One year ago, Bubba Pollard made his first ever trip to the West Coast with aspirations of winning the inaugural Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park (CA). He showed just how strong he and his race team were by winning the race and taking the $25,000 check back to his home state of Georgia.
Now Pollard is heading back to California to try to repeat his performance from last year. He’s leaving early Thursday morning and he said he couldn’t be more ready to return to “The Golden State.”
“We’ll get there and check some things out and probably go to the party that they’re having on Thursday night,” Pollard told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m just really excited to get back out there. I really enjoyed it last year. You always look forward to going back somewhere after you win, but it’s a great place. The people and the series out there have been good to work with. It’s a great, exciting event.”
While Pollard may be ready to party on Thursday night, he’ll ready to get down to business when he has to during the weekend, and especially on Sunday. Formidable drivers such as Donnie Wilson, Cole Anderson and Derek Thorn are looking to make sure that check, this year for at least $30,000, won’t be going home with Pollard.
“There’s some good cars out there and some great competition,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of other guys from the Southeast here that are headed out that way. I think even the guys from out west are just better prepared this year than they were last year. When we went out there we kind of set the bar high for some of the cars out there. But I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Even though Pollard is your typical race car driver and wants to be one step ahead of the competition at every race, it’s clear that Pollard wants to see Super Late Model racing grow and thrive in all areas of the country, especially out west. Because of that, Pollard has been helping some teams do what they can to try get stronger.
“They’ve been working really hard,” he said. “We’ve kept in touch with some of the guys out there, and they’re working hard on their motor programs and stuff like that.”
One of the reasons Pollard is trying to help build up the competition out there is to help the Winter Showdown continue to grow. In just one year the purse grew into one of the biggest in asphalt short track racing, and the entry list grew as well. With big money races not exactly the norm in the asphalt world, Pollard said it’s thrilling to be able to run a race like the Winter Showdown.
“For me to be able to go out there and race for that kind of money is pretty cool,” he said. “It’s pretty cool to race for something close to $40,000. It’s pretty awesome. The asphalt world doesn’t see many big paying events. Dirt shows you can run for $10,000 a weekend. It’s big for us to go out there and race for that kind of money that we don’t usually get to do. And we get to showcase our talents in other parts of the country too. It makes it fun.”
Race fans can watch Bubba Pollard try to repeat his SRL Winter Showdown win from a year ago live with Speed51 TV’s pay-per-view broadcast of the event this weekend. Fans can purchase the Speed51 TV broadcast by clicking here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo