Tully 12th to close out season
Last updated 11/29/2007 at Noon
Brian Tulley’s streak of consecutive top-ten finishes in the Perris Auto Speedway’s Street Stocks division ended at four when he finished 12th in the season’s final main event November 10.
Although it was the first time all season Tully raced in the main event and did not have a top-ten result, he moved from 18th place in the season point standings to 17th place in the final standings.
Tully began the six-lap heat race on the inside of the third row and spent most of the race in fifth place, which was also his position when he took the checkered flag. The heat race was won by Jim Coates, who finished third in the season standings, and main event winner Henry Wesolowski Sr. took second place. Ronnie Everheart, who took fourth in the main event and tenth in the season standings, finished fourth in the heat race immediately ahead of Tully. “I was running with some of the top drivers,” Tully said.
Tully would have sought to advance in the heat race had Everheart given him the opportunity, but Tully also knew that risks were not necessary since all drivers whose cars survived the heat race would compete in the main event.
Tully raced in the first Street Stocks heat race. Two other Street Stocks heat races, five heat races involving other divisions, and two main events took place between Tully’s heat race and the Street Stocks main event. Thus the track surface for the main event would not be what it was for the heat race.
“It’s a guessing game ’cause the track changes by the time you go out on it,” Tully said.
Tully believes that he guessed wrong. “The car wasn’t set up right. I needed more stagger, I believe. It was a little bit too loose, so I couldn’t stay on the throttle,” he said.
Tully also felt that the gear ratio was too low, and he spun more while driving out of the corners as his rear tires were becoming loose.
Tully began the main event on the inside of the seventh row. He was in 14th place before a 13th-lap yellow flag caution moved him up one position, but he was also immediately behind a lapped car. “Trying to get by the 20 car was really tough,” Tully said of Ron Davis, who made his 2007 Perris Auto Speedway debut November 10 and finished 15th in the main event. “He kept taking my line. Not much you can do.”
In the final lap of the 20-lap main event, both Davis and Ted Link, who had been in 12th place, found themselves sideways just short of the start-finish line. Tully maneuvered between Davis and Link, allowing him to overtake Link for 12th place. “They spun out and wrecked and I made it through,” Tully said.
Tully passed the inactive Ken McWilliams in the season standings and finished the season three points shy of Chris Thompson, who finished 16th in the November 10 main event as well as in the season standings.
“I thought that this last race would be a ‘wreckfest,’ but it was not,” Tully said. “People used their heads more.”
Although Tully did not have a top-ten finish, he completed the season having finished every main event he started. Ironically, Tully’s starter gave out after the race and the car had to be pushed onto the trailer. “It was just very happy that it worked enough to get out and race,” he said.
Tully missed one race due to illness and two to the death and funeral of his niece, who lived in Las Vegas. He had six top-ten finishes during the season.
“I’m pretty happy. I had a lot of fun,” Tully said. “I had some wrecks, but nothing that injured anybody.”
Tully’s crew consisted of Howard Bymark and Brandon Davis, and Kenny Mann shared information and parts with Tully. “They did an excellent job keeping my vehicle on the racetrack,” Tully said.
“I’m looking forward to getting my Nova back next year,” said Tully, who has raced an older Camaro since going airborne in his Nova during a September 2006 race.
Tully also plans to anticipate tougher competition in 2008. “I think that the caliber of the drivers is better now,” he said. “I’m going to be a little more prepared.”