It was somewhat fitting that the Lee Fields Memorial 150 at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night came down to Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse.
After all, the winner received a professional wrestling belt trophy with both Pollard and Nasse representing the type of driver Fields loved to highlight when he was a grappling and motorsports promoter on the Gulf Coast.
In the end, Pollard ‘body slammed’ Nasse with eight laps to go and scored his sixth victory in the signature event at the south Alabama half-mile.
“We’re we supposed to wrestle out there,” Pollard asked sarcastically when asked about his personality matched up against the always-expressive Nasse.
“Well, I guess we might have depending on how things played out.”
Nasse led the most laps and kept Pollard within a half-second for most of the second-half. But the 21-year-old said something broke on his car, allowing the 2014 Southern Super Series champion to get by and win by nearly two seconds.
“Something started breaking on the car there at the end. I don’t know what the deal is but we can’t seem to fix this freeness at the end of these long runs. Any track we go to. I had a shot to win again and the car went to crap.
“I guess we need to go take the car to FURY and see what they can figure out, because I don’t know what’s going on. We need to figure out a way to beat Bubba somehow.”
Pollard suspected something might have happened to Nasse late because he wasn’t holding back over the final 30 laps or so. The 30-year-old was driving deep into the corners, getting into the grass off the exit of Turn 4, but couldn’t make any headway until Nasse snapped loose in the final 10 laps.
“Naw, he had a good car,” Pollard said. “I don’t know if I could have got around him. We both slipped up and he’d pull away, he slip up and then I’d catch him. It was going to be tough and it was going to be a good race. We were both hanging on.
“This track is just so slick and it was going to be a battle to the end.”
With the triumph, Pollard now has six Fields Memorial championship belts, adding to the ones he picked up in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Pollard, from Senoia Georgia, has often called Mobile, Alabama his home track. Thus, winning its signature Late Model event is a huge honor, especially given the uncertainty surrounding its ownership status.
“It’s hard to win one race, much less six in the Fields,” Pollard said. “Ida (Fields, current track owner) does a great job and has stuck around all these years. I would hate to see this place close up. It’s a great race track and there were a lot of fans here tonight.
“They deserve this track and I hope we keep winning races here.”
Pollard posted the fast time in qualifying but had to start fifth in the 16 car field due to a dice roll invert. He fell back to ninth by Lap 10 but methodically worked his way through the field.
Nasse gained a handful of points over Chandler Smith (fourth) and Garrett Jones (third) in the Southern Super Series championship battle. There are two races remaining — the Watermelon Classic at Watermelon Capital Speedway on September 2 and the championship race on September 23 at Five Flags Speedway.
The complete results can be found below.
- Bubba Pollard
- Stephen Nasse
- Garrett Jones
- Chandler Smith
- Connor Okrzesik
- Donnie Wilson
- Kyle Plott
- Kason Plott
- Bobby Knox Jr.
- Riley Thorton
- Anthony Sergi
- Paul Kelley
- Jeff Choquette
- Augie Grill
- Chris Davidson
- Corey Roper
Read more Short Track Scene:
- CRA Super Series sets debut Chase for the Championship roster
- Lee Pulliam, Andrew Grady split Southern National Twins 40s
- Modified Tour championship tightens after Bristol