Bubba Pollard is proving that he can win at just about any racetrack, under any circumstance.
In the Davenport Energy PASS Super Late Model 150 at South Boston Speedway on Saturday night, Pollard came from seventh to win in the final two restarts.
“It means a lot [to win at South Boston],” Pollard said. “I watched Phillip Morris in the [Late Model Stock Car] race earlier and learned. I felt like the bottom was the way to stay, and that’s where he went around. He’s the best to get around here.”
It was Pollard’s first ever race at South Boston, and it took nearly half the race before he was a contender.
“We struggled, not gonna lie, we struggled all day yesterday,” Pollard said.
Brandon Setzer got the jump on the initial start and took the lead over pole-sitter Austin Thaxton, who also drove in the twin Late Model Stock races that night.
Ten laps in, Kodie Conner emerged as the fastest, passing Thaxton for second and chasing down Setzer for the lead. The first caution came out on lap 13 when Jared Irvan slowed after getting a flat tire in Turn 1.
Conner had a better restart than Setzer and took the lead, but the caution came out again on lap 20 when defending race winner Matt Craig slowed for a flat tire.
Brandon Lynn got underneath Conner on the restart and used him up to take the lead. Lucas Jones briefly peaked underneath Lynn after the incident, but Lynn defended the top spot.
Four laps later, Conner got into the wall, and Tate Fogleman, who raced in the Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway earlier in the day, had no where to go. Fogleman slammed into the back of Conner, ending both of their nights.
Lynn pulled a slide job on Jones to maintain the lead on the next restart, but was unable to get away. Jones hounded him for several laps with Corey Heim, who won his first stock car race in the first LMSC race earlier that night, close behind.
Fifty laps in, Lynn finally started to gap the two, but the caution flag flew again on lap 64 when Sterling Cling spun into the Turn 3 wall.
Jones got a strong run on the outside to take the lead from Lynn on the restart. Lynn got loose on the next turn, and Heim got around him as well.
Heim then set his sights on Jones, diving deeper in the corners than the No. 16, but losing ground on turn exit. On lap 88, Heim finally got underneath of Jones and came out with the lead on the next lap.
The caution flag flew again on lap 96 when Setzer, who was in seventh, blew a tire in Turn 1.
Heim successfully defended his lead on the next restart, while Bubba Pollard looked like he was shot out of cannon to climb to fourth and get inside of Lynn for third.
Irvan spun into the Turn 3 wall and brought out the caution on lap 104. He came back from being a lap down to run as high as fifth before the wreck ended his night.
Heim and Jones raced side by side for a few laps after the next restart, while Pollard rode just behind them. Jones eventually took the lead from the outside, and Pollard immediately dove underneath Heim to take second.
With 40 laps to go, Pollard began stalking Jones, unsuccessfully trying to pass on the bottom, then the top. Pollard bumped Jones with 25 to go, but couldn’t complete the pass.
On lap 130, Pollard went high and pulled alongside Jones in Turn 3, but the caution came out simultaneously when Craig stalled in the same turn as the leaders. Pollard narrowly edged out Jones to be scored as the leader.
Jones took the lead back from Pollard on the restart, but Pollard came right back on the inside the next lap. Pollard cleared Jones on lap 133 and checked out.
“He ain’t been beating me on the restarts, he been jumping the restarts all night, and they finally settled it down,” Pollard said about Jones. “When we took off that last restart, we beat him.
Lynn’s top-five night ended on lap 140 when he wrecked to bring out a caution.
Jones again took the lead from Pollard on the restart. Pollard bumped Jones, but when he got back to the inside of him, Pollard got loose and spun out to bring out another caution.
“I was free the whole race,” Pollard said. “We kept working on it and working on it and got better.”
In two restarts, Pollard went from seventh to second, including hard bump to knock Heim out of the way.
“Had to get it done, had to get up on the wheel and make it happen,” Pollard said. “I didn’t know if I had enough laps, but I knew I had the race car.”
Jones had been fast on restarts all race, but Pollard beat him on the one that counted. With three laps to go, Pollard took the lead from the outside and cruised to the win.
“It feels good,” Pollard said. “Look at all these people… This is what racing’s about. This is why I love to win, and why I push my guys each and every week to win is because of these people sitting in these stands right here.”
Jones held on for second, and Jeff Batten, Heim and Roy Hayes III rounded out the top five. With Craig and Conner both failing to finish, Hayes and J.P. Josiasse cut down the gap in the points race.
The top five for this race qualified for the PASS races at either Richmond Raceway or Oxford Plains Speedway. Pollard is the only one of the five who will race at Oxford Plains, with the rest going to Richmond.
- Bubba Pollard
- Lucas Jones
- Jeff Batten
- Corey Heim
- Roy Hayes III
- Trey Jarrel
- P. Josiasse
- Logan Seavey
- Austin Thaxton
- Brandon Lynn
- Gracie Trotter
- Matt Craig
- Jared Irvan
- Brandon Setzer
- Sterling Cling
- Kodie Conner
- Tate Fogleman