One of the nation’s most popular short track racers has teamed up with a NASCAR Cup Series driver to make his Tour-type Modified debut this February. Super Late Model ace Bubba Pollard will drive Ryan Preece’s Modified during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
Preece still plans to drive the No. 6 Eddie Partridge owned car during the week, while also serving as a car owner for Pollard’s Modified debut.
“I was talking to (Pollard) last year at Smyrna,” Preece began. “We were just standing by the pit wall and I was really just talking with him. Then I think in October whenever it was, I was thinking about Speedweeks and how I race Eddie’s car. I wanted to race for Eddie because this is the guy that has supported me in the Modified stuff. But I also have my car and I didn’t want it to just sit, so I asked Bubba if he would have any interest in racing a Modified for a few nights. Obviously, he said he did, so we’re working towards getting to Speedweeks this year. I’m pretty pumped about it.”
Throughout his career, Pollard has won many of the nation’s biggest Late Model races, including the Oxford 250, All American 400, Canadian Short Track Nationals and Winter Showdown. In recent years, he has expanded his resume by competing in races such as the Martinsville 300 (Late Model Stock Cars) and Milk Bowl (ACT Late Models).
Now, he’ll add an entirely different race car to his resume by making his Tour-type Modified debut.
“I really can’t believe it’s happening really,” Pollard said. “I’ve talked about it and I’ve been so fascinated with those types of cars forever now, growing up going down to Speedweeks and watching them. It’s pretty cool. I’m excited to get the opportunity to drive one, and what better equipment could I ask for than Ryan’s car? I’m really fortunate, really excited and really looking forward to Speedweeks and getting to drive something I’ve always been fascinated with and always loved.”
While plans aren’t concrete when it comes to how many races Pollard will be competing in during Florida Speedweeks, the duo plans to start the week on Monday, February 10 and take it from there. He also plans to end the week by competing in the Richie Evans Memorial on Friday, February 14.
“We hadn’t talked too much about it. We’re going to see how the first couple of nights go actually,” Pollard explained. “I think I’m going to race at the beginning of the week, and if everything is going well we may finish the rest of the week. We’re kind of going to see. We’re going to run the bigger race at the end. We really don’t have too many concrete plans yet.”
Although Pollard is widely regarded as one of the best short track racers in the country, he will be a rookie when he climbs behind the wheel of a 600-horsepower ground-pounding Modified. Competing against some of the best Modified racers in the country is a challenge that the Senoia, Georgia driver is excited about it
“I’m really going to lean on Ryan a lot for knowledge and what not to do and things like that. I really don’t know what to expect,” Pollard said. “You have so much tire there, but then again you have so much horsepower. Not really sure what it’s going to drive like. I’ve watched those cars several times when they’re on the race track. It’s going to be a challenge; it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be something hopefully I can learn from it, take a lot away from it and apply it to our cars. We’re always looking to gain more experience in areas where we can apply it to our race cars as well.”
The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing begins with a practice day on Thursday, February 6. Racing begins on Friday, February 7 with the Modifieds making their debut on Monday, February 10.
Follow Speed51.com throughout the week for the latest updates, race recaps and more.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Content Manager – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com