Bubba Pollard has won Super Late Model events all over the country over the past half-decade and is widely considered one of the best short trackers in the country. However, a victory in one of the so-called majors is missing from his resume and it’s a fact that he is well aware of.
Pollard is winless in the Snowball Derby, Winchester 400 and World Crown 300 and that’s something that the current Southern Super Series championship leader is well positioned to do on Saturday night.
“We definitely want to win one of these bigger races but all we can do is go to and get our car as best as we can and get our cars going to the best that we can and give 100 percent,” Pollard told Short Track Scene on Saturday morning. “We’ll keep going and see what we’ve got tonight.”
Pollard posted his best finish in a grand slam event (second) three times including the last two World Crown 300s and the 2012 All-American 400 when that event was still contested with Super Late Models. The defending Southern Super Series runner-up says these extra distance events are his favorite.
“I enjoy these races,” Pollard said. “It puts a lot of thinking into it. There’s the element of teamwork in it. You have to make good decisions and have good pit stops. These races are certainly a lot of fun.”
Having a good car has helped him have fun at Gresham Motorsports Park in recent seasons and Pollard isn’t sure that his newest machine is comparable yet.
“I don’t know,” Pollard said of his car. “You don’t know here until race time. This track sometimes tightens up and then it will turn around and free up without warning.
“I know we have a good car but I’m not sure we’re going to set the world on fire in qualifying because everyone has worked on that while we’ve worked on our long runs. I am happy with the car and think we have a great chance.”
Augie Grill Winless Thus Far in 2014
Two-time Snowball Derby champion Augie Grill has remarkably gone winless after the first nine months of the season. For a driver that is accustomed to winning early and often, what has gone wrong this season?
“It’s a good question,” Grill told Short Track Scene before qualifying on Saturday. “We’ve ran around the bush trying to figure out what’s going wrong this year and we’re still working on it.
“We’ve had some good runs and equally bad ones. I don’t know but I think we have some good speed in this one today. We’ve only had to make a few adjustments as it was a little too free for my liking but I’m excited for this race, I’ll tell you that.”
Grill finished sixth in the World Crown 300 last year and that is also his best finish in the premiere event at Gresham Motorsports Park.
Grill is fourth in the Southern Super Series championship standings behind Bubba Pollard, Daniel Hemric and Donnie Wilson. He’s 42 points out of first, well within reach with four races remaining in the season, but he’s not points racing on Saturday night.
“Yeah, that’s cool to be back in the championship but we don’t points race,” Grill said. “We’re here to win races. That’s our main goal. You win races and the points will take care of itself. Hopefully we can leave here with a good run and build some momentum into the final three races.”
Despite not yet winning a race this season, Grill has been the pillar of consistency in the Southern Super Series. Grill opened the year with a P15 in the season-opening Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway but has finished outside of the top-10 only one other time this season for an average finish of 6.6.
As a result, Grill should be counted as one of the favorites, breaking through in a big way at the Jackson County speedplant.
Preview interviews with Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton can be viewed below.