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Pollard Continues Historic Run With Third Consecutive SpeedFest Win

Bubba Pollard became the first four-time Protect Your Melon - Buckle Up SpeedFest winner on Saturday at Crisp Motorsports Park.

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Bubba Pollard's historic run at SpeedFest continued Saturday.

Pollard scored the Protect Your Melon - Buckle Up SpeedFest Super Late Model win at Crisp Motorsports Park, taking the lead from Stephen Nasse with 13 laps to go. Pollard is now the first four-time winner of the event, as well as the first driver to win three straight SpeedFest runnings.

What has been the key to Pollard's dominance in the January showcase? In his eyes, it's pretty simple and straightforward.

Results: Protect Your Melon - Buckle Up SpeedFest 2024

“It’s just badass race cars. That’s all there is to it," said Pollard. "Senneker Race Cars, all my guys that help me out. They put in a lot of work. It’s been long weeks. I get emotional because we’ve worked so hard. It’s tough.

“We just want it. We want it bad. It doesn’t matter what you do in life. As long as you want it, you can make it happen. We work hard, all my guys work hard behind me, and that’s what made it possible today.”

The strategic crossroads in the race came at the halfway mark of the 150-lap feature. With the yellow flag waving for a mandatory caution, most of the field made the trip down pit road for adjustments and tires. Nasse led that group of drivers, pitting from the third position.

Nasse worked his way up to fourth when racing resumed, and inherited the lead when the caution flew again on lap 109. That caution allowed leaders Pollard, Casey Roderick and Jett Noland to pit, giving them fresher tires at the expense of track position.

“You don’t ever know," Pollard said about the strategy call. "You always second-guess yourself. I feel like we had a good car either way. I feel like we could have left the tires that were on it and still been good. It just shows you what kind of race cars we’ve got.”

It proved to be the right call, as Pollard and Roderick worked their way through the field. After an extended battle of their own for third, Pollard pulled away to overtake Dawson Sutton and Nasse for the win.

“I thought we made a pretty good call on that adjustment to come in early and get those tires,” said Nasse. “There just wasn’t really enough cars between me and Bubba there. He had a really good car tonight, and that’s about it. We were just too tight in the center.

“It was good, hard racing. We had a good little battle there," Nasse added. "At the end, he was just better than I was, and it happens sometimes. Congrats to them. We’ll go on to the next one, but I had a lot of fun today, though.”

Roderick settled for third in the final running order, still a strong showing in his first Super Late Model appearance in seven months.

“This was a really good weekend. I’m glad to be back here at the racetrack, it’s been a while. A really fun week. We came up a little short there. Had a really good car to start off with, just started rolling tight center behind Bubba there before we pitted.

“We were actually supposed to come down that first caution and pit. That was my bad, I missed the pit opening. When we made our pit stop, we made a couple of adjustments and went a little too far. We were free in all the way through the corner and couldn’t put the power down like the two cars in front of us there for the last little bit.”

SpeedFest is always a special event thanks to its location. After beginning at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida before its closure, SpeedFest moved to Lanier Raceplex and now Crisp Motorsports Park.

With Crisp now being the lone regularly operating pavement short track in Pollard's home state of Georgia, SpeedFest is a rare chance for family and friends to watch him compete close to home.

“A lot of guys from back home that don’t get to watch me race very often come this weekend," said Pollard. "We’re just a couple of hours up the road. We’ve been coming here for 24 years, and it’s a pretty special place for us.”

For the first time in the event's history, this year's SpeedFest counted as a points-paying event for the ASA Southern Super Series. The win marks Pollard's 35th ASA Southern Super Series triumph.

Dawson Sutton finished fourth, with last year's ASA Southern Super Series and ASA/CRA Super Series champion, Gio Ruggiero, rounding out the top five.

-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America

PROTECT YOUR MELON - BUCKLE UP SPEEDFEST SUPER LATE MODEL RESULTS

FinNoDriverLapsDiff
126PBubba Pollard150---
251NStephen Nasse1501.400
326RCasey Roderick1502.746
426SDawson Sutton1503.566
522RGio Ruggiero1504.234
669Michael Hinde1505.604
750Jett Noland1506.008
828BCole Butcher1507.123
954Matt Craig1507.371
1028WTimothy Watson1508.122
1155Michael Atwell15010.095
1223Billy VanMeter15010.518
139KDerek Kraus15012.496
1451FJake Finch15013.281
1533Daniel Webster15014.009
1633SDustin Smith1491 Lap
179JBrandon Jones1491 Lap
181Steve Dorer1491 Lap
1932Stuart Dutton1473 Laps
2008Tony Elrod1473 Laps
2137Michael Goddard13515 Laps
229HHudson Halder12030 Laps
2367Colin Allman10248 Laps
249CAnthony Cataldi5991 Laps
2523FDave Farrington33117 Laps
2662Josh Berry25125 Laps
2714Connor Orkzesik24126 Laps
2835Jake Garcia12138 Laps
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