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Bubba Pollard Scores Emotional Florida Governor’s Cup Triumph

Matt Weaver | STS

Bubba Pollard will carry momentum and a whole lot of heart into next month’s Snowball Derby.

Following a months long slump, Pollard broke through with his first victory in the 55th annual Florida Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

It was his first win since October 3 at Citrus Country and only his third win since July 31. For most, that’s a good stretch, but the expectations are different at Pollard Motorsports and that same stretch included mechanical related DNFs in some of the biggest races of the summer at Oxford, Wisconsin, Winchester and Nashville.

Pollard took the lead from Jesse Dutilly with 40 laps remaining and withstood a late challenge from Daniel Dye to score an emotional victory for himself, his family and crew members.

New Smyrna is the home track of the late David Rogers, and Pollard carries his colors, TM Ranch sponsorship and several crew members from the legendary racer on his No. 26 Super Late Model program.

There were tears and hugs aplenty in Victory Lane.

“There are some things that a lot of people don’t know as well,” Pollard said to Short Track Scene, choking up, tears streaming down his face. “Find out in a couple of weeks. Special.”

Pollard said the emotion was for Rogers, the TM Ranch crew, and members of his own crew back at home who couldn’t make it to the track this weekend.

The complexion of the race changed on two different occasions.

Jesse Dutilly and Stephen Nasse appeared destined to battle for the win, but Nasse suffered a series of alternator issues starting with 60 to go, which he explained to Speed51 as the reason he couldn’t race for the win.

“We need to go back to the drawing board and really figure something out because I do believe that cost us the race today,” Nasse told Speed51.com. “We did everything we could do all weekend.  For it to end like that, definitely stinks. I just hate it for my guys.  They work so hard. We’ve given away a couple of races this year, they were big ones. Like I said, we’ll go back to the drawing board and get ready for the Derby.”

Dutilly stayed out from the lead, choosing to not take his two remaining tires, during the caution for Nasse stalling on the backstretch.

Pollard was running second at the time and was able to use his fresh tires to pass Dutilly, and hopefully can take this momentum to Snowball Derby week in December.

“We still have to go to work, and there’s a lot to gain,” Pollard said. We’ll keep working. That’s all we can do. It does help to win. I feel like our team is capable of winning every week. Just thankful for a lot of things right now. We’ll go to the Derby and give it our best shot.”

Dye was driving a car built for Rogers but sold to Dye last week by Pollard. It was his best career drive in a new car.

What more did he need?

“Time,” Dye said. “I just needed time. I got held up battling (George Gorham for third) and finally got by him. Started reeling Bubba in and just missed the corner a few times. Rookie mistakes. I’m worn out, man.”

Dutilly fell to fourth and Brad May finished fifth. Three-time Governor’s Cup winner Ty Majeski started from the rear after a subpar qualifying effort and fell out of the race on Lap 56 after crashing in Turn 1 following contact with Daniel Keene Jr.

RESULTS

  1. Bubba Pollard
  2. Daniel Dye
  3. George Gorham
  4. Jesse Dutilly
  5. Brad May
  6. Jett Noland
  7. Travis Wilson
  8. Kyle Sieg
  9. Stephen Nasse
  10. Daniel Keene Jr.
  11. Bobby Good
  12. Michael Atwell
  13. Anthony Sergi
  14. Ty Majeski
  15. Kris Wright

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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