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Bubba Pollard Continues Hot Start, Wins Rattler 250 at South Alabama

It’s already been a year to remember for Bubba Pollard, and that only continued on his birthday at South Alabama Speedway on Saturday.

Pollard held off Jake Finch in the closing laps to win the Hardee’s Rattler 250, his third career win in the major Super Late Model event. With the third win, Pollard ties Ronnie Sanders for second on the all-time wins list in the race that began in 1974.

It also marks a third win in Super Late Model competition already this year, a hot start for one of the biggest names in Late Model racing. Pollard had already been honored earlier in the day at South Alabama as the 2023 champion of the UARA National Series, another in his long list of accomplishments.

Of course, this is all coming just weeks after the announcement he will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with JR Motorsports at Richmond Raceway, a race that is just two weeks away.

It may only been March, but 2024 is plenty special already.

“We’ve had a good year,” Pollard told Racing America. “We’ve won some big races to start the year off, and hopefully we keep it going. We’ve got good race cars. We’re going to these tracks for the second time with this car. Last year, it was all new to us, so we’ve had to learn everything.

“I’ve got a good family that supports me and stands behind me, because I know it’s hard going up and down these roads. I’ve been gone a lot these past couple of months. We’ve got a busy summer. It takes a lot of people to make this happen and win these races. It’s small things, getting the car ready in the shop, making it easy at work. Everybody’s having fun and it goes a long way.”

Photo credit: Reid Scott/Liberty Racing Review

 

Pollard qualified 13th in the field of 26 Super Late Models to take the green flag for this year’s UARA National Series opener. He quickly worked his way forward, joining the top 10 by lap 20 and breaking into the top five in the first 100 laps.

From there, Pollard patiently moved up position after position before taking the lead from Jett Noland on lap 187. There would be several late restarts to close out the race, where Pollard had to fend off Baby Rattler 125 winner Jake Finch to secure the win.

“[Finch] had a good race car,” said Pollard. “He stepped it up at the end when he needed to. We got tight. One of those restarts, I don’t know what happened. The 50 [of Jett Noland] went into the corner and hit me in the left-front pretty good.

“Ever since that, we were pretty tight. I feel like the stagger closed up a little bit on us, and we tried to compensate for it because I felt like it was going to happen again. It did, it just wasn’t enough. Jake had a great race car. He was good when it counted there, and it was fun racing him out.”

“Starting outside on those cautions put me back a little bit,” said Finch. “Once I could get single file and get stretched out, it was hard when you’re running the exact same lap times to close that gap. I closed the gap pretty good and was driving as hard as I could to get up there.

“I could have gotten to Bubba, but I didn’t want to hit him and get crucified on Twitter and everything. It would be way too deep for me to drive it in there to get to him. A solid run for our No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, and I’m excited for what we have to come.”

Finch settled for second, with Justin Mondeik, Michael Hinde and Michael Goddard rounding out the top five.

The next scheduled event for the UARA National Tour is the Carolina 125 at New River All American Speedway in Jacksonville, North Carolina. That event is slated for June 1.

-Photo credit: Reid Scott/Liberty Racing Review

48TH HARDEE’S RATTLER 250 RESULTS
Fin No Driver Laps Diff
1 26P Bubba Pollard 250
2 51F Jake Finch 250 0.407
3 44M Justin Mondeik 250 1.614
4 69 Michael Hinde 250 2.293
5 37 Michael Goddard 250 2.917
6 67 Colin Allman 250 3.627
7 50 Jett Noland 250 4.484
8 1D Steve Dorer 250 4.803
9 26S Dawson Sutton 250 5.375
10 44 Jeremy Doss 250 8.078
11 15 Gabe Sommers 250 8.739
12 1K Kasey Kleyn 249 1 Lap
13 25 Gavan Boschele 246 3 Laps
14 23F Dave Farrington 244 6 Laps
15 14A Michael Atwell 209 41 Laps
16 28W Timothy Watson 195 55 Laps
17 23V Billy VanMeter 163 87 Laps
18 112 Augie Grill 162 88 Laps
19 98 Chase Lovelady 131 119 Laps
20 14N Austin Nason 128 122 Laps
21 9 Hudson Halder 97 153 Laps
22 28B Dylan Bigley 42 208 Laps
23 08 Tony Elrod 33 217 Laps
24 58 John Coffman 32 218 Laps
25 29 Hunter Wright 22 228 Laps
26 51N Stephen Nasse 12 238 Laps
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