On Thursday night at Senoia Raceway (GA), Bubba Pollard took the win over Dylan Knowles in the Crate Late Model feature. When the division returned to the South’s Baddest Bullring two nights later, it was Knowles getting the upper hand after a thrilling battle.
Knowles took the win over Pollard at the Senoia Bullring Bash on Saturday, after an extended duel between the Alabama driver and the pavement Late Model standout racing at his home track. The exchange started as the duo worked their way around the polesitter, Colby Darda.
“I’m not going to say we had the best car,” Knowles told Speed51 in victory lane. “The 91 [of Darda] was good. I think he got in the water down there. He pushed and Bubba turned under him and they got together. I knew that was my opportunity, so I went around the top as hard as I could.”
Knowles and Pollard would exchange the lead multiple times over the following laps, exchanging passes and slide jobs. Knowles was able to wrestle away the lead before he and Pollard encountered lapped traffic, which allowed him to hang on for the victory.
“Me and Bubba threw three or four slide jobs for a couple of laps. I beat him out of the corner, and I knew if I could stay on the bottom, I could probably sew it up, and that’s where we stayed.”
While Pollard came away with a runner-up finish, he was still thrilled to have a strong showing and to take part in a hard-fought battle for the win.
“We had a good run. It was fun, we went back and forth there. I think our cars were tit-for-tat. That’s what I enjoy, that’s why I like racing around this place.
“Our cars were so equal, it was going to come down to whoever had that little advantage to be out front and keep it on the bottom. I knew I had to get him before we got to the lapped traffic, but he got me back. That was the key.”
The win for Knowles was also a strong conclusion to a week that started sour. The runner-up finish on Thursday came after he and his team had to overcome mechanical gremlins.
“We’ve worked our butts off. We broke a transmission Thursday and came second to Bubba. We regrouped, and we’ve got a good piece. Hopefully we can keep it going for the rest of the year.”
Pollard was not the only local to enjoy a strong showing on Saturday night. Ashton Winger, who will be competing for Rookie of the Year honors with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in 2020, took the Limited Late Model feature win.
After struggling in both the Limited and Super Late Models on Thursday in Senoia, Winger was thrilled to turn things around on Saturday.
“It’s way different than 48 hours ago,” said Winger. “I know this is Limited, but a little over 48 hours ago we were not very good. We did not do a very good job all night, and we ended up pretty bad in that Super race. I feel better here tonight.”
Next week, Winger will be back with the Outlaws as they return to racing at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (MO).
“I’m looking forward to going back World of Outlaws racing next weekend. We’ll try to do that the next few weeks. I’ve just got to get a little bit better. I’ve got a little bit of rust to shake off. Even tonight, I could have been better.”
Race fans who missed Saturday’s Senoia Bullring Bash to start the track’s local racing season can click here to watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s broadcast of the event.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo