Three Motor Mile Speedway drivers will begin the 2017 season in the cross-hairs.
Track officials have released details on an unprecedented bounty program totaling $3,000.00 in monetary incentives across two divisions. The program’s implementation on April 29th will mark the first time in Motor Mile Speedway history (2004-present) that a bounty program will have been instituted at the outset of race season.
Who are Motor Mile Speedway’s most wanted?
They are among Motor Mile Speedway’s most notorious racers. When strapped into the saddle of their steel steeds, they have consistently proven indomitable. They are renowned for their elusiveness. Their insatiable desire for victory is legendary.
The headliner of the bounty triumvirate is Lee Pulliam. The five-time O’Reilly Auto Parts Late Model division track champion is aiming for his fifth consecutive track title in 2017— a streak that would tie Philip Morris’ NASCAR-sanctioned (1988-present) record.
Pulliam has never lost a championship battle in five full seasons of competition at Motor Mile Speedway. And he rarely loses races. Pulliam has amassed 63 wins in 92 career starts, equating to an astounding .684 winning percentage.
The beaming resume has commanded the track’s largest bounty in more than 13 years. Motor Mile Speedway is posting a $2,500.00 reward to the Late Model driver that bests Pulliam for the 2017 O’Reilly Auto Parts Late Model division track championship.
Pulliam must start all 14 races for the bounty to apply. Coupled with the $2,500.00 in prize money awarded per the Late Model points fund, the 2017 titlist has the potential to bank $5,000.00 at season’s end.
“Anytime you have a bounty on someone, it adds a little extra excitement. It’s an added incentive to the guys to race hard and do their best to beat us on the racetrack,” says Pulliam. “I think it’s going to make for a fun, hard-fought season.”
Pulliam’s bounty brethren compete in the newly-christened Carpet Factory Outlet MOD-4 division.
Two-time defending track champion Doodle Lang and 2013 track titlist Chucky Williams have combined to win every MOD-4 division contest since 2015—a span of 19 races. Moreover, Lang sports a remarkable stretch of 19 consecutive top-two finishes entering the 2017 season. Williams has placed outside the top two on only three occasions over the past two years.
The duo’s streak has warranted the division’s first bounty of the Motor Mile Speedway era. The track is posting a $500.00 reward to the first MOD-4 driver that outduels Lang and Williams for a division victory. For the bounty to apply, Lang and Williams must finish on the lead lap.
“The bounty says a lot about our teams, the people that help us, and the sponsors that stand behind us. It’s not just the drivers that deserve the credit for the bounty… it’s also the people that surround us and help us out all the time,” says Lang.
“I think it’s pretty exciting. It should make for fun, hard racing,” Williams adds. “It makes me pretty proud, and I’m sure Doodle feels the same way.”
Bounty programs are a rarity at the Radford, Va., speedplant. In 2007, a bounty was imposed on Derrick Lancaster during his dominating Limited Sportsman championship campaign. Most recently, a $1,000.00 bounty was placed on Lee Pulliam in 2015 following six consecutive Late Model victories; Matt Bowling collected the reward on the first night of the bounty’s implementation.
As the 2017 season begins, the competition will have something extra to shoot for once again. Three drivers are gunning for greatness. Their counterparts will be, too.