Bubba Pollard can win anywhere in 2018. Even outside of the United States.
Pollard took the lead from Raphael Lessard on lap 144 of the 200-lap Pro Late Model feature at the Canadian Short Track Nationals, scoring the victory at Jukasa Motor Speedway (ON).
The win comes as part of a sensational 2018 season for the Senoia, Georgia driver with some remarkable feats. Just one week removed from winning the prestigious Oxford 250 in his first attempt in the event at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME), Pollard went north of the border and collected a $50,000 (CAD) winner’s payday for his efforts.
Despite his success in this incredible campaign, Pollard was quick to thank his team in victory lane.
“It ain’t nothing about me,” Pollard said. “There’s no ‘I’ in team, and I’ve got a great group of guys didn’t quit working the last two weeks. They’re volunteer. Everybody thinks we run this big organization of a race team and we don’t. We just love racing.”
Pollard also thanked the fans, who turned out in strong numbers at the immaculate facility in Ontario formerly known as Cayuga Speedway. Kenny Hill and Jerry Montour purchased the venue in 2016 and have since invested heavily into Jukasa Motor Speedway to put it on stages such as tonight’s event.
“This is why I race short-track racing,” Pollard said. “All these fans. I know I say it each and every week. These fans out here and the guys owning this racetrack putting on a show like this. This is one heck of a facility. If it weren’t for the fans in the stands, we wouldn’t be out here racing.”
Even while celebrating his huge win, Pollard was already thinking ahead to next week. Pollard is one of several all-star drivers who has accepted an invitation to the $10,000-to-win, “Winner-Take-All” Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) next weekend.
“I’ve got one guy back at the shop getting the car ready for Indianapolis next week,” Pollard said. “Hopefully we can make it three in a row.”
Pollard also plans on making a return trip to Ontario to defend his Canadian Short Track Nationals crown, as the cumulative purse for the event is expected to reach $300,000 for next year’s event and eclipse the $1 million mark in 2021.
“I’ll tell you what, they’re making it awfully hard not to come back for the next few years,” Pollard said. “I think you’ll get a lot more Southern guys come up and this is going to be one heck of a show, one heck of an event. Fans, keep coming out and hopefully we can make it back across the border.”
Carson Hocevar started on the pole for the 200-lap event, but spun on lap 45 after contact with Kyle Reid. The 15-year-old from Michigan raced his way through the field for a runner-up finish, and felt a few more long green-flag runs at the end of the race could have given him a shot at the win.
“We were a little bit better than him after ten laps,“ Hocevar said. “We just got hosed there. It’s on me. I screwed up on the restart a few times and that cost us. If it would have went green I think we would have had a shot working through lapped traffic.”
Hocevar also pledged he would return for next season’s Canadian Short Track Nationals, with his eyes set on taking the victory which eluded him on Sunday evening.
“This place is freaking awesome, man,” said Hocevar. “The crowd is awesome, y’all show so much support. The crowd was amazing. Hopefully it’ll be bigger next year, and we’ll be one spot better.”
|28||33||Wes Griffith Jr.|
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ZTEvans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com