For many Super Late Model racers, CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park is where the year begins, competing against some of the stiffest competition in the country every year in late January. For Bubba Pollard, it is a rare chance to compete in front of family and friends in his home state of Georgia.
Pollard lives a little more than two hours from Cordele in Senoia, Georgia. While Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia is returning to the scene in 2020 and the Pro All Stars Series competed at Lanier Raceplex last fall, for many years Crisp Motorsports Park was the lone Peach State venue for pavement Late Model racers.
That’s part of what makes CRA SpeedFest special for Pollard. While he will spend most of the year traveling all over North America chasing the richest and most prestigious short track events, SpeedFest gives him a chance to start the year with a big win in his home state.
“It’s close to home. That’s the big thing for us,” Pollard told Speed51. “Lots of friends and family can come down and check it out, watch some racing close to home. We don’t normally get to do that, so it’s big.”
Pollard is often a favorite no matter where he shows up with his race car. However, he is dealing with some uncertainty and searching for speed entering the new year.
“We’ve changed a lot, went back and forth on baseline. The last couple of weeks, we’ve done some testing to see where we’re at. We’re kind of going to SpeedFest not knowing what to expect or how the car’s going to be. We’ve got a pretty good baseline we can unload with, but we’ve got to be better and improve our baseline.”
Still, Pollard hopes to start the year on a strong note, backing up his SpeedFest win in 2016.
“We’ll get the year started on a good note, hopefully. It’s been a tough track for us in the past. We’ve had fast cars capable of winning, and we’ve won, but we just haven’t had that consistency I felt like we needed.”
Pollard hopes a strong showing in the Watermelon Capital in a race won by some of the biggest names in racing will be just what he needs to kick off the 2020 season.
“Being the first race, it gets you a little momentum going into the year if you run well there. There are some big names that have won there in the past, Kyle [Busch] and Chase [Elliott] and all those guys. You know where you stack up early and see get a head start on some of those guys throughout the year. I’m excited about Brian Campbell coming down, racing this year.”
Race fans unable to make the trip to Cordele for CRA SpeedFest can watch the event live on Speed51. Click here for more information regarding the broadcast this weekend.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51