This coming Tuesday night, the prestigious Slinger Nationals celebrates its 40th running with one of the mightiest fields expected to assemble in Wisconsin at Slinger Super Speedway. Once again, Bubba Pollard is making the trip up from Senoia, Georgia for the fourth straight year, and trying to bump his race win total up to two.
After three years of experience at ‘The World’s Fastest 1/4-Mile Oval’ Pollard has gotten a good sense of what it takes to succeed at this menacing track. As always, you have to come with a strong car, but you also need an exceedingly well-conditioned driver.
“You better be physically in shape, that’s number one. It’s a place where if you don’t race very often, it’s tough on you because it’s physically demanding. I’ve been trying the best I can the last couple of weeks to be prepared for that. That was my biggest problem last year was that I just wasn’t ready,” Pollard told Speed51.
When it comes to his No. 26 Super Late Model, he and his team are approaching Tuesday night as they would at any other race.
“As far as the car, you got to get your car working good just like at any other race track," said Pollard. "We actually changed a little bit of our program up, so we’re looking forward to taking it back there to Slinger this year to see how it works, it didn’t work for us at Berlin, but I think we’ll be ready.”
While the Slinger Nationals always bring out the best in the Midwest, especially in the Badger State, the number of national challengers has varied over the years. Recently, the race has gotten some tremendous competition from outside the region once again. But the local Cheeseheads have gotten a boost in 2019, with the return of 2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion and seven-time Slinger Nationals winner, Matt Kenseth.
"It’s awesome, it’s great to see Kenseth come back and some of these other guys that are going up to race this race. It’s getting the recognition it deserves, it’s a big race with a lot of tradition and history with the guys that have won it,” said Pollard. “I love that they’re taking the chance to go up there. They’ll be amazed when they see the crowd and how the race is run; they’ll want to go back.”
Despite coming from the heart of ‘Southern Hospitality’, Pollard has always loved the racing environment that Slinger and the State of Wisconsin always provides.
“The atmosphere, the racers respect each other because a lot of them have to work on their own racecars. It’s like none other, it’s cool to sign autographs for an hour after the race, that’s what short track racing is all about.”
For those who can’t make it to Slinger Super Speedway this week, Speed51 has you covered. First on Sunday night, catch the Prelude to Nationals live on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes. Then Tuesday on Speed51 Pay-Per-View, watch the 40th Annual Slinger Nationals live. Click here to order.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor - Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51