Super Late Models

Bubba Pollard picks Greenville Meltdown to open February

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On second thought, Bubba Pollard has decided to spend the first weekend of February in South Carolina instead of Southern California.

Pollard had initially filed an entry to compete in the fourth Kern County Winter Showdown on February 1-3. But now, he has decided to stick closer to home and will compete in the $10,000, 150-lap Greenville Meltdown at historic Greenville Pickens Speedway.

As of Saturday night at New Smyrna Speedway, he was still talking about taking his dominant Snowball Derby car to the first-class facility in Bakersfield, California.

“We have two wins and a second place so I feel like we have a pretty good notebook,” Pollard told Short Track Scene after the Red Eye 100. “But the competition has gotten so much stronger.”

However, Pollard told Speed 51 on Monday that he is choosing Greenville Pickens because he wants to improve his team’s short track program.

“I’ve done some testing there with other people before but I’ve never driven at Greenville before, so that’ll be a new challenge,” Pollard told 51. “I’ve heard a lot about that place, and that’s where we need to go to get our flat track program up to par.”

But the other reason likely has a little bit more to do with money too.

The winner of the Winter Showdown earns $30,000 and second pays $10,000. It’s $3,000 to start. But Pollard would spend considerably more traveling to California than spending that same weekend racing for $10,000 to win, $4,000 for second and $1,000.

He didn’t say so, but the competition stands to be somewhat easier at Greenville with the likes of Kyle Busch, Daniel Hemric, Ty Majeski and Derek Thorn all racing in California. Even without having made a single lap there to this point, Pollard stands to be a betting favorite without having to race many of the elite names of short track racing.

Known participants at Greenville include Donnie Wilson and Chandler Smith, however.

“They (Kern County) do a good job with the money,” Pollard said. “Really, a lot of these races should pay more. Like the (Snowball) Derby but (Tim Bryant) ain’t because he knows we’re coming. For example, they’re going to have the CARS Tour (Mid Atlantic Classic at Orange County) that pays $10,000 for 100 laps and then we’re going to go to Mobile later this year for a $10,000 race for 300 laps. That doesn’t make any sense.

“But yeah, this race (Kern County) pays well but it’s just tough to make it out that far, so I don’t know.”

So instead, Pollard will race for a combined $15,000 at CRA Speedfest between the Pro Late Model and Super Late Model divisions on January 28 and another $10,000 a week later at Greenvill Pickens and travel no further than 200 miles from home.

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About Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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