A New Look for # 26, Bubba Eager to ‘Start Over’admin
New car and T & M Ranch Sponsor, Bubba Eager to ‘Start Over’ at Five Flags for Michles & Booth Twin 100s
By Chuck Corder
Bubba Pollard has endured an unconventional 2021.
But any rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.
In fact, the all-time winningest driver in Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series history with 22 victories and four track championships for Super Late Models is returning to his roots for this week’s Michles and Booth Twin 100s at Five Flags Speedway.
Pollard has run an abbreviated schedule this season as he tends to maintenance, upgrades, and overall promotion of his family’s 3/8-mile dirt track in his native Senoia, Ga., which his grandfather built in 1969.
This week, though, Pollard is removing his promoter’s cap and bringing two new Port City Race Cars SLM to Pensacola’s high banks for the Universal Fabricators 100 on Friday and Michels & Booth 100 on Saturday.
“It’s kinda nice to be able to start over at a place like Pensacola where I’ve had success and there’s such a great fan base,” the 34-year-old said. “We haven’t run consistently well for the last year, and my confidence changed a lot. Confidence is big in racing. But, going to Pensacola and knowing there is great fans down there, that throws a lot of excitement my way. Hopefully, we’ll put on great show for ’em.”
Pollard, former two-time Snowball Derby champion Erik Jones, and the top SLM drivers in the country will put on a pair of Blizzard Series shows, in conjunction with the Southern Super Series, in hopes of walking away with big money. Both races pay $10,000 to win. A $20,000 bonus is on the table if a driver sweeps the weekend, meaning one team could leave Five Flags Speedway $40,000 richer.
Additionally, Phoenix Construction will pay $5,000 to the driver with the best average finish during the weekend. If someone sweeps, the bonus will go to the driver with the second-best average.
The Proxy Equipment Pro Trucks (30 laps) and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks (20) join the SLMs on Friday while the Faith Chapel Outlaws (35) and The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen (30) share the marquee Saturday night. Gates open at 5 p.m. both days and admission for adults is $20 each night or $30 if you pay for both shows. Tickets for seniors, military, and students will be $17 each night and children ages 11-and-under will get in for free. A fireworks show is planned for Friday night before the green flag drops on the Universal Fabricators 100.
“Looking at it from a promoter’s side, I know it’s gonna be tough on him,” Pollard teased of Five Flags General Manager Tim Bryant. “As far as a racer, it’s gonna be a great weekend to learn a lot. We don’t get too many opportunities to go to a racetrack and gather this much information and then race twice. It’s gonna be big and a lotta fun. We’ve worked hard the last couple of weeks and months to get ready.”
He was in town Sunday to test his new Port City rides. Mother Nature certainly made things difficult for Pollard to find a groove. He’d log a few laps before running for cover and waiting for the track to painstakingly dry. The cycle repeated itself several times and prolonged his day, meaning Pollard didn’t return home to Senoia until 2:30 Monday morning.
Despite the inconsistency in weather, Pollard is confident in the Port City machines that will be underneath him this weekend and the rest of the season.
“Some of the first wins I got in Late Models were in Port City racecars,” he said. “I wanted to be with a program that has much desire to win as I did. They build great cars and are willing to work hard to put us up front. As long as we’re winning races, everybody’s happy.
“Coming to Pensacola this weekend, I hope we can really showcase what we have and what we’ve been working on these last few months.”