Bubba Pollard continued his dominant 2018 season at Five Flags Speedway (FL) Saturday night, holding off a hard-charging Chandler Smith to score the victory in the Deep South Cranes 150 presented by Earnest Performance.
Pollard took the lead from Smith with 41 laps remaining in the 150-lap event, which served as the penultimate race of the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco season as well as the Blizzard Series finale for 2018. A late caution opened the door for Smith to make a late-race charge, but Pollard held off the young fellow Georgia native for his 18th career Blizzard Series victory.
Pollard had complete confidence in his car’s long-run ability, which is where Pollard’s signature No. 26 machine was at it’s best. An extended green flag run gave him the perfect opportunity to storm to the front during the middle stage of the event.
“We started the race off pretty free, like we’ve been all weekend,” Pollard said in victory lane. “We didn’t know if we were going to make it. We had a really good car on the long run. I feel like if we went green there, we’d be good.”
An incident involving Bobby Knox brought out the yellow flag with 30 laps to go, bringing everyone but Kyle Plott to pit road under a controlled caution. Plott, the winner of the Southern Super Series’ most recent race at Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA), was unable to hold off Pollard on fresher tires. However, Smith quickly chased down Pollard to challenge for the win before running out of time.
“Those guys were better than us on the short run,” Pollard admitted. “It showed at the end when Chandler was better than us, but then we leveled out. It’s all about that tire game. I’m glad it worked out, that’s all I can say.”
Race fans who missed Saturday’s action can visit Speed51.com’s Trackside Now archive of the event for lap-by-lap updates or watch an on-demand presentation of Speed51.com’s pay-per-view broadcast. A tape-delayed broadcast of the race will also be aired as part of Speed51’s Short Track America on MAVTV on Wednesday, October 31.