Bubba Pollard likes to win races, especially those of the bigger variety. This weekend, the Senoia, Georgia racer will head south to New Smyrna Speedway (FL) hoping to add another prestigious Super Late Model victory to his resume.
Pollard has entered the Florida Governor’s Cup 200 with the goal of winning a big race and building momentum for another big race, the 51st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
“We always like going to this race every year to get a little momentum going before the Derby,” Pollard told Speed51.com. “I feel like we’re capable of winning if we play our cards right, so just try to get a little momentum going into the Derby and get as much information as we can before then.”
Since 2013, Pollard has competed in all but one Florida Governor’s Cup with a career-best finish of second last year. He’s only finished outside the top five once, but he’s never been able to park his No. 26 Super Late Model in victory lane after 200 laps.
“We’ve been going to the Governor’s Cup for a while. We’ve been close to winning,” Pollard stated. “I feel like we’ve had cars capable of winning and just haven’t been able to seal the deal or get the win. Hopefully we can do it this weekend.”
While winning is his top priority, building momentum heading into the biggest asphalt Super Late Model race of the year is something that remains on his mind. Despite the fact that the two race tracks offer very few similarities, Pollard looks at every race as an opportunity to better prepare his team for big moments.
“You can’t really take away from New Smyrna and apply it to Pensacola. You can but it’s just staying in the seat is the biggest thing,” he said. “Learning how the car works, even though the race tracks are different, each and every thing you can learn about the race car whether it be the smallest thing or the biggest thing, you can sometimes apply it to Pensacola if you get into the same situation when you get down there. Every little bit you learn and any little bit you can try will help. It may not necessarily be a big swing at things, but every little bit will help.”
With a strong field of cars expected to compete in the $15,000-to-win race, Pollard knows that nailing down a victory will be no easy task. In order to reach victory lane and add another big win to his resume, he’ll need to beat the likes of Jeff Choquette, Stephen Nasse, Steve Wallace and more.
“Each and every race is cool to us. It’s hard to win races nowadays, whether it be from Maine to Pensacola to New Smyrna,” Pollard claimed. “I’ll always treat it like a big race and go down there and do the best we can. It would be cool to win. We’ve had a great year and to be able to go down there and possibly win the Governor’s Cup would definitely go a long way in the year that we had. Hopefully we can build some momentum and take it into the Derby, that’s the biggest thing. Get your guys excited, learn a few things and winning a big race right before the Derby could go a long way. It will be big for us.”
By competing in this weekend’s Florida Governor’s Cup 200, Pollard will also give himself a chance to add to his notebook for a potential return trip to New Smyrna Beach in February.
“We’re just really excited to get going. It’s a place I enjoy. It’s tight cornered, long straightaways. Who knows, we might get the opportunity to run some Speedweeks and get a little testing done for that. It’ll be fun.”
The 53rd Annual Florida Governor’s Cup gets underway Friday, November 9 with four hours of practice beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday’s action will feature a 100-lap Pro Late Model feature, as well as features for the Super Stocks, Modifieds, Mod Minis and Bombers. That all leads into 200 laps of Super Late Model racing and a 75-lap Sportsman race on Sunday, November 11.
For more information on the Florida Governor’s Cup, visit www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com