Amidst all the severe weather across the South, it was a clear and cool night for racing at South Alabama Speedway for the opening round of the 2011 Viper Series, the Sidewinder 100. Bubba Pollard snagged the fastest lap in qualifying with a time of 15.516 seconds around the four-tenths mile oval. After the random re-draw, Brandon Odom drew the pole position and led the 11-car field to the green flag.
Mike Garvey quickly stole the lead from Odom following an early caution that saw Kyle Bryant and Anderson Bowen tangle going into turn one, ending Bryant’s night. Garvey went on to lead 72 of the 100 laps before Pollard rose to the top on lap 78.
Pollard saved his car until the waning laps before charging up to the front, a lesson he learned after leading over half of “THE RACE” at North Wilkesboro.
“I felt like I led too many laps last week and I came here and ran my style of a race tonight and think it really paid off,” said Pollard. “That’s my kind of racing; sit there and save and ride, then see what the other guys have got in the middle of the pack before I go.”
As Pollard caught Garvey, he began to change is line, searching for just the right place to make his move. His opportunity came with 23 laps to go, where he used the high side in turn two to make the pass.
“I kept trying to move up to the high side, but it was just so dirty up there. I kept cleaning it off and cleaning it off until it finally stuck. The cool thing about it is that it’s a move that Beau is famous for. I feel like he was riding with me on that one.”
Pollard rode to victory in the car he debuted in the 2010 Snowball Derby. In doing so, he continued to honor his late friend, Beau Slocumb, by carrying Beau’s orange #08 with camouflage trim on the side of his racecar, replacing the familiar #18.
“It’s pretty cool, I know he’s smiling down on us right now... I know that’s for sure. This [car] looks good and he loved it back at the Derby. I hope everybody likes it. It really means a lot to me to have it on the racecar and run this well and put that #08 back in victory lane.
Bubba Pollard led the final 23 laps in route to his third victory of 2011. After dominating most of the race, Mike Garvey held onto second, finishing 1.364 seconds behind Pollard. Brandon Odom led five laps and ran in second most of the night, fighting Korey Ruble late to take hold onto third.
Pollard now leads the Viper Series points standings, 10 points ahead of Garvey. The next Viper Series race is the Diamondback Pro Late Model 100 on May 21st.