Lee Pulliam debriefs with team members before qualifying at Martinsville Speedway. (Andy Marquis/Race22.com photo)

Recent history suggests Lee Pulliam might be destined for a third ValleyStar Credit Union 300 victory at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday evening.

The last two times Lee Pulliam has not clinched the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) national championship were the only two times he has scored the victory in Late Model Stock Car racing’s biggest races.  Those victories came in 2011 and 2014.  This season, Pulliam enters the race once more without a national championship triumph.

While he knows this statistic, it is not something the dominant veteran takes for granted.

“Just never take anything for granted in this race,” Pulliam said at the Martinsville Speedway test last Thursday.  “This is a tough place.  A lot of good cars here.  We were really good sometimes in practice and sometimes we were struggling.  We kept working on it and I think we’ve got a good piece, that’s the main thing.

“We weren’t as good at the end of the day as we needed to be but we’ll work on it and get it back where it was.”

While Lee Pulliam has always been good at Martinsville in the past, history is just that – history.  Pulliam says he can’t rely on past success or even notes from the past, despite being a threat to win every time he goes to Martinsville.

“Past notes don’t do any good this year,” Pulliam remarked.  “Just got to go back to where we were early in test day.  We were fast, ran really fast speeds.”

Even though Pulliam was unable to win the NWAAS national championship, he had a very successful season, scoring 16 wins and 26 top-five finishes in 35 starts.

“I think we had a highly successful season,” Pulliam explained.  “We didn’t race nearly as much but our winning percentage was as high as ever.  We won like one out of every two races so we had a 50 percent winning average and won at every track we ran this year.  We’re really happy with the way the year went and we finished the year stronger than we have in years’ past.

“The cars are running great.  Just looking forward to Martinsville and give it everything we’ve got.”

Now, Pulliam is hoping to cap off what he considers one of his best seasons by taking home a third grandfather clock in Sunday’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300.