Pollard Cashes In on Impromptu Memphis TripZach Hiser
When the weekend started, Bubba Pollard hadn’t made plans to defend his crown in the Masters of the Pros 125 as the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event moved to a new venue in Memphis International Raceway (TN).
After Friday’s Blizzard Series event at Five Flags Speedway (FL) was lost to Mother Nature, however, Pollard had some idle time on his hands. The Senoia, Georgia driver and his team made the decision to go for another Green Jacket in the highest-paying Pro Late Model race in the United States.
That decision proved to be a smart one, as Pollard took the checkered flag in the $10,000-to-win event Sunday, beating out Willie Allen for his second victory in the event.
“It was good from the time we unloaded,” said Pollard in victory lane. “I just can’t thank my guys enough. We weren’t even coming. It rained out at Pensacola, the car’s ready. We decided about four o’clock yesterday afternoon, let’s give it a shot.”
The win adds yet another venue to the list of tracks Pollard has conquered in his illustrious Late Model career. The 3/4-mile D-shaped oval is now the 25th different location for a Bubba Pollard Late Model win, coming in his first-ever trip to Memphis.
“First time I’ve ever been here,” said Pollard. “Cool place, fun place to race. You hear about air all the time, it’s so aero-sensitive. It would drag the left front there and build up air. I got tight when I was having to run behind those guys. When I got out in front in clean air, it would take off.”
Allen settled for a second-place finish after an extended battle with Pollard following the final restart on lap 73. The Bon Aqua, Tennessee racer was pleased with a strong run and couldn’t complain about finishing second to Pollard.
“He’s always tough whenever we race against him,” said Allen. “We had a good run there. We just got a little tight. He’s one of the best in these cars and races all the time. It’s always fun racing with him.”
Carson Hocevar completed the podium, racing in the Masters of the Pros two days after finishing fourth in the ARCA Menards Series’ visit to Iowa Speedway (IA).
“Everybody at KBR Development gave me a good piece,” said Hocevar. “We just needed a little more adjustment throughout the race, we needed a little bit more to catch the top two. We made good adjustments, just not enough.”
A pair of teenagers rounded out the top five, with Jake Garcia finishing fourth and Sammy Smith taking the fifth position.
Race fans who missed Sunday’s Masters of the Pros 125 at Memphis International Raceway can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast of the event by clicking here.
Fans can also click here to view Race Day Now updates from the race.
The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour next competes in the unique Battle at Berlin 251 at Berlin Raceway (MI) on August 17, an event which will pair the All-Stars Tour’s Pro Late Models in the same feature race as the Super Late Models of the ARCA/CRA Super Series.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo