In the Super Late Model version of the All-Star Race, the discipline’s biggest name shined brightest on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis.
Bubba Pollard outdueled 12 of his fellow champions and regional superstars to earn a $10,000 check in the winner-take-all 51 Super Select Invitational. The race was by invite only with 13 superstar drivers taking the offer of free tires and a waived entry fee to compete in the three-segment, 75-lap exhibition.
In the end, Pollard won the first stage, played the right strategy in the second, and outdueled fellow Georgia native Casey Roderick in the third — all in his first visit to IRP.
“This place doesn’t suit my driving style,” Pollard said. “You have to charge the corner and let it roll through the center. It’s momentum racing. I like to get back on the throttle quick. So to come here and do this, I’ve said this is the best car I’ve ever driven and I really feel like it’s up there. I didn’t know what we were going to have yesterday and we just kept working on it, even during the race after that first segment.”
Pollard set himself up to succeed with a first stage victory over Brian Campbell. The results of that first segment were given a total invert, meaning Pollard and Campbell had to race their way through the field. Harrison Burton held off Matthew Craig.
Pollard drive from 12th to fourth. That was enough to earn him the pole for the final 25 laps, where the track position was enough to give him the edge in a series of late race restarts against Roderick. Pollard took the high side on the first restart and the bottom on the second before winning the race with a restart on top.
“It’s important to give him different looks,” Pollard said. “Casey Roderick is a really good race car driver and he’ll figure you out if you give him the same look. But that last restart, that was money.”
Speaking of money, he earned $11,500 on Saturday night by virtue of his stage win bonus. Combined with the $56,000 he won on Monday in the Canadian Short Track Nationals, Pollard collected $67,500 this week.
That’s why he’s the all-star of all-stars.
For Roderick, this was yet another second-place finish in a string of them against Pollard — a driver he (nor anyone else) can’t seem to beat head-to-head consistently.
“Second’s not bad but first paid the money tonight and we’re just a little bit short there,” Roderick said. “I just couldn’t put the throttle down at the corner, I was really good rolling in through the center, but I just didn’t have that drive like he did off just to really be able to hustle it and race him. I have to thank Donnie Wilson for giving me this opportunity to drive his car this weekend. I had a lot of fun out there.
“If I just could’ve been on the outside of one of those restarts, he took the preferred line and if I was the leader I would’ve done the same thing, we might have held him off. He might’ve pulled it off on the inside but I would’ve given him a good, hard fight and it wouldn’t have been easy for him. Congrats to him, he’s been all over the country winning races and this week has been a good week for him with all the money. We’ll get there.”
Burton seemed poised to contend in the final stage, starting third and having pledged to donate his winnings to the Hurricane Dorian recovery effort in the Bahamas. But he developed a vibration early in the final segment and could never match the Georgia veterans.
He finished third behind them.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Burton said. “We just didn’t unload where we needed to be and just didn’t have the speed we needed to. “But what a cool race and format. Guys were three-wide and doing slide jobs like it was a dirt race.
“I appreciate the invite to come out and race and it’s always good to get into a Super Late Model again.”
- Bubba Pollard
- Casey Roderick
- Harrison Burton
- Brian Campbell
- Jack Dossey III
- Casey Johnson
- Casey Johnson
- Stephen Nasse
- Gus Dean
- Brett Yackey
- Josh Brock
- Austin Nason
- Matt Craig