Bubba Pollard continued his Baby Rattler 125 dominance Saturday night by winning the Pro Late Model event for a record-extending fifth time. After starting on the outside of the front row, he rode in second for much of the race before making his move with 35 laps to go.
He and Stephen Nasse traded the lead back and forth early before Nasse secured the lead on lap 31. He would lead the most laps in the race before Pollard went around Nasse on the outside to take the lead on lap 90. Once taking the lead, Pollard was nearly untouchable through several restarts to score the win.
Proving to be the first asphalt Late Model win of 2020 for the Georgia driver, Pollard now heads into tomorrow’s Rattler 250 with even more confidence after putting his Super Late Model on the pole for the event.
“It was probably the easiest way that it handled, so we did it the hard way. When you have a good race car you’re able to do that,” Pollard said on the Speed51 broadcast. “We’ve been working hard the last couple months, our program just hasn’t been where it needed it to be.”
In 13 starts in the Baby Rattler, Pollard has now won the event five times and has finished on the podium eight times. His 2009 triumph was the first marquee victory he scored in what has been an illustrious career, and has added four more trophies in the years since.
“We’ve had some good luck. I’ve been coming down here since I was 14 years old. Almost 20 years, I’m getting old. It’s been fun, I enjoy this place and I call it home.”
Indiana driver Wes Griffith Jr’s race saw its share of twists and turns. The former JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour winner at Winchester Speedway spun out twice during the race, but was still able to finish second in his first trip to South Alabama Speedway.
A paper towel nearly derailed his weekend, but he says he may have found a new good luck charm in the process.
“We had a fast car all weekend. We had some radiator issues, somehow during the transition a piece of paper towel got caught in the radiator and it was overheating all weekend. We couldn’t figure out what it was,” Griffith said. “We finally swapped out a Chevy radiator that we found for a Ford radiator. The Chevy radiator’s in there now, we’re going to leave it in there for good luck."
After starting on the pole and leading 82 laps, Stephen Nasse came up short in his pursuit for a second Baby Rattler win. A bad restart with around 20 to go saw him fall out of the top-five, but he wrestled his way back to a third-place result at the end of 125-laps.
“Going back and forth, he was trying to make me burn my stuff up for sure,” Nasse said. “I just had a problem where if I didn’t charge the corner the way I needed to in order to load the front end, I just got really tight and that hurt me. I was at a standstill where I had to drive it in pretty deep to be able to get the car to cut and rotate through the center like I needed it to.
“I don’t know, I think I had some trash or something on my tires, it really just slipped up and didn’t want to turn coming off of four coming to the green,” he added about the restart. “I tried to adjust to compensate for that and not get into the wall or get too tight, I just missed my shift and that really killed me there.”
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Pro Late Model – Baby Rattler 125 Results:
- Bubba Pollard
- Wes Griffith Jr
- Stephen Nasse
- Dylan Fetcho
- Justin South
- Colin Allman
- Rafe Slate
- Jett Noland
- Jordan McCallum
- Daniel Dye
- Steve Dorer
- Harrison Halder
- Brandon Curren
- Josh Adkins
- Jeff Dawkins
- Ryan Paul
- Jacob Beasock
- Korey Ruble
- Kyle Plott
- Willie Allen
- Dawson Fletcher
- Ken Pettis
- Stacey Crain
- Cody Brake
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo