NASCAR’s three main national series have had their post-season awards ceremonies. But this weekend in Charlotte, the champions from its smaller divisions are in the spotlight.
Last night, Lee Pulliam (Semora, N.C.) was honored for his second consecutive Whelen All-American Series title. He now joins Larry Phillips (five titles) and Philip Morris (four) as just the third driver in the history of the series to win it on multiple occasions.
Pulliam won 27 times in 47 starts while leading the national championship throughout the season.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would have the honor of receiving [this] coveted trophy, much less a second one,” Pulliam said according to NASCARHomeTracks.com. “Being mentioned in the same sentence with Larry and Philip sends chills down my spine.”
Tonight, NASCAR will stage a “Night of Champions” ceremony involving honorees from its various touring series such as the East and West divisions of the K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour, Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Canadian Tire Series, Toyota (Mexico) Series, and Whelen Euro Series.
Among the champions to be feted tonight are:
- K&N East: Dylan Kwasniewski
- K&N West: Derek Thorn
- Whelen Modified Tour: Ryan Preece
- Whelen Southern Modified Tour: George Brunnhoelzl, III
- Whelen Euro Series: Ander Vilarino
- Canadian Tire Series: Scott Steckly
- Toyota (Mexico) Series: Rodrigo Peralta
NASCARHomeTracks.com will stream coverage beginning today at 5 p.m. ET, with the actual ceremony at 6 p.m. ET.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.