Is he ever going to win it?
Bubba Pollard’s 13th effort to win the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway wasn’t the lucky one.
Even with a brand new race car and confidence flowing following another strong season of Super Late Model competition across the country, a Tom Dawson trophy wasn’t in the cards for the Senoia, Georgia, driver.
Pollard ran just inside the top-10 most of the day but was in a rather optimal position for a restart inside the final 20 laps. He lined up fourth, on fresh tires, and was going to do whatever he could to get by the three cars in front of him and finally snatch the prize that was eluding him.
But, there was one car in front of him on the outside lane, and unfortunately for Pollard, that car was going backwards. While Pollard and others pitted, Snowball Derby leader Harrison Burton stayed out and was the only car on the track with old tires when he selected the outside lane for the restart, hoping he could launch to the lead. When the opposite happened, and Burton didn’t get up to full speed, Pollard and Ty Majeski made contact and Pollard’s chances of winning went up in smoke.
After the race, Pollard’s frustration with both Burton and Majeski was evident.
“Usually when you’re on 80 lap tires, you pick the bottom,” Pollard said of Burton’s decision. “What the hell he was doing on the outside, I don’t know. There aint been a good launch (on the outside) all day. i don’t know what the hell he was thinking, you’d have to ask him. I don’t know if it was a KBM thing or if he felt like he would get a better run off. I think it was a stupid decision. Then the 91 (Majeski) is impatient. Stupidity.”
It truly felt like it was all lining up perfectly for Pollard to bookend the season with another top Super Late Model trophy, this time the most prestigious. He drove to New England and dominated the final laps of the Oxford 250 in August, winning a smooth $25,000 check from the Maine oval. He also took the No. 26 to Jukasa Motor Speedway in Canada and won the Canadian Short Track Nationals this season. Both of those races come with stout competition, difficult tracks to navigate and long travel time.
He brought a brand new race car to Five Flags Speedway, a place he is familiar with, and even though he didn’t capture the ultimate prize, he was happy with the way the car reacted during the 300-lap marathon, which put him in a good spot for the final laps.
“We put ourself in position, we were kinda conservative and let the race play out,” Pollard said. “…don’t control the race, that was the biggest thing, that bit us last year. We were in position to possibly win it at the end. Long week.”
Chalk it up as another year of letting the Tom Dawson trophy slip through his fingertips, but rest assured, he’s already lining up as one of the favorites for the 52nd Snowball Derby next December.