Despite Mother Nature’s delay and several factors going against him at South Alabama Speedway during Rattler Weekend, Bubba Pollard proved consistency can overcome most odds on the racetrack. The Senoia, Georgia native scored a pair of top-10 finishes, capped off by a runner-up finish in the Pro Rattler 125 and a “what could’ve been” in the 250-lap Rattler Super Late Model event.
Pollard started off Rattler weekend with a shot at victory in the CRA Super Series-sanctioned Rattler 250. He remained in contention for most of The Rattler, a race in which he had finished second the last two years, only to be taken out of a position to win when he was involved in a tangle for the lead with just 13 laps remaining.
“They (Chase Elliott and Grant Enfinger) got balled up off turn two and we went to the outside late in the race,” said Pollard. It’s late in the race and you just have to go for it. We got involved in it and had to fight back up to seventh at the finish, but we had a really good car all day. We just didn’t have anything to show for it.”
Coming up short of victory for a third straight season had Pollard wondering “What if?” after the race.
“In that race race, it seems like we can get so close, but never seal the deal,” said Pollard.
With just minutes between the Rattler 250 and the Pro Late Model 100-lap feature, which was rescheduled from Saturday after rain showers struck the Opp, Alabama area hard, Pollard moved into the cockpit of his No. 18 Atlanta Thrifty Nickel Pro Late Model. Starting fourth, he looked to add another Rattlesnake Trophy to his 2009 win in that event.
By lap 32, Pollard continued his campaign towards the lead as he passed Augie Grill for second. At lap 45, Pollard took the lead. A few laps later he laid down the fastest lap of the race, 15.609 seconds.
Just after the halfway mark, Pollard was under attack once again from Chase Elliott. This time, Elliott would get the lead away from Pollard. Pollard fell back a little with 20 laps to go, but a caution flag with six laps remaining gave Pollard one last shot at Elliott.
At lap 97 Pollard edged to the lead, but at the white flag Elliott got a run off turn four to take the win.
“Chase had a way better car than I did,” said Pollard after the Pro Late Model race. “We got tight there at the end of the race and I knew the only chance I had was to get him on the restart right there.”
“I enjoy racing like that,” said Pollard about his duel with Elliott at the end of the PLM race. “We touched several times, but you know, when it’s five laps to go you’re gonna touch.”
“It’s just tough racing,” according to Pollard. “You have to drive as hard as you can on every lap. It doesn't matter if it's the end or not.”
Even though Pollard didn’t come home with a Rattler trophy this time, he was optimistic about the future.
“One of these days, we’re gonna get all our ducks in a row and win some races,” said Pollard.
Pollard’s next attempt for victory will come on Friday, March 25th as he kicks off the 2011 Gulf Coast Championship season in the Blizzard Series opener at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Atlanta Thrifty Nickel serves 17 counties around the metro ATL area and its papers are distributed to more than 3,300 locations. Thrifty Nickel can also help those wanting to advertise regionally, statewide and around the country through its classified papers and its internet site. Visit them online at www.atlantathriftynickel.com.
For more information on Bubba Pollard, please contact Elgin Traylor at (706) 267-6638 and stay tuned for an all-new Bubba Pollard website coming soon from 51 Sports.