Bubba Pollard earned another five-figure check Monday evening in Marne, Michigan. Pollard of Senoia, Georgia inherited the lead after contact with Carson Hocevar on lap 133 and pulled away late to win the $20,000-to-win Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway.
Pollard’s $20,000 win on Monday night will be placed next to a pair of $25,000 Winter Showdown wins and a $35,000 Summer Showdown win on his resume.
The inaugural Money in the Bank 150 saw many drivers in the field taking as many dips and rises as the stock market, with competing pit strategies and multiple yellows keeping teams guessing. After Johnny Van Doorn and Kyle Busch led sizable portions of the race, a late competition yellow with 18 laps to go saw many teams make pit stops. That put Hocevar, Steven Wallace and Pollard in the top three.
On the ensuing restart after the final competition yellow, Pollard went after Hocevar and Wallace for the top spot on the inside. Hocevar and Pollard made contact entering turn three that resulted in Hocevar spinning up the track with a number of other cars becoming involved.
Pollard and Wallace escaped disaster to duke it out themselves, with Pollard ultimately prevailing for his first Super Late Model win at Berlin after a pair of Pro Late Model wins in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour competition.
“We’ve been trying to win the 251 for quite a few years now; it’s been a struggle, but I always like coming here. This is an awesome place, the fans are great. You don’t come to many short tracks where you got this many fans, that’s pretty awesome,” Pollard said in victory lane on Speed51 TV. “Terry Seneker, Seneker Performance, he helped me out all weekend, Brian Campbell. I can’t thank everyone enough that’s part of this.”
It is a win that Pollard seemed very proud of as it not only came against a tough field of stars and cars, but also on a track he considers one of the toughest in the land.
“It’s tough, it’s not an easy place to get around that’s for sure; it’s one of the hardest places we go to. This is a driver’s race track and we look forward to coming here every year.”
Despite his best efforts on a pair of restarts, Wallace settled for a runner-up finish. Harrison Burton rebounded from a subpar qualifying effort to finish third, while Chris Koslek and Dalton Armstrong completed the top five.
Pollard’s prize, besides the winner’s trophy, is a healthy $20,000 check that will most likely go back into the No. 26 team.
“It’s good for us, we’re a small low-budget team that just loves to race,” said Pollard. We do it as a family, it’s hard work. I can’t thank my sponsors enough, everybody on the side of this race car is a big part of it, can’t do it without their help.”
With the win, Pollard is in good spirits for the Battle at Berlin on August 26, even hinting at bringing his Dirt Late Model when Berlin lays down dirt in the fall. Most of all, he’s ready to go for another great short track prize, the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway (IN) on Saturday night.
“It’s a good possibility, we talked about it, it’s fun. We enjoy racing the dirt, it keeps us on our toes. We’re going to try and run the dirt in a few weeks. But, next week we’re going to go to Anderson, Indiana and go for the Redbud 400, we’re excited for that.”
On-demand Trackside Now coverage of Monday’s Money in the Bank 150 can be found by clicking here.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Regional Editor (CT, MA, Long Island)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Money in the Bank 150 Unofficial Results
Berlin Raceway (MI) – June 19, 2017
|12||x||Jon Reynolds Jr.|
|21||71||Johnny Van Doorn|