After sustaining a hard crash during a 2014 K&N Pro Series East race at the track, four-time Whelen All-American Series champion Lee Pulliam returned to Bristol Motor Speedway and brought home the checkered flag in the CARS Response Energy LMSC Tour feature of the U.S. Short Track Nationals after Mother Nature halted on-track activity after 64 laps.

“For me, this is very self-rewarding,” Pulliam said. “To come back four years later after that crash and to be able to win makes this a very special night for me and my family. My little girl was here, but I think she fell asleep, but it’s really cool to win in front of her, my wife, and everyone else that was here.”

Pulliam set a blistering pace from the moment the track opened up on Friday, as he led the way in two of the four CARS Response Energy LMSC practice sessions, and set the fastest time in group qualifying. However, defending U.S. Short Track Nationals winner Myatt Snider quickly picked up from where he left off in last year’s race, and proceeded to lead the next 32 laps.

Snider’s lead evaporated when the caution was displayed for Bradley McCaskill, who was stalled at the entrance of pit road in Turn 2, which set up the one and only restart of the evening with Snider and Pulliam on the front row. Pulliam and Snider dueled fiercely on the ensuing restart, but Pulliam was able to gain the upper hand in Turn 3, as he passed Snider for the lead while Layne Riggs moved into second behind Pulliam.

With severe thunderstorms quickly approaching the track, Riggs made several attempts to run down and pass Pulliam for the lead, but was unable to reach the Late Model veteran before the second caution of the day came out for the severe thunderstorm warning. CARS Response Energy Tour officials waited less than an hour to officially call the race, which granted Lee Pulliam his second career CARS Response Energy Tour victory.

Pulliam’s victory at Bristol makes him only the second driver in Late Model Stock Car history to win at both Bristol and Martinsville, with Alex Yontz being the only other driver to achieve that record. Pulliam was also able to gain ground on series points leader Bobby McCarty, who came home in the 7th position, and although Pulliam would like to bring home a CARS Response Energy Tour championship for his team, he added that it is not the most important thing to him at this point in his career.

“I just like winning races,” Pulliam said. “Championships are awesome, and I’ve won four national titles and countless other track and state championships, but winning races is what its all about for me. We did make up points on Bobby, and we did make up points on Deac, so all around, it was a great night.”

Snider was able to bring home a 3rd place finish for his team, while Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Rounding out the Top 10 were Justin Crider, Bobby McCarty, Deac McCaskill, Sam Mayer and Cody Haskins.

Unofficial Results:

1. 5 Lee Pulliam
2. 99 Layne Riggs
3. 2s Myatt Snider
4. 18 Ty Gibbs
5. 88 Josh Berry
6. 7 Justin Crider
7. 22m Bobby McCarty
8. 08 Deac McCaskill
9. 9 Sam Mayer
10. 2 Cody Haskins
11. 61 Justin Hicks
12. 23 Terry Brooks Jr.
13. 77 Trevor Ward
14. 74 Ronald Hill
15. 9w Charlie Watson -1
16. 96 Danny O’Quinn -1
17. 26 Joey Trent -5
18. 32 Nik Williams OUT
19. 4b Mike Chambers OUT
20. 07 Bradley McCaskill OUT
21. 22 Grayson Cullather -33
22. 02 Paul Nogradi OUT
23. 66 Austin Peters OUT
24. 7r Brandon Rogers OUT