Cole Glasson, pictured at Myrtle Beach Speedway. (Andy Marquis/ photo)

Crossville, Tennessee native Lee Faulk began his auto-racing career in the 1970s by competing in several different divisions across the state of Florida. The success he obtained earned him an opportunity to move up into NASCAR during the 1980s, which included three starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, where he earned a career best finish of 20th at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1988.

After his career ended, Faulk elected to remain a part of the sport by helping the next generation of drivers develop their skills, which led to the creation of Lee Faulk Racing. Over the past decade, Lee Faulk Racing has developed into one of the strongest Late Model teams along the east coast, and has helped start the careers of several notable drivers, including Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

For the 25th running of the Myrtle Beach 400, Faulk will be bringing two of his Late Models to Myrtle Beach Speedway to contest for the win in one of the most prestigious Late Model races in the country. Lee’s son, Michael Faulk, who serves as the Operations Manager for his father’s Late Model team, will be behind the wheel of the #1 Late Model for Lee Faulk Racing.

“I get to race two the three times every year, and this is a race that I just really enjoy going to,” Faulk said. “Myrtle Beach Speedway has been a good track to me, and I’ve been racing there since I was 15 years old in Late Models and the All-Pro Series. I’ve had a lot of success at the track, and I just hope to come down there, run good and just have a good time.”

Michael got his career started in short track racing in Florida in the mid-2000s with the help of his father Lee, where he made starts in the SARA Late Model Series and Florida Pro Series, earning four wins across the two divisions. Faulk moved up to the NASCAR Southeast Series in 2004, where he scored one career Top 5 at Hickory Motor Speedway, and managed to continue his momentum in 2005 when he scored three Top 5s in his only season competing in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series.

In 2006, Faulk was hired by Michael Burton to drive the #14 RADD Dodge in the ARCA Racing Series, where he finished 9th in his series debut at Nashville Superspeedway. Faulk improved upon that finish with an 8th place run at Talladega Superspeedway, but crashed out in the opening laps of the 2007 ARCA 200 at Daytona, which relegated him to a 33rd place finish. Faulk returned to short track racing shortly afterwards when his ARCA team ceased operations shortly after Daytona.

When Faulk isn’t behind the wheel of a Late Model, he spends time mentoring the development drivers of Lee Faulk Racing, including Corinth, Texas native Cole Glasson, who will be a teammate to Faulk in the Myrtle Beach 400 in the #5 Late Model. Prior to transitioning over to Late Models in 2016, Glasson was a regular in the SouthEast Super Truck Series, where he earned 12 Top 10 finishes between 2014 and 2015. Glasson carried his success into Late Models the following year, where he picked up a victory at Anderson Motor Speedway, and finished 14th in the Whelen All-American Series South Carolina Regional standings.

Glasson was signed to a development deal by Lee Faulk Racing in 2017 following his successful season at Anderson, and made his debut with the team at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 4th 2017, where he finished third and second, respectively, in the two races held that evening. Since his debut, Glasson has recorded two poles at Hickory, and has finished in the Top 10 in every race, with the exception of the second twin race at Hickory on June 10th, where he finished 11th.

Glasson attempted  the 2016 Myrtle Beach 400, but was among the 15 drivers that failed to qualify for the 225-lap Late Model feature. However, Glasson has had success at Myrtle Beach Speedway in the past, which includes a victory in the Southeast Limited Late Model Series Challenger Division in 2015, and hopes to continue that success with Lee Faulk Racing.

“That victory in 2015 was such a huge confidence booster, because that was my first Late Model win,” Glasson said. “It’s not my home track, but I do like it, and it’s challenging. The Challenger race was only 50 laps, so it doesn’t compare much to the Myrtle Beach 400, since its 225 laps, but the biggest thing I took away from the Challenger race was tire conservation. You have to save your stuff until the end, because if you burn it off in the first half of the race, you won’t have anything at the end.”

Faulk believes that both he and Glasson will have cars strong enough to contend for the win in the Myrtle Beach 400, as Anthony Alfredo qualified on the outside pole in an LFR car last year, but was forced to retire from the event early due to a blown engine. Faulk understands that the field for the 2017 edition of the Myrtle Beach 400 will once again consist of a strong group of Late Model competitors and that the best way for him and Glasson to finish in front of everyone else is to be patient and smart throughout the entire race.

“Strategy is going to be dependent on where we start,” Faulk said. “Either way, we’re just going to ride for 100 laps in order to get ourselves in position to compete in the second half with all of the fenders on it. It’s going to be important to make it through those first 100 laps so you can get a new set of tires, but you’ll have to manage how hard you can go in the first 100 laps without killing your tires. Our strategies may not be exactly the same, but they’ll be determined by how we qualify.”

The 2017 Myrtle Beach 400 will be televised for the first time in the event’s 25-year history, which is expected to attract more Late Model teams to Myrtle Beach Speedway on November 18th. Among the drivers expected to file entries for the race include Lee Pulliam, who is the defending Late Model track champion at Myrtle Beach, and Josh Berry, who was defeated by Christian Eckes in a photo finish during last year’s race. Both Faulk and Glasson will have to outlast Pulliam, Berry and several other talented drivers in order to deliver a Myrtle Beach 400 victory for Lee Faulk.