Brian Tully finished fifth in 2009 Perris Auto Speedway season standings.
A seventh-place finish in the season’s final race November 21 gave Tully 486 points for the season.
“I’m happy,” said Tully of being fifth place for the year. “Very happy with the season. A lot of work on the car, a lot of learning.”
Tully began the season with two third-place finishes and led the season point standings after two races. He also finished third in the season’s third race, but was disqualified due to a piece of pipe in his exhaust, giving him no points for the night. Had he not been disqualified (and had the October 13 disqualification of Stephan Davies stood), Tully would have finished fourth in the point standings.
The October 13 race during the Southern California Fair gave double points. Davies and three other drivers in the top five were disqualified for excessive compression. Tully finished eighth in that race, but the disqualifications moved him up to
fourth place and he received 102 points for the night. Davies finished third in the October 24 main event while Tully was sixth.
Tully entered the final night one point ahead of Joe Falduto, eight points ahead of Davies, and 19 points behind Ronnie Everhart. Everhart blew a motor in the season’s final race and was given a 13th-place finish.
Davies won the season’s final race, which also provided double points, to finish the season with 514 points.
“He did good. He’s really one of the most improved drivers out there,” Tully said of Davies.
Davies began racing at Perris three years ago, initially sharing a car with fellow Murrieta driver Jerry Knight before the two drivers obtained separate cars for the 2008 season. Davies finished 11th in the 2008 point standings.
Tully began the November 21 race on the outside of the second row while Davies started on the pole. Davies overtook Curtis Dietzsch following a third-lap restart.
Tully was in third, behind Davies and Dietzsch, prior to a yellow flag caution.
“I was running there for a while, but I didn’t move down enough on the track,” Tully said. “Cars got by me on the inside.”
A 16-car field mathematically eliminated Everhart from the track championship, but three of the drivers who passed Tully began the night with a chance to win the season title. Clyde Smith finished third both in the race and in the season point standings. Jake Everhart finished fourth in the race and second in the season points chase while Henry Wesolowski Sr. earned enough points with his fifth-place finish to obtain his second
Street Stocks championship at Perris.
“I let them go,” Tully said. “I didn’t want to challenge them and take anybody out.”
Despite Tully’s best efforts, he had contact with Wesolowski between turns three and four.
“I tapped him in the rear, but he was able to continue, I was able to continue,” Tully said.
Jim Rook, who finished 12th in the season standings, also passed Tully to take sixth place in the race.
Falduto’s 14th-place finish October 24 dropped him behind Tully in the point standings, but the driver who finished higher in the final race would also finish higher in the point standings.
Tully was able to hold off Falduto for seventh.
“He actually got by me, but I got back by him,” Tully said. “It was a good race.”
Falduto’s eighth-place finish gave him 479 points for the season while Ronnie Everhart closed the season with 475 points.
The final 20 laps of the 25-lap race were run without any yellow flag cautions. “You had to really stay focused and concentrate,” Tully said.
Tully drove a 1976 Chevrolet Nova during the season. He was sponsored by Above Board Construction, Auto Aid Auto Parts, Brian Tully Insurance, Lakeside Storage, Maximum Sign, Steve McCain Racing Engines, and Village News, Inc.
Tully won the final race of 2008 to finish fourth in last year’s standings. He missed several 2007 races and was 17th in the final standings.
Tully plans to return to Perris for the 2010 season, although he is unsure whether he will race a full season.