How do you spell trouble for competitors in the Snowflake 100? Let Bubba Pollard show up for the Allen Turner Tune-Up at Five Flags Speedway and dominate the race.
That’s exactly what happened Saturday in Pensacola, Fla. The most successful Late Model driver in the last decade entered his Pro Late Model in a race for the second time this season at Five Flags. The result was the same as the first— a victory— and that left several people in awe after his triumph.
“It’s really good enough when you run second to Bubba Pollard, it’s pretty much a win for us,” said Paul, who crossed the finish line in second. “I learned he’s a lot better than we are. I don’t really know where we’re lacking. I don’t know where we’re off to catch him, but it’s a good start. We can build on this and try to do better for the Derby.”
Paul was later disqualified in post-race tech for a left-side weight violation on his No. 18 machine. Pollard’s 26 went through tech with flying colors as did Kyle Plott, who led early and finished second by virtue of the DQ.
“I was just trying to see where he was weak, where he was strong and judge off that,” said Pollard of Kyle Plott. “Once you see that, you can kind of change your driving style to what you need. I knew he was going to get tight in one, as long as I kept him pinched down, we could clear him off two.”
After winning the most recent Pro Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway, Kyle Plott led the early stages of Saturday night’s race before fading late.
“We were good the last race here, we won, but I knew we needed stuff to work on to beat Bubba or anybody that’s really good here,” Plott said. “We threw a few different things at it, but just didn’t quite get it there.”
Pollard, who had issues in the Super Late Model portion of Saturday’s show, is now firmly set on going for both big Late Model prizes during the Snowball Derby Week in the Panhandle of Florida.
“It feels good to get some momentum going into the Derby,” added Pollard. “The conditions are going to be different (in December), but we’ll stay on top of that. This car’s been good. We can take a lot off of what we did tonight and apply it to the Derby (Snowflake 100).”
14 year-old Jake Garcia, who was second in points heading into the weekend, finished 8th. Combine that with series leader Connor Okrzesik having issues throughout the event, and Garcia becomes the 2019 Allen Turner Pro Late Model Champion at Five Flags Speedway.
“This is one of the most historic tracks in the country; it’s great to be a champion here,” explained Garcia. “I was just trying to get the best finish we could. The car wasn’t very good. We had some damage from earlier in the race. This is where the Snowball Derby takes place every year. It’s just great to win here.”
Before the Snowflake 100, Pro Late Models will have a chance to test and tune for the crown jewel event at the annual Snowball Derby Preview on Saturday, September 23rd at Five Flags Speedway. For more information, visit snowballderby.com.
Official Results – Allen Turner Tune-Up
Five Flags Speedway – Pensacola, Florida
|11||11W||Jo Jo Wilkinson|
-Story By: Bob Dillner, President
-Photo Credit: Melissa Strahley / Speed51