he fell outside of the top-five.

“You can’t run this whole race hard,” Pulliam said. “You’ve got to save tires, and those guys went really hard there at the beginning. I just tried to be smart and make my run at the end. I lost the Myrtle Beach 400 with 15 to go. I run my car too hard, and those guys flew by me right at the end, and that one really hurt to lose, so I really had to think about it and think about planning my move and just timed it right.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com | Jerry Miracle and Thad Moffitt Crash exiting Turn 2.

The first caution of the afternoon came out on lap 29, when Jerry Miracle and Thad Moffitt got together in the exit of Turn 2. Miracle was able to continue, but Moffitt went hard into the outside wall. On the restart, it was Justin Johnson and Tommy Lemons Jr. leading the field down to the green flag. McCumbee quickly moved into the second position, and he began to challenge Johnson for the race lead.

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com | Colby Howard and BJ Mackey make contact in Turn 2. Robert Powell was collected, also.

On lap 36, the second caution came out, when Colby Howard and BJ Mackey tangled in Turn 2. Colby sustained minor right front damage, but Mackey backed into the outside wall. With nowhere to go, Robert Powell also got caught up in the accident. All three cars were able to continue following the accident. Mackey was able to recover for a seventh place finish. Johnson and Lemons Jr. were once again on the front row, when the field took the green flag to restart the race. The two drivers raced each other hard for the next 32 laps.

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com | Justin Hicks slams the wall in Turn 1 after contact with Ty Gibbs.

The third and final caution of the race came out on lap 68. Ty Gibbs and Justin Hicks made contact while entering Turn 1. Gibbs continued, and Hicks slammed the outside wall, ending his day. The restart set the field up for a 57-lap stretch to the finish.

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com | Brian Vause (No. 30) and Justin Johnson (No. 44) battle each other hard for the race lead at Myrtle Beach.

As the laps began to tick away, fans began to get a good indication on who was going to battle for the victory. For a while, it was Johnson and local competitor, Brian Vause battling hard and exchanging the lead. Each lap, one driver would just barely eke across the line ahead of the other.

“I thought that we had saved enough,” Vause said. “I saw that Justin was getting pretty free, so I figured if I could get to his outside and kind of hold him down. I knew it was inevitable that Lee was going to come, so if I could just get side-by-side with Justin to create a blockade maybe for everybody behind us and still saving some while I was beside him.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com | Lee Pulliam makes a bold, three-wide move to challenge for the race lead in the closing laps.

With just 30 laps to go, the battle for the lead intensified, when Tommy Lemons Jr., Lee Pulliam and Chad McCumbee joined Vause and Johnson. On lap 106, Pulliam dove to the bottom of Johnson and Vause in Turn 1 to challenge for the lead. The three drivers continued three-wide down the backstretch and into Turn 3. Vause was in front, when the three drivers exited Turn 4, but Pulliam took over the front spot on lap 109 and never looked back to claim his first IceBreaker victory.

“We had a great car all weekend, just tried to ride there at the beginning of the race,” Pulliam said. “We weren’t perfect in the race by no means. The car was just not quite where it needed to be, but we just saved tires. Those guys checked out by seven or eight seconds there. I made my run there at the end, I was able to catch them, and I had to race hard. I knew Tommy and Justin were trying to team up and win that deal out of the shop and Brian, he was doing all that he could do to win the race, and I had to get a little aggressive and make it three-wide. Actually, we got four-wide I guess the first time. It was just a great show for the fans. All of us beat-and-banged and was able to hold onto it and take it home.

Finishing second was Brian Vause, followed by R.D. Smith, Justin Johnson and Tommy Lemons Jr. Rounding out the top-10 was Jeremy McDowell, BJ Mackey, Luke Sorrow, Chad McCumbee and Brandon Grosso.

Unofficial Results:

1.) #5 Lee Pulliam

2.) #30 Brian Vause

3.) #16S R.D. Smith

4.) #44 Justin Johnson

5.) #27 Tommy Lemons Jr.

6.) #83 Jeremy McDowell

7.) #98 BJ Mackey

8.) #9 Luke Sorrow

9.) #95 Chad McCumbee

10.) #32G Brandon Grosso

11.) #94 Jamie Weatherford

12.) #8 Tyler Hughes

13.) #02 Justin Milliken

14.) #18 Ty Gibbs

15.) #60 R.A. Brown

16.) #2 Myatt Snider

17.) #16 Colby Howard

18) #32 Jerry Miracle

19.) #44A T.J. Barron

20.) #56 Robert Powell

21.) #20 Sam Yarbrough

22.) #11 Lucas Williams

23.) #28 Ryan Glenski

24.) #5C Tyler English

25.) #61 Justin Hicks

26.) #10 Ed Williams

27.) #46 Thad Moffitt

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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