A BIG Blizzard Win for Bubbaadmin
Michles & Booth Twin 100s: Bubba Blasts Off in Blizzard Series, Wins Universal Fabricators 100
By Chuck Corder
At 34, Bubba Pollard has penned quite the legacy at Five Flags Speedway.
Short-tracking racing’s G.O.A.T is as ingrained to the famed half-mile oval as the asphalt that cover its four turns and straightaways. His now-23 career wins in the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series and four Super Late Model track championships continue to endear him to the Five Flags faithful, who roar every time his name blares through the track speakers before, during, or after a race.
Pollard wrote another page-turning chapter Friday in his rich autobiography at Pensacola’s high banks on opening night of the Michles & Booth Twin 100s.
The man affectionately known as “Redneck Jesus,” pulled off a miraculous Blizzard Series and Southern Super Series victory in the Universal Fabricators 100. Pollard plodded his way from a starting spot of 17th in the 34-car field and outclassed runner-up Chandler Smith, who drives fulltime in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, down the stretch for an improbable win.
“We had a good racecar,” a relieved Pollard said of his new Port City Racecars SLM. “I knew we were fast, and we just had to make it to the front. There was a point where I really thought it was over.
“We just kept making gains there in the middle stages of the race. We drove it hard and drove it to the front.”
He led only two laps all night, but they were the two every driver dreams of. Pollard moved into second on Lap 91 and quickly began closing the healthy gap between his new-look No. 26 and Smith’s No. 26 branded in the familiar red-and-white of Donnie Wilson. He reached Smith’s bumper with three to go and the duo were door-to-door as they screamed into Turn No. 3. Pollard finally pulled ahead on Lap 98 and was immediately into the wind.
“I’ve got a lotta laps around here,” Pollard said. “I knew when we took off on Lap 1, the car was good. I just needed to get to the front, and we were able to do that.”
Smith was the class of the field most of the night. He led 94 of the possible 100 laps and his machine was nearly flawless, especially on all eight restarts. Jake Garcia came home third to make it a “peachy” podium as all three drivers hailed from the State of Georgia.
“All those cautions on top of each other definitely didn’t help us,” Smith said. “I’d seen (Pollard) coming up, and I knew I was gonna have to fight for it. But he had a better drive than me.”
Pollard earned a cool $10,000 for the win and put himself in line for a wad of cash if things bounce his way in tonight’s Michles & Booth 100. If he is fortunate to win again and sweep the weekend, Pollard will earn a $20,000 bonus for a grand total of $40,000.
Additionally, Phoenix Construction will pay $5,000 to the driver with the best average finish from Friday night’s race and tonight’s 100 lapper. If Pollard sweeps, the bonus will go to the driver with the second-best average.
The Faith Chapel Outlaws (35) and The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen (30) share the marquee tonight. Gates open at 5 p.m. today and admission for adults is $20; seniors, military, and students $17; and free for children ages 11-and-under.
Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks
Logan Boyett took his time in giving thanks Friday night at Five Flags Speedway.
He has a team of wheelmen who help with setup and a slew of sponsors that help make the No. 9 truck go each week.
Boyett’s benevolence was well-deserved as the Pensacola driver won a second consecutive Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks feature. He led from flag-to-flag in the 13-truck field and captured the EscaRosa Tree Service 30 without much of threat from runner-up Gavin Graham.
“It’s a testament to all these guys and girls behind me here,” Boyett said of the victory.
Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks series points leader Hunter Johnson, Graham’s teammate, finished third. The two came out of Turn No. 3 door-to-door and remained locked together until Graham edged Johnson by a nose at the flag stand.
Graham made several runs to put pressure on the leader, but never managed to reach Boyett’s bumper.
“We had really good mid-run speed, but the car started bottoming out,” Graham said. “That was a great photo-finish with Hunter there at the end.”
Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks
Sometimes, you have to dance with the girl that brought you.
That’s why Cameron Leytham returned Friday night to the car that delivered so much success early in 2021 at Five Flags Speedway.
After a six-race drought, Leytham was back in Victory Lane on Friday at Pensacola’s high banks. He cleared Jimmy Hollinsworth on the opening lap of the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks 20-lap feature and never looked back en route to his fourth win. Leytham won three consecutive times to start the season.
“We won three in a row and then started working so hard for it,” Leytham said. “We finally got it.”
Teammate Robert Lope finished second and Hollinsworth posted third.