Keith Rocco And Ryan Preece Battling In National Short Track Standings; Lee Pulliam Alone At The Top

Race fans in Connecticut get to see Keith Rocco and Ryan Preece battle head-to-head weekly at Thompson International Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway.

Now that battle is carrying over to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings, where the two are embroiled in a close fight within the top-five of the standings nationally.

After a week of being tied at the top of the standings, Lee Pulliam has wrestled the top spot back to where it’s been for most of the 2013, right back in his hands.

Pulliam, of Semora, N.C., leads Deac McCaskill by eight points in this week’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings.

Pulliam, the 2012 national champion, has 742 points. Pulliam has been at the top of standings all year long. He has 16 victories and 26 top-fives and 27 top-10’s in 29 starts this year at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. and Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.,

McCaskill, of Raliegh, N.C., has 734 points. McCaskill, has 10 victories, 20 top-five’s and 25 top-10’s in 26 starts between South Boston Speedway, Southern National Motorsports Park and Motor Mile in Radford, Va.

Rocco, of Wallingford, fell from third to fourth in this week’s national standings. After getting passed for third by Rocco last week, Tommy Lemons Jr. of Troy, N.C. retook the spot this week. Lemons has four victories, 20 top-five’s and 24 top-10’s over 26 starts at South Boston, Caraway, Motor Mile and Southern National and has 657 points.

Rocco, the 2010 national champion and national runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2012, competes full-time in the SK Modified divisions at the Waterford Speedbowl, Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway. With eight victories, 14 top-five’s and 20 top-10’s in 25 starts this year, Rocco has 646 points.

Preece, of Berlin, who competes in an SK Modified at Stafford and Thompson and in a Tour Type Modified at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, jumped from sixth to fifth this week with wins at Stafford and Riverhead. Preece now has eight victories, 15 top-five’s and 17 top-10’s in 21 starts, good for 642 points, four points behind Rocco.

Under the point structure for the NASCAR All-American Series, a race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.

A driver’s best 18 results through the Sept. 15 closing date count toward their state and national point totals. Champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their point total increases incrementally as they replace poorer runs with better results.

Todd Ceravolo of Gales Ferry, who runs Thompson and Waterford, is 11th with 508 points. Ted Christopher of Plainville, the 2001 national champion who runs at Stafford and Waterford, jumped from 14th to 12th nationally with 493 points.

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