With a new year and new decade now upon us, Speed51 is continuing its look back on a great decade of short track racing. In the coming days, we will be revealing our list of the top 10 short track drivers over the past 10 years, and to build things up, we’re examining some of the great short track debates of the past decade.
We’ve already looked at the great Northeast Dirt Modified rivalry of Matt Sheppard and Stewart Friesen, then this past weekend shifted the microscope to Southeast Late Model Stock Car stars Josh Berry and Lee Pulliam. Our third discussion brought us back to the Northeast, but this time to the pavement; specifically the ground pounding Tour-type Modifieds with drivers Doug Coby and Matt Hirschman.
Now, for the final part of our series we'll head to the Super Late Model world and take a look at two of the most successful drivers of the decade: Bubba Pollard and Ty Majeski.
For the sake of this debate, we are only considering performance in Super Late Models when making our case for each driver.
Making the Case for Bubba Pollard
During the past decade, Bubba Pollard made the transition from being a regional star to becoming the most popular Super Late Model driver in the nation. What began as a string of success primarily in the Southeast region eventually turned into success at major Super Late Model events throughout the United States. As a result, Pollard made his name known in California, Florida, Maine and nearly everywhere in between.
By our count, Pollard scored a total of 104 Late Model victories between 2010 and 2019, with 59 of those victories in Super Late Models.
During the early part of the decade, Pollard stacked up wins primarily in Alabama, Florida and his home state of Georgia. Doing the majority of his work in the Southern Super Series and Gulf Coast Championship Series at Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway, the driver of car No. 26 became a superstar in the region during the first half of the decade.
In 2015, Pollard took the show on the road and began winning at new race tracks throughout the country. After opening the season with a win in the Red Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), Pollard traveled west on two different occasions that season and pocketed over $50,000 by winning the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway (CA) and Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway (WA).
In 2016, Pollard added the first crown jewel win to his resume when he was victorious in the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN). He would later go on to win another crown jewel event in 2018 when he traveled to Maine and won the Oxford 250 in his first attempt.
In addition to finding success in two of the four crown jewel events, Pollard added a handful of other big race wins to his resume including the Rattler 250, CRA SpeedFest, Joe Shear Classic 200, Money in the Bank 150, Slinger Nationals and the inaugural Speed51 Super Select SLM All-Star Race.
Throughout the decade, Pollard was victorious in events sanctioned by a wide variety of touring series including the ARCA/CRA Super Series, ARCA Midwest Tour, CARS Tour, Pro All Stars Series (PASS), Southern Super Series and SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series.
Pollard's one touring series championship came during the 2014 season when he won the Southern Super Series title. Additional championships for Pollard this decade include the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway, Gulf Coast Championship Series and the 2019 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing championship at New Smyrna Speedway.
Making a Case for Ty Majeski
Despite not recording his first major Super Late Model win until the 2014 season, Ty Majeski has been on an absolute tear during the second half of the decade. Overall, by our count, Majeski has at least 55 recorded Super Late Model victories during the decade. Although the majority of those victories have come close to his home state of Wisconsin, the driver of car No. 91 has branched out in recent years and proven that he's a force to be reckoned with at race tracks throughout the country.
Beginning in 2014, Majeski went on the most dominating run in ARCA Midwest Tour history by winning 19 of 44 races and four straight championships during a four-year span. Following those four years of unprecedented success, he stepped away from full-time Midwest Tour competition in 2018 to focus on his opportunity with Roush-Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Majeski's success outside of the Midwest region began at the end of the 2015 season when he grabbed the attention of the Super Late Model world by winning the Florida Governor's Cup 200 at New Smyrna Speedway. That would be the first of three consecutive wins for the Seymour, Wisconsin driver in the prestigious race held each November.
In 2016, Majeski added another big win to his resume when he draped an Alabama rattlesnake around his neck after winning the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway. He followed that up by becoming a back-to-back winner in the traditional Southern Super Series season opener one year later.
Like Pollard, Majeski also has a World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing championship on his resume after claiming the title in 2016. Overall, he has a total of six race wins in a Super Late Model during Florida Speedweeks.
Despite only running a limited Super Late Model schedule during the 2018 season, Majeski made the most of it by scoring one of the biggest wins of his career in the Slinger Nationals.
Making the long haul from Wisconsin to California in 2019, Majeski scored the richest win of his career during the 4th Annual Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway. He was declared the winner of the race after 172 laps and cashed a $32,500 check for his efforts.
At home, Majeski is a two-time winner of the Oktoberfest 200 at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in Wisconsin. Additionally, he has wins with the TUNDRA Super Late Models Series, Alive for Five Series and Red, White & Blue Series.
Who's It Going to Be?
This is a question that isn't easy to answer after analyzing the performance of both drivers during the decade. While Pollard has certainly been successful for a longer period of time, Majeski has been able to match up well with him since catching fire at the start of the 2015 season.
Although Majeski and Pollard don't match up frequently given where they reside, they have competed in their fair share of races together. By our calculations, each driver has four wins in races that the other driver has competed in.
While we're not going to be quick to call it a rivalry between the two drivers, they have had a pair of instances when they have clashed on the race track. The first came during the 2017 Slinger Nationals when the two drivers collided on the race track. Majeski "tapped out" and accepted blame for the incident, while Pollard went on to win the race. The second incident between the two drivers came over one year later during the 51st Annual Snowball Derby when the two drivers tangled with 14 laps remaining, ending Pollard's race.
With all of this said, we've presented the tale of the tape between these two drivers. It's now up to you to let us know who you think is the best Super Late Model racer of the decade. Vote below for your choice and be sure to chime in on our Five Star Race Car Bodies Facebook feed, as well as on our @speed51dotcom Twitter feed.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Content Manager - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com