Showdown Between National Contenders
When Anthony Anders arrived at Greenville-Pickens Speedwayafternoon, it may have seemed he was dreaming. Anders is currently the National Points Leader in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points race, only three points ahead of Lee Pulliam (who is the defending NWAAS national champion from 2012 and 2013). Pulliam's hauler was sitting right there at the end of pit road, and his black and blue #5, was parked, in full sight. This would be Anders' opportunity to see exactly how the #36 race program stacked up against a multiple-time national champ.
Anders was the fastest qualifier and started on the pole for the first race, with Pulliam on the front row beside him. When the green flag fell, Anders took the lead. After a pair of mid-race cautions for single car spins, Pulliam was inches from Anders' bumper for several laps, making contact several times coming out of turn four. The #36 slowly regained his rhythm, pulled away by 5-6 car lengths, and went on to lead every lap of the opening race. After thanking the fans from Victory Lane, he talked about what a fast and well-handling car he had. "I really liked running with the defending champion, because it shows me that my program is in good shape. Of course, he came to my home track to compete. I am hoping later in the season, to be able to go up and compete at his home track and see how I do."
With Anders and Pulliam nailing down the top two spots, Kyle Plott raced to a season-best third, Brandon Fox was fourth and six-time GPS champ Marty Ward finishing fifth.
After the second 40-lap main event, Anders started fifth behind Pulliam due a dice roll for inversion. Anders again wasted little time pulling up and getting by the champ during a wild scramble on the backstretch, and once again leading every lap. "I just didn't have anything for the 36 car tonight", Pulliam said in his post race interview. "We've never run a late model here, but he has been racing here practically his whole life." The top five finishers in the nightcap were exactly the same as the first race, with Anders, Pulliam, Plott, Fox and Ward rounding out the top five.
Donovan Beacham won the 10-lap Four Cylinder main event, with Austin Heil, Chris Harvell, C. J. Hoitt, and Ray Mullinax rounding out the top five.
Freddy Hale, Jr. won the Street Stock Main, with Buck Simmons second, AJ. Davis, Travis Shelton and Brian Benton in the top five places.
Shane Gentry took the win in the Pure Stock main, as Rob Horton finished second. Jason McGrew was third, Scott Cordell fourth.
Camden Francis beat Danny Gilbert in the 15-lap Charger main, as Mike Mote held off Chris Franics for third. Dale Stancil took fifth.
Brad Burns was the Renegade winner and Greg Darnell was second. Matt Hale took third. Blake Gregory was fourth and Bobby Emory fifth.