UPDATE: Second-place finisher Eddie MacDonald was disqualified due to an unapproved ignition box.
The legend of Bubba Pollard grew on Monday afternoon in Southern Ontario.
So did his bank account.
Pollard earned $75,000 CAN for outdueling New England mainstay Eddie MacDonald over the final 30 laps of the second-annual Canadian Short Track Nationals at Jukasa Motor Speedway in Hagersville, Ontario.
This marks back-to-back victories in the event for Pollard, who once again traveled from Senoia, Georgia to race against an all-star cast of short trackers from both sides of the border.
Pollard qualified for the race through time trials on Saturday, took the green flag from the fourth position and ran inside the top-five for the near-entirety of the event.
And by the final 30 laps, which followed a final round of pit stops, it was MacDonald and Pollard who cut through the field and were side-by-side with 15 laps to go.
MacDonald held the top spot by virtue of a better restart, but once clear of traffic, Pollard began reeling in the veteran racer and completed the pass for the lead with 10 to go.
But Pollard conceded that he needed that caution with 40 to go, or the results could have looked much different.
“You have to be there at the end to win them,” Pollard said in victory lane. “We took our left sides at the end and just needed to ride. I looked at the right sides and I’m not sure if we could have made it to the end without them blowing out. I said to myself ‘if it blows out, it blows out.’ But we got that caution.
“We were tight that last run and wish I could have turned better but it was enough.”
This is one of the rare times that Pollard was able to race MacDonald, a Northerner who applies his craft in the American Canadian Tour, Pro All Stars Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Outdueling MacDonald is something Pollard’s relished.
“Eddie is a great race car driver,” Pollard said. “We don’t get to race together that often.”
MacDonald started on the pole as a result of time trials and led the first 45 laps. He was in position to lead the last 40 too, but just got beat by one of the best in Pollard.
“The guys did a great job and the guys did a great job,” MacDonald said. “It just got a little too tight on that last pit stop there. It was great to run with Bubba. He runs you clean… I wasn’t sure how we would run against these guys and we did a great job.”
APC Pro Late Model championship leader Matt Pritiko was the highest finishing Canadian and held his own against the invaders from the south.
“It’s an honor to run with these guys,” Pritiko said. “This car was super-fast. We got caught up in a crash early and was able to drive all the way back to the front. I wish there was a caution with a few more laps left so we could have given it a shot.”
JR Fitzpatrick, the reigning APC champion, and K&N Pro Series regular Colin Garrett completed the top-five. Derek Ramstrom finished seventh after starting outside of top-30 for the second year in a row. Midwestern short track ace Johnny VanDoorn looked to be a contender early in the race but ran into numerous incidents and was the cause of the final caution. He finished 31st.
The field was set by time trials and a series of heat races. Over 70 drivers attempted to qualify for the race with a starting lineup of 41 strong.
The purse for the Short Track Nationals will continue to grow with a purse of $1 million Canadian under the order of track owners Kenny Hill and Jerry Montour. Pollard will be back to chase that one too.
“This was fun,” Pollard said. “It’s a cool place. I love this place. How could I not like it? The fans are awesome and they’re glad you come.”
The complete results can be found below.
- Bubba Pollard
- Eddie Macdonald
- Matt Pritiko
- JR Fitzpatrick
- Colin Garrett
- Brandon Watson
- Derek Ramstrom
- Patrick Laperle
- Dawson Fletcher
- Andrew Gresel
- Chris Davidson
- Jo Lawrence
- Chris Reid
- Cole Powell
- Nicholas Naugle
- Treyten Lapcevich
- Jordan Sims
- Connor Okrzesik
- Kyle Reid
- Shae Gemmel
- Kelly Admiraal
- Taylor Holdaway
- Dale Shaw
- Johnny Clark
- Josh Stade
- Matthew Shirley
- Gary Adriaensen
- Jaden Chapman
- Kevin Dyck
- Steve Laking
- Johnny VanDoorn
- Donald Theetge
- Derek Griffith
- Shane Maginnis
- Raphael Lessard
- Cayden Lapcevich
- Brian Campbell
- Albert Francis
- Jake Sheridan
- Harold Fair Jr.
- Sammy Smith