Pollard Wins Another Blizzard Series Race; Wilson, Nasse Batter Each Other In and Out of Cars By Chuck Corder Bubba Pollard’s smartest decision Friday night came when he was behind. Instead of coming to the pits to repair significant cosmetic damage to his No. 26 Super Late Model, Pollard opted to stay out on the track and not surrender his spot among the leaders. It proved a wise choice, as short-track’s “Redneck Jesus” won the Rubber & Specialties 125 at Five Flags Speedway. “Honestly, I didn’t know it was that bad,” Pollard said, as he inspected the crunched-up right panel in Victory Lane. “I could hear the tone in the engine change, but I had no clue.” The win marked a fifth consecutive year the Senoia, Ga., driver captured the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series season opener. It also gave him 16 career Blizzard Series wins, the most all time in the SLM series. Pollard, 30, [...]
Fresh Off a Win, Defending Blizzard Series Champion Pollard Returns to 5 Flags for Season-Opening Rubber & Specialties 125 By Chuck Corder Five Flags Speedway officially kicked off its short-track racing season on March 4. But the road to the 51st running of the Snowball Derby begins this week at Pensacola’s high banks. The Super Late Models of the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series open their year Friday night as the Southern Super Series makes its first stop of the year at the famed half-mile asphalt oval. Defending and three-time track champion Bubba Pollard — the only Blizzard Series driver to accomplish the hat trick — leads a talented field that will descend upon Five Flags for the Rubber & Specialties, Inc., 125. Pollard has endured an unpredictable start to his year. He’s experienced a handful of lows, including a pair of DNFs, and some highs thanks to a pair of victories. After enduring a drought [...]
Balkum Hopes Blistering Start Continues All Season, Leads to Elusive Pure Stocks Track Championship By Chuck Corder For nearly a decade now, Robert Balkum has been one of the top drivers in the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks division at Five Flags Speedway. He has experienced the highest of highs with multiple trips to Victory Lane after feature wins. But Balkum has also swallowed bitter pills of losing out on track championships by the smallest of margins. The Pensacola driver has made it his mission, in 2018, to erase those painful past nightmares. Through the first month of the season, he is already well on his way to attaining that elusive track title that means so much not only to Balkum, but his father Rickie Balkum. Robert Balkum has yet to lose, boasting three 20-lap feature wins, as well as a heat race victory. He has also flirted with breaking his own track record several [...]
Crocker, Boyett, Barnhill and Balkum all winners on Friday the 13th. By Chuck Corder Donald Crocker thought his chance had passed him by Friday night at Five Flags Speedway. Wayne Niedecken Jr. had been out front for 16 laps after he took the lead from then-leader Todd Jones midway through the 35-lap Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks feature. Slowly, but surely, though, Crocker reeled in Junior Niedecken and for the final four laps, the tandem put on a short-track exhibition. After racing door-to-door for a full three laps around the famed half-mile asphalt oval, Crocker finally pulled ahead of Niedecken on the final lap and secured his first win in 2018 at Pensacola’s high banks. “I thought I didn’t have anything left,” Crocker said. “I thought I went too hard the first few laps because I lost a lotta spots. It was an excellent race. This is a great car to race with a great crew.” The [...]
Burkett Taking Over Family Business, Sits Third in Pure Stocks Standings Thanks to Pair of Top-10s By Chuck Corder Caleb Burkett has been coming to Five Flags Speedway since the roars of engines and packed crowds “busted my eardrums. “I wasn’t old enough to walk, I know that,” Burkett added. Now 17, the junior at West Florida High School of Advanced Technology is starting to reap the rewards of all his time spent watching races, helping his father get cars set up and getting his own feet wet driving at the famed half-mile asphalt oval. Burkett has started his Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks season with two top-10 finishes, including a career-best runner-up last month. “It was the first time I made it on the podium — we just skipped third,” he said proudly. “There were a lotta emotions up there. To have family and friends celebrating with me, it was a really good time.” Burkett hopes [...]
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