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Bubba Pollard wins inaugural Canadian Short Track Nationals

Matt Weaver | STS

Bubba Pollard wins all across the United States nowadays.

On Sunday in the Canadian Short Track Nationals at Jukasa Motor Speedway, he proved he could win north of the border too.

Pollard waited until 56 laps to go to pass Canadian Raphael Lessard and never looked back to win yet another major Late Model main event. Last week, Pollard earned $28,000 with a victory in the Oxford 250 and he collected another $38,000 USD on Sunday night.

So, did he break even on this trip?

“We’ve done well,” Pollard said with a sly grin. “It takes a lot. We have a lot of people behind us. Good partners that allow me to do this.

“This is tough, but I’ll tell you that it’s a lot easier when you’re winning.”

Despite his reputation as nearly unbeatable, Pollard was quick to point out a degree of unhappiness with his car throughout the afternoon. The rules package was different than any other in short track racing and teams were racing on American Racer tires instead of Hoosiers.

It made for a steeper learning curve.

“I don’t think we had the best car,” Pollard said. “We had to figure this tire out. We had to regroup in practice and get the car driving well. Qualifying don’t pay well. And I had to learn this race track a little bit, too.”

Pollard was one of the few U.S. invaders to not test within the last two weeks, making his triumph even more remarkable.

No one passed more cars than second-place finisher Carson Hocevar. The 15-year-old dropped to second behind APC champion Brandon Watson. He spun in Turn 2 on Lap 75 under JR Fitzpatrick racing inside the top-5.

Despite having to restart at the very back of the field, Hocevar was able to rally back to second. He had three late restarts to try to jump Pollard, but just couldn’t close out.

“I thought we had a faster car, but I wanted to race Bubba the right way,” Hocevar said. “I’m just 15 and you have to win these things the right way. Maybe I could have been more aggressive there, but it isn’t worth it if you can’t do it clean and you lose the respect of Bubba Pollard.

“I do feel like I got beat on those restarts. I have to get better, but I wish we had a longer run. I thought we were much better in lapped traffic.”

Pollard doesn’t like to talk about his legacy, but at 31-years-old, he’s on a Hall of Fame pace with victories in nearly every major like the Oxford 250, All-American 400, Winter Showdown and World Crown 300.

“We just like to win races,” Pollard said. “I don’t think about any of that. This is what we do as a family. We go short track racing and we get to have a lot of fun doing it.”

Brian Campbell completed the all-American podium.

The two most likely Canadian contenders, Raphael Lessard and Jason Hathaway, both DNFd due to crashes beset by a flat tire.

The complete results can be found below.

  1. Bubba Pollard
  2. Carson Hocevar
  3. Brian Campbell
  4. Patrick Laperle
  5. JR Fitzpatrick
  6. Brandon Watson
  7. Derek Ramstrom
  8. Shae Gemmell
  9. Matt Pritiko
  10. Taylor Holdaway
  11. Cayden Lapcevich
  12. Treyten Lapcevich
  13. Jake Sheridan
  14. Cole Powell
  15. Billy Schwartzenburg
  16. Kyle Reid
  17. Jordan Sims
  18. Shawn McGlynn
  19. David Elliott
  20. Branden Verhoeven
  21. Steve Arrand
  22. Matthew Shirley
  23. Nick Goetz
  24. Matt Box
  25. Lane Zardo
  26. Steve Laking
  27. Raphael Lessard
  28. Wes Griffith Jr.
  29. Jo Lawrence
  30. Jesse Kennedy
  31. Jason Hathaway
  32. Brady Smith
  33. Jaxson Jacobs
  34. Rick Spencer-Walt
  35. Patrick Freel
  36. Harold Fair
  37. Martin Latulippe
  38. Johnny VanDoorn
  39. Kent Vincent
  40. Trevor Monaghan

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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