NASCAR Cup Series
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Sep 2, 2022
It was a throwback finish for a kind of throwback night as Bubba Pollard outdueled Donnie Wilson in the SRL National event at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night.
The Davidson Electric 125 was the first Super Late Model race at the Irvington, Alabama half mile since 2018, and it came down to a match between two of its modern-day finest.
In the end, Pollard took the lead from Jake Finch and held the top spot for the remainder of the race. It was the 25th time Pollard had won a Late Model race at Mobile and he was downright giddy talking about its attributes in Victory Lane.
"It's rough," Pollard said. "It's always rough. You have to be on the bottom. You have to get up front and get that clean air. This place is so big, and it was like this years ago too, but clean air is huge.
"Once I was able to get the lead, and able to just ride, I knew I had enough space to make it to the end. To go fast, you have to drive sideways here. I just didn't want to drive sideways the last five laps."
It was also a throwback weekend altogether for Wilson, making his first start behind the wheel in four seasons, amidst the most successful stretch he has enjoyed as a team owner over the past calendar year. Wilson posted fast time in qualifications and ran up front throughout the race.
He made up almost six-tenths over the final 10 laps, but Wilson correctly deduced what Pollard confirmed, that the 26 backed the pace up.
"I think he was backing up to me because he had the lead," Wilson said. "We were pretty even stephen though. I was just too tight. I just kept working on what I could do best from what I remember. I’m happy with the effort, happy with the car, wish we could have won but second isn’t bad for me being out of the car for four years.
"It was hot tonight, humid. I feel like I was gave up a little bit around Lap 75 and wasn’t at my best for the final 35 but that’s how it goes. Hats off to Bubba and happy with second."
Pollard took a degree of pride in being able to go back and forth with Wilson after doing it so many times over the past decade. At one point, they and inherited pole sitter Jake Finch all traded the lead several times.
Wilson dropped his right sides onto the backstretch grass, but Pollard did too several laps later and it forced them to all pass each other again.
It was a very competitive race.
"It was impressive for him being able to jump back in after that long," Pollard said. "Their cars are fast. They’ve had a good program all year and racing with them is fun. You know, we both went off the back there. I was laughing at him for doing it and dammed if I didn’t do it too the next restart.
"There was grip up there with this tire and it kept pulling us up. This place is fun, man. It’s tough and you have to drive it so hard every lap."
The only notable incident occurred on Lap 89 when Johanna Long Robbins spun due to contact from behind by Dustin Smith. Smith went on to complete the podium but Robbins drove back to fifth and finished behind Finch.
Pollard collected $12,500 for the accomplishment.
SRL National Davidson Electric 125
Mobile International Speedway
September 4 2022