The de facto face of Super Late Model racing has obtained a powerful figurative sword from the King of the Late Model Stocks.
Bubba Pollard and crew chief Forrest Reynolds have teamed up to enter a handful of Late Model Stock races this season under the Reynolds Racing Chassis umbrella. Pollard will make his debut with the car, lettered in his familiar No. 26, on Saturday night in the CARS Tour Race at Ace 125 at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, North Carolina.
The car is one that has been used by Philip Morris over the past several years, alongside crew chief Reynolds, in winning numerous races and championships during that time.
After making a pair of ValleyStar Credit Union 300 starts at Martinsville Speedway over the past two seasons with Fathead Racing and JR Motorsports, Pollard has worked towards having a more permanent presence in the discipline.
Pollard unloaded his newest acquisition on Thursday for a test and will race it on Saturday.
He said Saturday’s races fall under the First Amendment.
“This is Forrest’s deal; he and Mr. Harrison are close friends and we’ve all been trying to put this deal together for about a year now,” Pollard told Short Track Scene on Saturday. “It finally came together. It’s a good-looking ride and today is about learning. We’re pretty happy with it. We have to start gelling and hopefully we can win some of these races.”
The colors are a combination of Pollard’s black with the white stylings but with the chrome burnt orange preferred by Reynolds.
How good was the car in testing?
“I’m not going to say we didn’t struggle, because we did,” Pollard said. “Man, Forrest has worked hard to get it where we need today. Everyone has. It’s a new car and I might need it to drive different than Philip does. And they’ve worked hard to get it there.
“Man, they’ve changed everything that I felt like we needed to win the race.”
Pollard has really enjoyed his forays into Late Model Stocks, racing at Martinsville and against the likes of Josh Berry, Lee Pulliam and Deac McCaskill.
“Even new race tracks I’ve never been before,” Pollard said. “I’m lucky to have had success in new places over the years. Learning these guys, I’ve seen where they can be rough, and then raced clean. So hopefully this is a race where we all keep it clean so I can learn.”
And Ace is one of those race tracks Pollard has never attended.
“It’s unique,” Pollard said. “It’s got some bumps off 4 that you have to run through straight, and that’s tough during the race in traffic. You’re going to have to protect the bottom. It’s going to be follow the leader. You can’t make mistakes. You can’t make a mistake in qualifying.
“But look at what Josh did last year in coming through the field. We just have to have a good turning race car.”
Pollard is one of 28 Late Model Stock drivers expected to take the green flag on Saturday night in the Race at Ace 125. Green flag is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the event can be viewed on CARSTour.TV.