MONTGOMERY, Alabama (July 11, 2020) — Bubba Pollard picked up his second victory of the 2020 Southern Super Series season by winning the Rumble by the River 125 on Saturday night at Montgomery Motor Speedway. This marks the 71st career Super Late Model win for Pollard, fourth overall in 2020 (wins coming at Hickory, Jennerstown, Pensacola and Montgomery).
“Aint nothing no better than the checkered flag and American flag right there,” Pollard said as he held up a specially made flag combining both flags into one courtesy of Impact Zone Photos.
“That’s what it’s all about right there,” said Pollard as he pointed to the crowd. “I can’t thank these fans enough for coming out. Man, it’s hot. It’s been brutal. It’s been a long three weeks for us. It’s good to come to the race track and see a lot of people and they’re excited you’re there and excited to be out. It’s awesome for short track racing, is what it is.”
Pollard took the lead from Connor Okrzesik with 25 laps to go, then set sail to capture the coveted boxing gloves that are handed out as the trophy for this event.
“It’s just an awesome racecar and I can’t thank all these guys enough that are behind me. They make this possible. It’s been tough for us, but man this thing was good tonight. I figured if you win a pair of boxing gloves you might as well put it on ‘em.”
Pollard used the high line to pass Okrzesik, something he worked on throughout the race leading up to that all important pass.
“You can’t practice up there during the day cause it’s so slick,” he said. “Once the sun goes down, you can move up there. I just kinda waited. Augie (Grill) jumped up there real quick and went by everybody… I was watching him and he was real tight. Finally later on in the race we moved up there and we could make it happen. Our racecar is good, you’ve got to be able to turn in the center to be able to run that outside and that’s what we were able to do tonight.”
And now… The Race Rundown:
Points Leader Bubba Pollard won the award for fastest qualifier, with a time of 19.142 seconds around the speedy Alabama half-mile. It would be Penscola’s Jeremy Pate, however, leading the field to green after drawing the pole in the post-qualifying redraw. Pate was the fastest car in practice, topping the day’s second session.
At the drop of the green flag, Kyle Plott surged to the lead from his outside front row starting position and set sail from the field early on.
Augie Grill, who started last after a mechanical problem in qualifying, found himself working through the field very nicely in the first part of the race. He was up to eighth by lap 25. Ten laps later, using the high line, Grill passed Pollard for fifth.
On lap 41, Hunter Robbins rose the point, passing Plott in turn two. Grill now found himself in third and on lap 45 slotted into second.
On lap 50, the race’s first yellow flew as after 50 consecutive laps, series rules call for a caution period.
On the following restart, Augie Grill found himself stuck in the high line and instead of being able to move forward, the Alabama driver was now dropping back… rapidly, falling to seventh as the second caution of the night flew on lap 55 for Casey Roderick, who was stopped on the frontstretch. Roderick would be pushed to the pits and the attention of his crew, but would return to the race.
By lap 65, Grill had fallen to the back of the pack, the last car on track, and with 50 to go, was being lapped by the leaders who he had been racing with 50 laps into the race. Grill would be lapped once more by lap 90.
The race’s third caution flew on lap 94 as leader Robbins fell off the pace on the backstretch, and coasted into the pits, stalling on pit road. This gave the lead to Connor Okrzesik, who was battling Pollard for second as Pollard began searching around the high line, looking for grip. That search opened the door for Okrzesik, who passed Pollard low in turn three just prior to Robbins’ issues.
Under this yellow, the field pitted, and by this time, Casey Roderick had rebounded, now sitting in fifth place.
With 31 to go, Okrzesik and Pollard battled side by side for the lead, but that battle was cut short as the race’s fourth yellow flew for Daniel Dye, whom spun after contact with Jake Garcia coming off turn four as the pair raced in the middle of the top ten.
Lap 99 saw Bubba Pollard use the high line he’d been working on all night to pass Okrzesik for the lead.
On lap 106, the fifth caution flew for Kyle Plott, who was stopped in turn two with a broken left rear trailing arm.
Pollard cleared Okrzesik on the restart with 19 to go, and checked out, winning the race by 2.8 seconds over second place.
In the final laps, Jackson Boone and Jake Garcia were able to pass Okrzesik for second and third, respectively.
In addition to the money earned for winning the event, Pollard also claimed another $5,000.00 for winning after having competed in the last Southern Super Series race run, the “Double Down in the Next Town” bonus. Pollard earned somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,500 after winning the Rumble by the River 125 in Montgomery.
PRO 4 FEATURE:
Eddie Dodd won the 20 lap Pro Feature, making a back-to-back start to 2020 as Dodd also won the first race in this class back on June 6, 2020. Calvin Lewis finished in second, with Bobby Reuse in third.
OUTLAW STOCK FEATURE:
John Heil came from the back to the front in the first 25 laps of the 50 lap Outlaw Stock feature to pass polesitter Bubba Winslow for the lead. Heil would hold on to that lead to claim his fifth win in as many races dating back to the Snowball Derby in December. Winslow, who led the first half of the race, held on to second while Joe Bethea took third after a lengthy, spirited battle with Cameron Henderson. There was only one yellow in the race, coming with 12 to go, for a spin by Stuart Dutton in turn two.
Unofficial Results of the Rumble by the River 125 at Montgomery Motor Speedway:
|1.||26 – Bubba Pollard|
|2.||7 – Jackson Boone|
|3.||35 – Jake Garcia|
|4.||14 – Connor Okrzesik|
|5.||25 – Casey Roderick|
|6.||71 – Dawson Fletcher|
|7.||21 – Jeremy Pate|
|8.||1 – Michael House|
|9.||43 – Daniel Dye|
|10.||2 – John Bolen|
|11.||112 – Augie Grill|
|12.||4 – Kyle Plott|
|13.||67 – Colin Allman|
|14.||18 – Hunter Robbins|
|15.||79 – Kyle Bryant (DNS)|
– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining
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