The 2,600-mile trek through ice, snow and the desert from Senoia, Georgia paid off for Bubba Pollard and his team after winning the SRL Open Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California on Sunday afternoon.

 

The 2014 Southern Super Series champion took the lead on lap 148 and led the final 102 laps en route to one of his biggest paydays in his career.

 

“We had a good racecar since we unloaded,” Pollard said with a huge smile in victory lane. “These big races seem to bite me and this weekend I took a different approach and didn’t consider a big race, but I knew it was. I felt confident when I got here and felt calm.   My guys gave me a fast car when we unloaded and we just had to fine-tune it. I can’t thank those guys enough.”

 

Derek Thorn came into the race as the fast qualifier and led the first 136 laps. Pollard did lead lap 137 until Thorn got back to the front. Thorn stayed within close range of Pollard.

 

But Thorn’s car got tight on him and had nothing for Pollard in the latter stages of the race.

 

“It got tighter, the hard part was that the bottom was really tough for us and Pollard’s car was real good there,” Thorn said after the race. “We made some adjustments for the second half to compensate for the tightness of the track and still couldn’t go to the bottom.”

 

Thorn gave Sargeant a battle for the runner-up spot all the way to the checkered flag with Sargeant earning another podium finish in a big race.

 

“We struggled a little bit in the beginning. The car was free early in the day and as the day went on, the track got tighter and tighter. We didn’t make any adjustments at the halfway break, and that kind of hurt us a little bit,” Sargeant said. “We had to move up the track and the track started getting warmer and what not. Bubba seemed to get more off of the corner than we were too and that is where we lost.”

 

Blaine Rocha finished fourth and Preston Peltier rounded out the top five.

 

This event has a partnership with the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington on June 27th. The driver with the best average finish from both the Winter Showdown and the Summer Showdown will receive a $10,000 bonus.

 

Will Pollard make the trip to Washington?

 

“There is a good possibility. We have been thinking about it and talking to sponsors,” Pollard proclaimed. “We want to hit more of these bigger shows this year and venture around to see if we can get some more of these big wins.”

 

Pollard also said that his trip to the west coast would be extended with a trip to Las Vegas after collecting $25,000 today.

 

Trackside Now replay is available by clicking here.

 

- Kevin Ramsell, Director of Business/Midwest Editor. Twitter: @KevinRamsell

Photo Credit: Speed51.com

Winter Showdown Open Results

(powered by 51's Third Turn)
Fin St # Driver
1
226Bubba Pollard
2
35Dalton Sargeant
3
143Derek Thorn
4
1121Blaine Rocha
5
526Preston Peltier
6
1711Dustin Ash
7
3012Colby Potts
8
3299Linny White
9
2677Toni Marie McCray
10
1289Bobby Hodges
11
1375Jeremy Doss
12
278Noah Gragson
13
1581Darrell Midgley
14
96Dominic Ursetta
15
3571Christian McGhee
16
1529Greg Voigt
17
717David Mayhew
18
2220Tracy Bolin
19
616Jacob Gomes
20
145Will Gallaher
21
1619Brandon White
22
2022Jonathon Gomez
23
246Donny St. Ours
24
3133M.K. Kanke
25
295Ryan Wells
26
3357David Ross
27
1022Chris Eggleston
28
1951Carlos Vieira
29
418Jim Pettit, II
30
217Johnny White
31
831Jason Fraser
32
2366Darren Bucklen
33
3434Scott Walker
34
3637Mike Longton
35
1805Eric Schmidt
36
2837Keith Spangler

Pollard Finds $25k of Winter Showdown Gold in California