Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway was one of those nights where everybody was racing for second-place. As it turned out, the battle for second-place ended up being the battle for the win.
Bubba Pollard put on a Super Late Model clinic at the Alabama half-mile and completely dominated the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco Mobile 100. However it was Harrison Burton who was credited with the win after Pollard was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for an engine intake violation on his Ace motor.
“It’s a big deal to us,” Burton, son of longtime NASCAR racer Jeff Burton, said after being declared the winner. “The guys worked really hard and it paid off. We put ourselves in position to win, but (Pollard) was just faster than us and not for the reason in which they were DQ’ed. Let’s be honest. But we’ll take it.”
Pollard, the 2014 Southern Super Series champion, was found to have an intake that was in violation of the Southern Super Series rulebook.
“It is what it is,” Pollard said. “It’s just a mistake. That’s all it is. We all make mistakes. It isn’t the difference between winning and losing, that’s for sure. It’s not frustrating because I know I have fast race cars and we’re going to win again.”
Pollard took the lead on the very first lap from Logan Boyett and never looked back. He and Daniel Hemric waged a wild battle for quite a few laps over the course of the first 78 laps.
Hemric was able to keep up with Pollard for much of the race, but was only able to make a legitimate challenge for the lead on one occasion. As he and Pollard worked lapped traffic, Hemric dove to the bottom of a lapped car to make it three-wide with Pollard on the outside going into turn three. Pollard was able to withstand that challenge from Hemric to hold the lead.
Bad luck struck Hemric during a red flag period on lap 78 when his right front tire went flat. The 2013 series champion rejoined the field in 10th and was able to make his way back to third at the drop of the checkers. With Pollard’s removal from the finishing order, Hemric was credited with second.
“You never know,” Hemric said when asked if he could have gotten by Pollard if not for the flat tire. “At the end of the day we had a good race car. But we’re not doing our job. We’re having too many parts failures night after night. We’ll rebound. At the end of the day at least we’ve had speed.”
Hemric’s charge to the front was stopped by the 14-year-old Harrison Burton who finished over 1.3 seconds behind Pollard on the track but brought the trophy back to his North Carolina home following the race.
The win is Burton’s first ever in the Southern Super Series and his third behind the wheel of a Super Late Model. It’s also his first win with new crew chief Chris Wimmer.
“We knew we’d be better with Chris,” Burton said. “He’s a great guy and has a lot of great ideas on setups. After our first race in Pensacola last night we were like, ‘Okay, we’re here to win for sure.’ Tonight we once again proved we are here to win so hopefully we can go out and get some more.”
Donnie Wilson backed up his runner-up finish Friday night in the Southern Super Series event at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway with a third-place run Saturday at Mobile. Dominque Van Wieringen and Chad Finley rounded out the top five.
Southern Super Series point leader Casey Smith finished sixth and left Mobile with a 36 point lead over Wilson.
To replay the Speed51.com Trackside Now coverage of the Mobile 100 click here
The next Southern Super Series event will come on Saturday, June 6 as the tour makes its debut at Watermelon Capital Speedway at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia.
For more information on the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco head to SouthernSuperSeries.com, and follow the series on Twitter (@SoSuperSeries) and Like it on Facebook (www.facebook.com/southernsuperseries.
– 51 Sports/Southern Super Series press release
– Photo credits: Speed51.com
Southern Super Series
May 23, 2015
Mobile International Speedway
|4||5DW||Dominque Van Wieringen|