Lee Pulliam felt like he had a shot to win late in his CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Tour debut but was left heartbroken when his alternator belt was knocked loose.
Pulliam’s struggles began in the third stage of the race when a chunk of asphalt from the troubled surface came loose and knocked the alternator belt off. During a caution, he could not get his car re-fired and, once he was able to get going, looked like he could hold on, but the belt finally came loose and Pulliam was relegated to a 21st place finish.
“The alternator belt got knocked off by a piece of the track,” Pulliam told Race22.com. “The track is a great racing track but, man, it’s been coming apart all weekend. We got damage to the duct work at the test last week and then, today, with 50 to go, I hit a piece of track. Car in front of me shot it up and it knocked the freaking alternator belt off. I had to get a push start there with 25 to go and I was hoping it was going to make it to the end but it went completely dead when I was running down the leader.”
Pulliam said he was heartbroken with the result.
“Fastest car here on the track, it’s just heartbreaking man,” Pulliam stated. “I felt like we gave that thing away. We were running McCarty down pretty big. Just really heartbroken right now. The only way we weren’t going to win is if we had a mechanical failure or got wrecked. We were bad to the bone at the end of the race, as good as I could ask for. Just caught a tough break.”
Pulliam had been running inside the top-five for much of the race, but with about 10 to go, the car finally slowed. The race was Pulliam’s first in the CARS Response Energy Tour and his first at Tri-County.