A pair of Super Late Model heavyweights tangled during Sunday's 51st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Georgia ace Bubba Pollard and Wisconsin native Ty Majeski collided with 14 laps remaining, forcing Pollard to the sidelines and relegating him to a 26th-place finish.
The incident served as the climax to what seemed like an all-day war between the two drivers in Super Late Model racing's most prestigious event.
As Pollard and Majeski battled with the top five, Harrison Burton had checked out to a late lead using an alternative pit strategy, pitting for fresh tires when the rest of the leaders stayed out. Burton’s gamble nearly paid off, as he charged from 12th to the lead on a late green-flag run, but the strategy was thwarted by a lap 279 caution.
After the rest of the field pitted, Pollard lined up fourth, behind Burton and Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson and Raphael Lessard. Burton elected to take the outside line on the restart.
Burton struggled on the restart on his older tires, checking up the outside line. As a result, Pollard spun after contact from behind by Ty Majeski. Pollard and Majeski had raced each other aggressively for position most of the day, competing for a shot at the Snowball Derby win.
Pollard’s spin sent him into the inside pit wall entering turn one, dashing his shot at victory. With his race done, Pollard voiced his frustration with Majeski’s team and offered biting criticism of the Wisconsin driver.
“Then the 91 [of Majeski]’s impatient,” Pollard said. “Stupidity. It is what it is. He raced like that all day. That’s how he always races. He just gets away with it. I don’t know if people don’t give it back to him up north, or whatever. He’s a good race car driver.
“He ain’t got to race like that, he’s got a good race car,” Pollard added. “He drives like that all the time, Slinger, wherever he’s at if you watch him. He’s just impatient, that’s why he’ll never win the Derby. Hell, I’m patient and I’ll never win the Derby.”
Majeski described the incident as a chain-reaction ordeal, saying he had no chance to avoid contact with Pollard after Burton stacked up the field.
“The 12 [of Burton], obviously, was on old tires,” Majeski said. “I don’t know what happened. I was real close to Bubba, obviously, we were trying to get all we could get. All of a sudden, he just stopped right in front of me. I didn’t have any time to react.
“I’m not sure if the 12 (Burton) spun his tires or checked up or what happened, but all of a sudden Bubba just stopped right in front of me and I couldn’t react in time,” Majeski added. “I hate it for him, he had a good car. Raced with him most of the day, we passed each other back and forth and stuff.”
Race fans who missed the 51st Annual Snowball Derby can watch our Speed51.com broadcast of the event. Click here to watch an on-demand replay of the race. Fans can also click here to view our Trackside Now updates from the race.
-Story by Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com