MOBILE, Ala. -- In winning the Miller Lite 125 on Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway, Augie Grill earned not only his second Southern Super Series victory of the season but also redemption from a dreadful night at Five Flags Speedway on a night prior.
Grill took full advantage of a second half invert that gave him the lead on lap 75 and he never looked back, leading the final 50 circuits despite a valiant effort from John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Benjamin and a race-dominant Bubba Pollard.
"This one feels really good," Grill said. "I've won races in Montgomery in the last couple of years with pretty good repetition. But I hadn't won a Super Late race here in quite some time -- or even had a good car. And tonight we had a really good car and I'm just happy it was that good and that we were able to win."
For the second Super Series event in a row, Pollard scored the pole, led laps but was ultimately unable to earn the top spot on the podium. And like at Pensacola, where he crashed from the lead after contact with a lap-down car, Pollard's Saturday was also derailed by factors out of his control.
On lap 50, while under caution, Series officials stopped both first and second place Chris Davidson and Pollard on the frontstretch and inspected their cars for a possible problem. It was determined that both cars were leaking fluid onto the track and sent to the pit area for repairs.
As caution laps do not count in the Southern Super Series, neither driver lost a lap and both were able to restart at the end of the field without losing a lap. Both would factor into the finish.
Pollard spent the entirety of the second half charging back from seventh and found himself third with 15 laps to go. However, just as easily as Pollard caught second-place Nemechek, he couldn't make the pass and their battle was halted by the final caution that came with 13 laps to go.
Over the radio, Pollard said, "It doesn't matter because I used up the tires just getting to the front," a notion that would prove to be correct when Pollard lost several positions on the restart. He would finish fourth.
Up front, Grill ran away from Nemechek and Kyle Benjamin, who was unable to do better than third after getting around Pollard on the restart. The victory proved to be especially rewarding for Grill, who qualified poorly at Pensacola and struggled to break into the top-10 only to make contact with Ross Kenseth, destroying his no. 25 and ending his weekend prematurely.
When Pollard won the first two races of the season, at Nashville and Gresham, there was concern that the championship would be a runaway. But parity over the last three races seems to predict that the title battle is just beginning.
The complete race results plus an exclusive video of victory lane celebrations can be found below:
- Augie Grill
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Kyle Benjamin
- Bubba Pollard
- Mike Garvey
- Jeff Choquette
- DJ Vanderley
- Daniel Hemric
- Scotty Ellis
- Stephen Nasse
- Spencer Davis
- Josh Bragg
- Chet Morrison
- Allen Karnes
- Hunter Robbins
- Donnie Wilson
- Chris Davidson
- Logan Boyett
- Casey Smith
- Willie Allen