Just days away from the Blizzard Series opener at Five Flags Speedway, Bubba Pollard is already looking to make 2011 his season to earn the championship honors at the famed Pensacola, Florida track and the overall Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship between Five Flags and Mobile International Speedway in Alabama.
Pollard, a native of Senoia, Georgia, will see if he can start off the 2011 season with a repeat of his season-opening win last year in the Pepsi Max 100 Blizzard Series kickoff on March 25th. Pollard will be driving the Ronnie Sanders prepared Atlanta Thrifty Nickel #18.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Pollard. “There are going to be a lot of good cars coming down for this first race. Hopefully we’ll get to go test the night before and get it dialed in to do it again.”
The competition isn’t the only thing that’s on Pollard’s mind going into the race. With a new tire compound and the elimination of a two-tire pit stop, finding a balance between running hard and saving enough for the end is a major factor this season in both ends of the 100-lap doubleheader at Five Flags and Mobile.
“I look forward to racing at both Pensacola and Mobile. The different strategy that we’re going to be faced with, by not taking two tires, is going to be something we have to learn. It’s going to be tough to save your tires and be there at the end of all of these races.”
For Pollard, being in contention at the end of the race at Five Flags is nothing new. His season-opening Blizzard Series win last season came after he took the lead on lap 98 of 100.
“I think being there at the end is going to be the key to winning some of these Blizzard races this year,” he said. “And the same can be said for Mobile as well. Both tracks are exciting for me to drive and I know we’ll put on a great show for the fans as well.”
Winning is what Pollard will need to do if he intends to take the Gulf Coast title this year. He finished second in points in the two-track series in both 2009 and 2010, so he is hoping to climb just one spot higher this season.
“I was leading the points going into the last race two years ago and lost it in one race. We’re going to try to get the win this time in our Atlanta Thrifty Nickel car and hopefully that will lead us in the right direction to the championship.”
The Pepsi Max 100 kicks off the 2011 Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship and the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway on Friday, March 25th. The following night, Pollard will be starting the second half of the Gulf Coast doubleheader weekend at Mobile International Speedway in Alabama for the opener of the Miller Lite Super Late Model series.
For more information on Bubba Pollard, contact Elgin Traylor at (706) 267-6638 and stay tuned for an all-new Bubba Pollard website coming soon.