PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Bubba Pollard finally got his due at Five Flags Speedway, winning a Southern Super Series event at the Pensacola half-mile on Friday night.
Pollard repelled two attempts on his lead in the closing laps, one by Ross Kenseth and another by Daniel Hemric and was pulling away with three laps to go when the final caution dropped.
Pollard spun his tires on the restart but used the inside lane to his advantage, holding Hemric from gaining any traction. The win was his third of the season (Nashville 125, Gresham 125) and first at Pensacola this season, remarkable given all the bad luck he has endured there this season.
"I was really starting to get worried about it," Pollard said of possibly going winless at Pensacola this season. "I've won a race here at least once a year in the last four or five seasons. And no, it's not really a big deal but we've been fast all year and we haven't been able to put all the wins together.
"But now I think this may be the point where we turn it around here. We tried a completely different package than what we've been used to and I think it worked out for us. We definitely hit on something and hopefully we can carry the momentum over into the Derby and even into some of these bigger races like at Nashville and the other places so I'm looking forward to it."
With the clean sweep -- pole, halfway lead and victory -- Pollard extends his Series championship lead to 46 over Hemric with only two races left.
The last of those races is the prestigious All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. Pollard was nipped at the line and by Kenseth in a rain-shortened event last season. Pollard believes he and Kenseth may again be the favorites -- which is fine by him.
"He's a good race car driver," Pollard said. "You're going to need good race cars to beat guys like him. He's a great wheelman. We got the equipment, and the people to win these bigger races. We have to work on our pit stops and our pit strategy but we have all the pieces."
The race was delayed for rain on several occasions on Friday night, most notably for 30 minutes following the 10-minute halftime break.
But Series officials persisted and the race was completed shortly after Midnight CST.
The Southern Super Series completes a weekend tour of the Gulf Coast on Saturday night with the Mobile 125 Presented by RE Suspensions...weather permitting.
Southern Super Series Buddy's Home Furnishing 125 Results:
- Bubba Pollard
- Daniel Hemric
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Casey Smith
- Ross Kenseth
- Chris Davidson
- Mike Garvey
- Kyle Benjamin
- David Rogers
- Zac Hausler
- DJ VanderLey
- Jake Perkins
- Scott Carlson
- Jimmy Garmon
- Kyle Bryant
- Anderson Bowen
- Lonnie Sommerville
- Troy Grisaffi
- Allen Karnes
- Donnie Wilson
- Austin Theriault
- Hunter Robbins
- Jerry Artuso
- Chet Morrison
- Wayne Niedecken, Jr.
A vine of Bubba Pollard's victory lane celebration
A vine of a restart in the Buddy's 125