Berry Leads Flag-To-Flag At Martinsville; Pulliam Wins Virginia Triple Crownby Camden Lazenby October 5, 2019 1 comment
RIDGEWAY, Va. – Josh Berry won the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 after leading wire-to wire at Martinsville Speedway.
Berry won $32,000 for winning the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, $5,000 for leading the most laps, $5,000 for winning the pole and $1,000 for each of the two stages he won. In total, Berry earned $44,000.
Speaking to media after the race, he said, “no one studied harder than I did.”
No one paced Martinsville Speedway as fast as he did either. Berry set the track record for Late Models Friday when he put his JR Motorsports car on the pole with a lap time of 19.927 seconds.
Berry won the race by more than two seconds but it wasn’t the runner-up finisher that gave him his biggest challenge. On lap 77, Bobby McCarty gave Berry the biggest run for his money of the night.
Driving into turn three, McCarty looked to Berry’s inside. Although McCarty never got a bumper alongside the leader, Berry appeared psyched out. He drifted up the track, letting McCarty into the preferred groove.
“That one particular restart we just didn’t fire off that well,” said Berry in victory lane.
It doesn’t matter who it was though. Any one of the top contenders could have snatched the lead away. Berry “expects them to be good” and thinks the top finishers should be racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“I know for a fact,” said Berry, “That basically you take the top-five in this race and we should all be racing on Sundays. I mean these are the best of the best.”
Despite the fact the race never featured a lead change, and it was his fifth time finishing second in this race, Pulliam didn’t want to dump Berry for the win when he restarted third with less than 10 laps to go.
“I’ve been in the same position he’s been in, a couple, several times,” said Pulliam. “Sometimes it worked out sometimes I got dumped but I never had any respect for the guy that dumped me, so I wanted to race him clean.”
Pulliam wasn’t frustrated by coming in second. He said, “You know, sometimes it’s frustrating when you lose a race when you have a winning car but tonight that wasn’t the case.”
Besides, Pulliam was locked in a battle for the Virginia Triple Crown. With Peyton Sellers drifting back, out of the top-five, he needed every position possible to beat Sellers for the title.
“I had to race him hard because it came down to one position to beat Peyton (Sellers) there,” said Pulliam.
“Peyton had a win on me so if we tied he’d have won it,” stressed Pulliam. “Me and Timothy (Peters) had a great battle and I appreciate him running me clean.”
Lee Pulliam ended up winning the 2019 Virginia Triple Crown. He won $7,000 for having the highest average finish (3.3) across three Late Model races (held at South Boston, Langley, and Martinsville) in Virginia this summer. He’s the third different winner of the coveted accolade in three years.
Finishing behind Berry and Pulliam was Timothy Peters, McCarty, Bubba Pollard, Peyton Sellers, Justin Carroll, Kyle Dudley, Dustin Rumley and Kres VanDyke rounding out the top-10.