Thursday was an opportunity for most teams to practice and make preparations for the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). For one major name, however, the day proved instead to be a setback.
Bubba Pollard is planning to make his highly-anticipated debut in a Tour-type Modified at the event, driving for NASCAR Cup Series competitor and former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece. However, Pollard’s practice day came to a halt with a major engine failure on the machine.
While Pollard admitted inexperience in the ground pounder may have been a factor, he was caught completely unaware by the issue after a successful first round of practice.
“Not driving these things doesn’t help, not knowing,” Pollard told Speed51. “Everything felt fine when I went into one and then it vibrated just a little bit. I looked down at the oil pressure and it had oil pressure.
“When I got into [the throttle] out of two, I was going to see if it still had pressure and then I was going to shut it down. As soon as it vibrated, it broke. I just hate it for Ryan. They put in a lot of work to make this deal happen. It sucks.”
After the failure, Pollard and Preece spent a considerable amount of time debriefing and weighing their options for competing with the Modifieds at the World Series. Their racing is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 10 with a 50-lap feature.
“We’ve got to do some talking, figure some things out,” Pollard said. “I don’t want to cost these guys no more money than I already have. We’ll see. We’ll have to talk it out, see how it goes.”
Before the issue, however, the 2019 World Series Super Late Model Champion was enjoying taking the Modified for a spin.
“It was a blast. I’m really grateful and thankful for the opportunity from Ryan to drive this thing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing kicks off Friday, February 7. Stay tuned to Speed51 for coverage and updates throughout the nine nights of racing at New Smyrna.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo