Bubba Pollard employed a different strategy than normal in Friday’s Allen Turner Pro Late Model feature at Five Flags Speedway, choosing patience over aggression to earn the win.
Pollard fell back early in the feature, letting several drivers pass him before turning it on near the halfway mark of the 100-lap feature. He eventually worked his way back up to leader Connor Okrzesik with 30 laps to go, showing attempts to pass to the inside. Pollard eventually used a move to the outside to pass Okrzesik for the lead.
Okrzesik got one final chance at Pollard when Colby Howard slowed to a stop in turn four with 16 laps to go, but Pollard powered away to win the Allen Turner Pro Late Model feature.
Pollard explained his strategy in victory lane, complimenting the quality of the field at Five Flags Speedway.
“With the caliber of the cars there are nowadays, I just felt like there weren’t going to be many cautions. Those guys jumped out there and they wanted to run faster than I did at that point,” Pollard said. “Just had to ride. I was worried Connor (Okrzesik) was going to get out too far ahead, and I wasn’t going to catch him, so I had to pick up the pace there and run him back down, using lapped cars to my advantage when he slowed down to pick them off.”
For Pollard, the win is a personal bounce-back for his team, which finished a disappointing fourth in the Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway.
“We had a rough week last week at Berlin. We felt like we needed to come back, work on a few things, and I think we did. I think we made it better, get ready for next week for the Blizzard race.”
Okrzesik was left wondering if one adjustment would have helped him score the victory and hold off one of today’s best Late Model racers.
“It’s tough to beat Bubba, he’s a great driver,” Okrzesik said. “We were just lacking some drive off, if we had that little bit we would have had a good fight at the end. As it was, he just had a little bit better car at the end and drove away from us.”
Pro Late Model racers won’t have long to regroup as many of the drivers competing Friday night will make their way to Montgomery Motor Speedway Saturday night for the third round of the Show Me the Money Series season. In addition to the $4,000 check on the line, an additional $1,000 bonus will be given to the driver with the best average finish between Five Flags and Montgomery.
The Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series continues on August 16 at Five Flags Speedway. The Blizzard Series will bring Super Late Models back to the Pensacola, Florida oval for their second race of the year on June 21. Both races will be streamed live for 51 Network subscribers. Not a member? Sign up today and watch over 80 live races in 2019, plus unlock the archive of all previous 51 Network streams, plus highlights, recaps, on-board cameras, and more. Sign up today here: https://speed51.com/join-today/
A replay of Friday night’s Allen Turner Pro Late Model feature is available for Speed51 Network subscribers here: https://speed51.com/watch-tonight-pro-late-models-at-five-flags-speedway-2/
-Story by: Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com