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Last-lap crash in semi-main ends Tully's season


Last updated 12/8/2006 at Noon

Brian Tully’s 2006 racing season ended in turn four of the final lap of the Street Stocks semi-main event November 11 at the Perris Auto Speedway.

Tully was sixth entering the final lap of the eight-lap semi-main, but a crash resulted in Tully’s car heading into the turn four wall and Tully never crossed the finish line. The top eight finishers transferred to the final Street Stocks main event of the season.

“One of those racing deals,” Tully said. “But the car was running good.”

The top 16 drivers in the season point standings automatically advanced to the final main event of the year. Track officials cancelled all but the Art’s Concrete Pumping Extreme Topless Late Models heat races in order to eliminate the possibility of another car taking out a championship contender in the heat race, but the large field of Street Stocks necessitated the B-Main. Tully, who entered the night 22nd in the point standings, began the race on the outside of the second row.

Tully was sixth after one lap and remained in that position through the eighth lap. A yellow flag on the sixth lap forced a restart, and on the final lap three cars passed Tully before the turn four crash. Tully battled the cars for two straightaways and three turns on the final lap.

“I just was heading for the transfer spot,” he said. “Everybody was trying hard.”

One of the cars behind Tully was driven by Del Dalrymple. “He kind of tapped me,” Tully said.

After Tully made contact with the track wall, he was hit again, this time by Steve Lathrop. “I guess the 16 [Dalrymple] got loose and came up and tapped me to put me in the path of the other car.”

Although Tully did not advance to the main event, it was the first time in three racing nights that Tully’s car did not go airborne. “Stayed on the ground, kept all four wheels on the ground,” he said. “I didn’t drive over somebody with my back end or my front end.”

On September 23 Tully’s car landed on its side after launching off Mick Shadduck’s car. Tully’s car stayed upright in the October 28 heat race and he finished tenth in that night’s main event for his second top-ten finish of the season.

“We’ve got a lot of ideas on the setup,” said Tully.

Tully had started the season with a Camaro and had upgraded to a Nova, but that car was the one which went airborne. Tully expects the Nova to be ready for the 2007 season, which begins February 10 if weather permits.

The failure to advance to the main event meant that Tully did not move into the top 20 in the point standings. “Nothing exciting in the points. Just exciting in the driving,” he said.

“I had fun,” Tully said. “I think we’ll be more consistent next year.”

Tully’s 2006 crew included Don Arnold, Howard Bymark, Brandon Davis, Sean Rasberry, and David Whatley. Davis expects to have his own Street Stock ready for 2007 and will likely depart from Tully’s crew.

Tully also drove a handful of races in the Cruiser division at Perris Auto Speedway, although he did not race in a Cruiser November 11. Tully is unsure whether he will continue as a Cruiser driver next year. “It’s kind of difficult because they run right after each other,” he said. “I think I’m going to stick with the Street Stock.”

Tully didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to the Cruisers if one of the Brooktown Racing cars required him as a driver. “I will be there if they need me,” he said.

Tully, who graduated from Hawthorne High School in 1961 and grew up in Hawthorne with the Beach Boys, began his racing career at the Ascot dirt track in Gardena in 1981. During his rookie year he tried to return to the track after spinning out and ended up taking out 15 cars, including his own, in a Street Stock race. His #08 car was one of 13 totaled in that accident. After that incident he earned the nickname “Tear ’Em Up Tully.”

Tully also raced in the Sportsman Stock class at Ascot before that track closed. Tully has also raced at the Oildale (Bakersfield), Ventura, and Victorville dirt tracks. He was attending the now-closed Adelanto track as a fan in 1994 when he met his current wife, Laraine.

Prior to moving to Fallbrook from Redondo Beach in 2001, Tully ran an IMCA Modified at Perris, which opened in 1996. Tully also ran at the Temecula Speedway when that track operated in 1999 and 2000.

Tully made his asphalt debut in 2001 with a Grand American Modified at Irwindale Speedway; he finished tenth that season. He also raced Super Stock and Figure 8 races at Irwindale between 2001 and 2004.

Tully had hip replacement surgery in December 2004 and then had the other hip replaced in June 2005. When he returned to racing in September 2005 he chose the Perris track. Tully raced four times in 2005. He participated in two main events and finished 10th and 11th.

“It’s a good place to go,” Tully said of Perris. “I’d recommend that to anybody who wants to get out there.”


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