Bubba Pollard Takes Borrowed Ride to GAS Victory Lane
Hometown Driver Ends Bad Luck Streak as Russell Fleeman Clinches Title
It may have been in a different car, but Bubba Pollard was happy to be back in GAS victory lane. (51 Photos)
“It’s great to come home and win,” said Pollard. “This place owed us one from the spring race and doing it with a borrowed car was really nice for the fans to see.”
More often than not in recent GAS events, the Pollard crew found themselves loading up wrecked racecars due to a number of bad luck incidents. They had gone through so much equipment that a fellow competitor on the Georgia Asphalt Series loaned them a car in effort to get their season back on track.
“Bowen Family Homes, Michael Phelps and his crew chief Scott Sutherland gave me a call and asked if I wanted to run their car. I am real glad I got this opportunity to run their car. With us winning tonight it gave us an opportunity to show what we can do with their equipment.”
The night started with Pollard winning his fourth Atlanta Freightliner Pole Award of the season. The role of the dice put Pollard back to fifth at the start. Polesitter after the re-draw, Dakota Stroup, lost the lead on the opening lap. Coming back to the line for the second lap, contact was made between Stroup, Joey Senter and Fredrick Moore, piling up five cars total in the fourth turn.
Pollard moved to second behind Russell Fleeman as the yellow flew. The luck again played into the hands of Pollard as Fleeman cut a tire under yellow forcing him pit side.
With the lead, Pollard set sail until lap 30 when Larry Jordan, Terry Crump and Lee Hansard were involved in a tangle right in front of the lead pack. Unlike Pollard’s recent bad luck, he was able to steer clear of any danger this time.
“This year we have had nothing but downs,” said Pollard. “We came out of the gates this season hoping to run for a championship. That got blown away at Peachstate. This could easily be our sixth or seventh win without all the bad luck. Hopefully this will get us on a role here late in the season.”
Senoia, Georgia, driver Bubba Pollard entered the year with aspirations of winning the Georgia Asphalt Series championship. But a season full of late-race mishaps not only shattered his championship dreams, but his confidence as well.
For Pollard Saturday night, however, there was nothing like home cooking, or home racing, in this case. Pollard returned to his hometown track, New Senoia Raceway, with a car supplied by Bowen Family Homes and scored the win in the 100-lap GAS season finale.
He then set his sights on Satterfield. Pollard was trying so hard to get to Satterfield in the closing laps that he was snapping the car sideways off the turns. Satterfield built up a five-car-length advantage and hung on for the win. Michael Pope got a career-best third, with Elliott in fourth and Fredrick Moore brought home fifth.
“The car was a little tight at the start of the race, but we set it up that way,” explained Satterfield. “I had to have good throttle control and work on being smooth, because I knew Bubba was back there working real hard. Luckily we came home with the win.”
The Georgia Asphalt Series will return to action on May 12th at Peachstate Speedway in Jefferson, GA.
The regular season is now over for the Georgia Asphalt Series, but there is still one big event on the schedules of most GAS regulars and Pro Late Model racers from around the country. The World Crown 400 weekend will be held at Peachstate Speedway in Jefferson, Georgia, November 9th through 11th.
Fleeman’s flat tire didn’t keep him down long as he rocketed to second on lap 47, but could not find his way around Pollard. Finishing second was no disappointment for Fleeman, as he was awarded the $20,000 check for winning the 2007 GAS Championship.
“Bubba has had a tough season, said Fleeman. “He’s torn up a few cars. It was definitely his night. I congratulated him after the win, and I hope for bigger and better things for both of us.
“It’s been a wonderful season. We’ve tried to win races and we have tried to points-race at the same time. We got the big check tonight, and we’ll get the real check soon at the banquet.”
For Pollard it was his second win of the season and his first finish in the top five since June. Behind Pollard and Fleeman, Joey Senter, Tony Clark and Shane Chastain rounded out the top-five.
GAS SENOIA NOTES
By the Numbers...
In the 16 races this season the Georgia Asphalt Series there were 94 entries with eight different winners at eight different tracks in four different states. Russell Fleeman led all drivers with five wins and 10 top-five finishes. However, three drivers scored 14 top tens: Fleeman, Michael Pope and Kyle Fowler.
Clark and Chastain Score Career-Bests
As Bubba Pollard score a big win so did a pair of other drivers. Tony Clark and Shane Chastain scored fourth and fifth places finishes.
Russell Fleeman scored big bucks and no whammies during the 2007 GAS season.
”This is only the second race we have run all year, said Chastain. “We crashed out in the first lap of the Peach State race two weeks ago. I enjoy running different tracks and the cool weather is nice, so we decided to bring the car out run a few races.”
Clark who get’s help from the Pollard team, was looking for a one-two finish.
“I can’t even describe it,” said Clark. “The car was perfect. I wanted to finish second to Bubba, I was trying really hard when we running third earlier in the event.”
How 'bout That Kid?
Kyle Fowler wrapped up Rookie of the Year honors and scoring 14 top ten finishes. He ended the season with eleven in a row. The 15-year-old had some doubters at the beginning of the season, but he showed that he belongs among the elite in the series.
"What we set out to do was get seat time,” said Fowler. “We wanted to blend in, not cause any scuffles and just learn. We did that and we ran every race and we didn’t end up in a single wreck.”
Fowler also accomplished this feat with out a full-time crew. Only a few family members worked the pits for the four car this season.
“My entire family puts out everything they’ve got into my racing, me and my dad are pretty much the make of the crew. It’s been hard at times to get everything done but we had a great season.”
Kyle Fowler is the GAS Rookie of the Year