SES: Myrtle Beach: Jeff Fultz - NASCAR spotlight

Jeff Fultz Heads To Myrtle Beach Speedway Looking To Tie Wayne Anderson On All-Time Southeast Series Victory List DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 13, 2004) - NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series driver Jeff Fultz heads into this...

Jeff Fultz Heads To Myrtle Beach Speedway Looking To Tie Wayne Anderson On All-Time Southeast Series Victory List

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 13, 2004) - NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series driver Jeff Fultz heads into this Saturday night's AutoZone 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway on a quest to tie the best. Fultz, the current Southeast Series championship leader, is trying to tie Wayne Anderson as the most victorious driver in Southeast Series history with 21 victories.

"That would really mean the world to me and Myrtle Beach is a track I really like," Fultz says. "Just winning one Southeast Series race meant the world to me when we pulled it off. To be able to go on and be as successful as we have been the last four or five years is unreal. It's not like we didn't think we could do it, but there is so much competition in this series that it makes it tough.

"I know it means a lot to me personally and it means a lot to this team. Tying the all-time victory list is very much a goal that we're trying to reach, but we're also looking to win the championship again this year."

Should the Mooresville, N.C. resident pull off the Southeast Series win at Myrtle Beach, it would be Fultz's third tour victory at the famed .538-mile track and fourth win of the 2004 campaign. It would also help him pad his lead in the Southeast Series championship race with only three races remaining this year following the 150-lapper at Myrtle Beach. Fultz enters the AutoZone 150 in hopes of defending his race win after rallying from three laps down to pick up the victory last year.

Fultz is well aware of the great drivers that have come through the Southeast Series in the past and he has a great deal of respect for the part they played sometime throughout their careers in making the series as popular as it is today.

"I really have a great deal of respect for guys like Wayne Anderson, plus a lot of the other drivers like Mike Cope, Hal Goodson, Billy Bigley Jr., Bobby Gill and Jody Ridley," Fultz says. "There are a lot of big names to have come through this series. When I first got started racing in the Southeast Series, I knew how tough it was going to be. I had idolized those guys when I was growing up, so it means a lot to even be mentioned in the same sentence with those guys. To have my name in the record books with those guys is something that personally means a lot to me."

Other notable drivers to pick up a Southeast Series victory include Kenny Wallace, Jason Keller, Tim Steele, Carl Long, David Green, Ryan Hemphill, Rich Bickle, Jeff Purvis, Rick Crawford, Hank Parker Jr., David Reutimann, Mike Garvey and Freddie Query.

Fultz heads into the AutoZone 150 holding a slim 32-point lead over fellow Southeast Series competitor and rookie driver J.R. Norris. Thanks to his first Southeast Series victory July 7 at Caraway Speedway, Erik Darnell sits third in the standings only 34 points outside the lead. Jason Hogan and Kevin Prince sit fourth and fifth, respectively, and both head into the last four races needing to play catch-up.

If his fellow drivers plan on playing mind games - as is often the case when it comes to racing for a championship - they might be doing so in vain because that's a road Fultz has been down in the past. Fultz won the 2002 Southeast Series championship and has finished second three times since he started racing in the series on a full-time basis in 1997.

Fultz is also very aware that if he has one bad race, he could lose the point lead and ultimately his shot at another Southeast Series championship.

"We've had a decent year," Fultz says. "In the three races we won this year we pretty much dominated. Then again we've let ourselves down in a couple different areas. Having motor problems is something that is very uncharacteristic for this team. We had a little bit of a problem in our last race at Caraway Speedway but still we were lucky enough to finish fifth. At Nashville Superspeedway we were leading until we dropped a valve in the engine and ended up seventh. Then earlier in the year at Hickory Motor Speedway we broke a crank and finished 21st.

"There have been no problems with our motor builder at all as much as it being a matter of those little racing gremlins that can get you every once in a while. Other than those races, we've been strong all year long. It does make me a little bit nervous about something going wrong in these next four races. If we do have problems, it's going to take something that is out of our control. All we can do is stay on our game and continue to be focused. We're not really worrying about the points as much as we are about winning more races."

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Rich Bickle , Jason Keller , Kenny Wallace , Hank Parker Jr. , Rick Crawford , Jeff Purvis , David Green , Tim Steele , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Carl Long , Wayne Anderson , Mike Garvey , J.R. Norris