David Rogers is revered in the Sunshine State for his prowess at tracks throughout the state. The Florida legend’s car once again claimed the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing title, with Bubba Pollard bringing the TM Ranch No. 11 its fifth title.
The Senoia, Georgia driver was tabbed as a substitute for Rogers after the veteran underwent a minor surgical procedure. Pollard finished second in the Orange Blossom 100 on Saturday night, securing the 2019 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing title.
Rogers is a four-time World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing champion, with titles in 1987, 1999, 2001, and 2009. Rogers also shares the record with Red Farmer for most starts in the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway, and has won numerous big races and championships across Florida.
Pollard filled in admirably for Rogers, rebounding from a ninth-place finish on opening night to win three of the next four races. That, along with a runner-up finish on Saturday, guided Pollard to the championship in the World Series.
Throughout the week, Pollard spoke highly of the opportunity to pilot Rogers’ machine at a track where he’s had so much success. After six races against stout Super Late Model competition, Pollard was pleased to add to that legacy.
“It’s an honor to get to drive this number 11,” Pollard told Speed51. “It’s legendary for all the things David accomplished. It’s big shoes to fill, and hopefully we made him proud this week. We finished the week up strong. It was a fun week, and hopefully we get to do it again.”
Pollard set fast time for the Orange Blossom 100, but an eight-car invert placed him on the fourth row of the starting grid. He methodically worked his way through the field, ultimately finishing second in the 100-lap race.
That, along with struggles for title contenders Brad May and Gabe Sommers, sealed the championship for Pollard.
“I would have really liked to have won tonight. Winning three races is pretty big. Winning three races, and I’m happy for these guys. I couldn’t ask for better guys to do it with. It means a lot for me and my team that come down with me.”
Before the penultimate race of the series on Thursday, May led Pollard by two points. However, a mechanical issue sidelined May, while Pollard raced to his third victory of the week. The problems from Thursday forced May to his backup car, which finished 16thin the finale.
Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Friday’s racing by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Melissa Strahley