Allen Turner Pro Late Models
Boone Wins Race, Bolen Wins Allen Turner PLM Title in Dramatic Finale
Sep 24, 2023
Bubba Pollard was happy to get back to victory lane at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday night in the season finale for the ASA Southern Super Series and Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series.
It was the third win under the Southern Super Series banner for Pollard in 2023, adding to victories in SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway and during the ASA STARS National Tour co-sanctioned event at North Wilkesboro Speedway. However, the win snapped a Blizzard Series drought dating back to July 23, 2021.
Pollard secured the lead on a lap 63 restart from Jackson Boone and took the checkered flag ahead of Hunter Robbins. With the win, Pollard now has 24 Blizzard Series wins and 34 Southern Super Series wins in his career.
"We were able to get a good restart there," said Pollard. "I know those guys are good. Track position is so key, being out front is key. It's tough, cars are so close that you can't make mistakes or be off none."
While many would think Pollard has figured out every trick in the book when it comes to getting around the half-mile in Pensacola, Florida, he admitted that the Late Model Championship weekend proved to be a learning experience even for him.
"I actually learned a lot this weekend. I probably stayed too conservative. When you run good, you hate to get out of your package or your baseline. Tonight, we got away from it, and it shows if you get away from it, you still can make speed."
While Pollard celebrated his win on the frontstretch, two new champions were also celebrating. With a fourth-place finish, Gio Ruggiero claimed the 2023 ASA Southern Super Series title ahead of Matt Craig.
Ruggiero started seventh in the race and worked his way up to fourth, finishing ahead of his nearest title contender in Craig to become the ninth different champion in Southern Super Series history.
"It's awesome, all these guys on the Wilson Motorsports team work so hard in the shop and every weekend at the track. I couldn't do it without them, TRD, everyone that supports me."
"My first full-time year in a Super Late Model, to be able to pull off a championship, I wouldn't be able to do it without everybody that supports me."
While this year's ASA Southern Super Series champion comes from New England, the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series champion made the trip to each race in Pensacola, Florida from Upper Lake, California. Jeremy Doss finished eighth to wrap up a strong showing in the Five Flags Speedway Super Late Model track championship.
"It was not quite the run we wanted tonight, but still enough to get the championship," said Doss. "I just want to thank the whole Bob Lyon racing team, everyone who is involved and our sponsors.
"It feels really good. It was our first year running the whole series. To come out on top against this competition is pretty neat."
Along with winning the PepperJack Kennels Snowball Derby prize package on Friday night, Doss' Blizzard Series championship means he will be guaranteed a starting spot in the Snowball Derby if he is unable to qualify in on time. Making the trip to Five Flags throughout the season and performing well enough to win the Blizzard Series title gives him plenty of confidence for the first weekend in December.
"I feel like this is our best shot at it so far. To run here all year and get a pretty good baseline and run up front is pretty cool. I'm definitely confident going into the Derby."
-Images courtesy of Will Bellamy, Racing America
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