After two rounds of practice and two official laps on the clock, Bubba Pollard ended Saturday night with his 15th career Southern Super Series pole and his second for the prestigious Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.
Pollard began the day just barely cracking the top five under the hot afternoon sun in first practice. He and his crew made the most of the hour-and-a-half break between rounds, sitting atop the charts for much of the second and final round before finishing third behind most recent Series winner Donnie Wilson, and defending Alabama 200 winner Anderson Bowen.
More than two hours later, Pollard made the most of his two ‘official’ laps as he bested 2013 Alabama 200 winner Chase Elliott by 18 one-hundredths of a second. Elliott, less than 24 hours after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Speedway (VA), seemed to struggle early in practice as he was mired outside the top 10. He and long-time Late Model crew chief Ricky Turner were able to improve to finish second practice inside the top five.
Kyle Grissom finished out the podium of top three qualifiers just over a half-tenth behind Elliott. Grissom is enjoying his best year to date in the series and already has one series win under his belt coming back in April at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway, to go along with five top-five finishes on the year.
Joining the Southern Super Series on the twin-bill Sunday will be the Modifieds of Mayhem, where Jeff Letson saved his best laps for the last two, beating out fellow two-time series winner Donnie Hamrac for fast-qualifier honors. Letson finished the afternoon practice sessions in fifth and ninth respectively, but when the clock was tripped he sat at the top as one of only three Modifieds to break into the 19-second bracket.
Letson, running part-time on the Modifieds of Mayhem tour in 2015, appears to be the favorite heading into Sunday’s 75-lapper as his two series wins both came at Montgomery, including the most recent event, on August 15. Modifieds of Mayhem points leader, Ryan Paul, rounded out the top three qualifiers.
The 51st annual Alabama 200 is one of the longest races on the 2015 schedule for the Southern Super Series and will take the green flag following the Modifieds of Mayhem event that is set to start at 2:00 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Speed51.com powered by JEGS will have live Trackside Now coverage including the SSS top eight re-draw and pre-race festivities beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT, as well as full video highlights of the event next week on the 51 Network at Speed51.com.
-By Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager – Twitter: @MarkKeeler975
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
51st Annual Alabama 200
Southern Super Series