Pollard wins Blizzard 75; Finch wins Outlaw 35; Goff in Pure Stocksadmin
Bubba Gets Paid! Pollard Wins Summer Sizzler 75, Cashes in on $15K Prize Friday at 5 Flags
By Chuck Corder
Once again, Bubba Pollard rendered his rivals helpless Friday night at Five Flags Speedway.
A familiar theme resurfaced at the Summer Sizzler 75, the third of four Deep South Crane Rentals Blizzard Series races for the Super Late Models this season. Pollard bided his time patiently, running in the top three for most of the feature until he decided it was time to lurch toward clean air.
Pollard passed then-leader Kaden Honeycutt on Lap 62 in Turn 3 and was into the wind before you could say “Redneck Jesus,” a nickname Pollard was given a few years ago. It was his all-time-leading 22nd Blizzard Series victory and earned him a whopping $15,000 in prize winnings.
“Wins like these are hard to come by,” said Pollard, who also captured last year’s inaugural Summer Sizzler 75. “You never know when your last one is gonna be. I’m very excited and lucky to have good racecars and have better people around me.
“This was my type of race – long green-flag runs. This thing comes alive the longer we race. All I’ve gotta do is hit my marks and maintain the car. That’s what you’ve gotta do here.”
Honeycutt, who started on the pole and led the first 61 laps, impressed all night. The 17-year-old Texan, driving Donnie Wilson’s No. 2, finished runner-up. Stephen Nasse – winner of the Blizzard Series opener a night before Pollard won the second during last month’s Rowdy Twin 100s doubleheader – rounded out the podium.
Pollard swept all the cash that was up for grabs Friday night. He pocketed $5,000 for the win. Through the Southern Super Series’ “Double Down in the Next Down” promotion, Pollard earned an extra $5,000 for racing – and winning, oh by the way – at Montgomery Motor Speedway in early July.
Finally, he was rewarded a $5,000 bonus from Phoenix Construction for finishing in the top four earlier in the night during his heat race. He finished second to Hunter Robbins, the only setback Pollard endured at the famed half-mile asphalt oval Friday.
“I enjoyed it, I liked it,” Pollard said of the tweaked format, which differed from the Blizzard Series’ traditional setup of qualifying and 100-plus-lap races. “It’s exciting for the fans, and anything to make those guys happy out there. There’s no better feeling than driving around this place and seeing that many people in the grandstands. It gives me chill bumps each time.”
Robbins struggled early, but righted his No. 18 machine to record a seventh-place finish. Pensacola’s Jeremy Pate had another strong showing in a Blizzard Series and Southern Super Series race, posting a fourth-place finish despite starting 15th in the 22-car field.
“Momentum’s everything in racing,” Pollard said. “We’ve worked hard to get the program where it needs to be. When you’ve got a good group guys behind you and work as hard as you do and has that desire, it’s special. And, I’m lucky because that’s what we got.”
Official Blizzard Finish:
|1||6||Bubba Pollard||Senoia, GA||#26P|
|2||1||Kaden Honeycutt||Bridge City, TX||#2H|
|3||9||Stephen Nasse||Pinellas Park, FL||#51|
|4||15||Jeremy Pate||Pensacola, FL||#21|
|5||2||Kyle Plott||Marietta, GA||#4|
|6||8||Casey Roderick||Lawrenceville, GA||#25|
|7||3||Hunter Robbins||Mt.Juliet, NC||#18|
|8||5||Connor Okrzesik||Mobile, AL||#14CO|
|9||7||John DeAngelis||Hubertus, WI||#7D|
|10||11||Boris Jurkovic||Joliet, IL||#53|
|11||17||Jake Garcia||Monrie, GA||#35|
|12||14||Jett Noland||GROVELAND, FL||#81|
|13||12||Daniel Dye||Deland, FL||#43|
|14||13||Kyle McCallum||Macon, GA||#4M|
|15||16||Logan Bearden||Leander, TX||#66|
|16||10||Hudson Halder||Cumming, GA||#9|
|17||18||Chris Davidson||Pearland, TX||#14|
|18||19||Bob Lyon||Agua Dulce, CA||#44|
|19||20||Michael House||Panora, IA||#1|
|20||21||Kyle Bryant||Navarre, FL||#79|
|21||4||Willie Allen||Centerville, TN||#26|
|22||22||Lance Elliott||Laramie, WY||#42|
Jake Finch won Outlaws leading all 35 laps. (his first win)
Faith Chapel Outlaws
Young James Finch showed nerves of steel Friday night at Five Flags Speedway.
With the southeast’s top Outlaws drivers hounding him around every square inch of Pensacola’s high banks, Finch had the resolve to fight off the other 11 drivers in the field.
The teenager scored his first career Faith Chapels Outlaws victory, leading flag-to-flag of the 35-lap feature.
Bubba Winslow – a past track and Snowball Derby champion – and reigning Outlaws series champion Chris Cotto finished second and third, respectively.
Finch became the fourth different Outlaws driver to earn a trip to Victory Lane.
Winslow tried poking the nose of his No. 92 under Finch a few times, but the No. 51 from Lynn Haven closed the door each instance.
Defending Outlaws Snowball Derby champion John Heil, who has two wins this season, had his push toward the front thwarted by a lapped car. He was running third behind Finch and Winslow when Heil reached the back bumper of Rocky Boyd Sr., who was running 11th.
Heil quickly grew frustrated when he couldn’t get around Boyd and spun him with 23 laps completed to bring out the second of the feature’s four cautions.
1 Jake Finch 51
2 Bubba Winslow 92
3 Chris Cotto 17
4 Jody Henderson 17
5 John Heil 96
Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks
Based on results and all other statistics this season, Jerry Goff had enjoyed a stellar 2020 coming into Friday night at Five Flags Speedway.
The Lucedale, Miss., driver won twice and set the track record earlier this year for the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks. But the mark of any winning driver is never being satisfied. Goff certainly boasts that mentality.
He took the lead from polesitter Dylan Courtney on Lap 1 of the 20-lap feature Friday and never broke a sweat en route to his third victory at the famed half-mile asphalt oval.
Daryl McDonald III, who also has won three features this season, finished runner-up and Caleb Burkett rounded out the podium.
“I didn’t wanna waste any time in getting away from those guys,” Goff said. “I’d rather watch them race each other in the rearview. I knew Daryl was coming.
“This feels like it was a long time coming. It seems like forever since we’ve been up here after a couple bad races. I’m glad we broke that drought.”
The win also draws Goff closer to McDonald for the Pure Stocks points lead.
1 Jerry Goff 10
2 Daryl McDonald 19
3 Caleb Burkett 24
4 Austin McDuffie 4
5 Michael Moody 8