PENSACOLA, FL - The Southern Super Series has been Bubba Pollard's personal playground in 2014. After a sluggish first two races, Bubba Pollard has run a streak together of four wins, with the most recent coming Friday night in the Rubber & Specialties 125 Presented by RE Suspension at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
Friday's win did not come easy for Pollard, however. The Senoia, GA driver withstood an epic late-race battle with Augie Grill where the two battled side-by-side, traded paint, swapped the lead and used every inch of the race track in the closing laps. Pollard made the winning pass with seven laps to go, while Grill faded from winning contention to fourth at the drop of the checkered flag.
The victory was Pollard's seventh in the Southern Super Series and ninth overall in the Buddy's Home Furnishings Blizzard Series, Five Flags' Super Late Model division. Pollard left Five Flags Friday holding the all-time wins record in both series. Friday's win also made Pollard the first to win fourth straight Southern Super Series races and three straight Blizzard Series races.
"It doesn't get any better than that," said Pollard, 27, in victory lane. "You can race hard like that with someone like Augie Grill. He's fun when you know it's go time and you beat and bang a little and put on a show like that it's just awesome.
"What a year it's been. I could not do this without the people that work on this car and the people that help us out. There is a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen."
Grill used a nudge on Pollard on a lap 96 restart to get to the lead. He ran hard to battle with Pollard throughout the final 30 laps, only to fade once Pollard took the lead for the final time. Grill watched Donnie Wilson and Anderson Bowen get by him at the stripe.
Still, Grill and Pollard put on an epic tussle for the win that had fans on their feet. The pair swapped the lead six times at the start-finish line in the final 26 laps. Grill, a two-time Snowball Derby winner at Five Flags, entered the event tied with Pollard with eight Blizzard Series victories, but gave up the record when Pollard drove his No. 26 to victory lane.
"That was fun," said Grill. "I think I burned my tires up running side-by-side with him there at the end. It would have been more fun if we could have won, but the car is in one piece and we were better than the last race here. That was a lot fun racing Bubba."
Behind Pollard, Wilson, Bowen and Grill was 2013 Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric in fifth. Twenty-four cars took the green flag on Friday night with 14 finishing on the lead lap.
Bubba Pollard started the night by capturing the $500 Southern Super Series Pole Award. It was the 11th time in the series that Pollard had set fast time and the sixth in a row at Five Flags Speedway.
Pollard also was the Dubz Thermal Products Halfway Leader and pocketed a $100 bonus for leading lap 63.
The victory unofficially gives Pollard the point lead in the Southern Super Series for the first time since heading into the season finale at the All American 400 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (TN) in 2013. Pollard eventually would lose the title to Daniel Hemric by a single point. After four wins in 2014 after six starts it looks as if he's not going to allow that to happen again.
Southern Super Series
Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, FL
Rubber & Specialties 125 - May 23, 2014
1. Bubba Pollard
2. Donnie Wilson
3. Anderson Bowen
4. Augie Grill
5. Daniel Hemric
6. Hunter Robbins
7. John Hunter Nemechek
8. David Rogers
9. D.J. VanderLey
10. Kyle Grissom
11. Kyle Bryant
12. Johanna Long
13. Will Gallaher
14. Allen Karnes
15. Jerry Artuso
16. Matt Montineri
17. Logan Boyett
18. Stephen Nasse
19. Mike Garvey
20. Casey Smith
21. Spencer Wauters
22. Kyle Shear
23. Landon Cling
24. Josh Hamner