Taylor Satterfield Scores Second GAS Win of the Year at Senoia
Young Driver Holds Off Local Favorite Bubba Pollard for Thrilling Victory
Satterfield was pumped up about his second GAS victory. (51 Photos)
Enter Taylor Satterfield. The youngster from Commerce, Georgia, had his own plans and his own adversity to overcome as he held off the hard charging Pollard for his second career Georgia Asphalt Series win.
“We have been changing a bunch of motors and stuff,” said Satterfield. “Micky (Cain, GAS Director) changed some of the rules here and there; we have been working really hard because of it. I think I have had a total of eight hours of sleep in three days.”
Satterfield along with Pollard and GAS point leader Russell Fleeman all had to change engines or make adjustments in the few days prior to the Senoia event. All three drivers were using a particular Ford-sealed engine that was banned from GAS competition in the days prior to the race at Senoia. That left the three frontrunners scrambling to replace their motors or bolt on new parts to their banned engines.
In the end, the series’ rule changes worked. The field at Senoia was on an equal playing field and more competitive than ever, with just a few tenths separating the field in practice and qualifying.
“Russell (Fleeman) is leading the points, and he was atop the time sheet today,” said Cain. “The only difference is he’s a few hundredths quicker instead of three-tenths. The competitors know why we’re here and that we are going to keep things level to the best of our ability.”
Scrambling to put the engine together was not Satterfield’s only adversity during the race, either. During the final minutes of the afternoon practice, his number-40 machine lost an oil line in turn four. The car spun sideways down the front-stretch and narrowly missed the wall. Satterfield was out of the car in a flash as he saw a few flames in the cockpit after the spin.
Often times in racing overcoming adversity makes a driver more determined than ever to end up in victory lane. Saturday night’s Georgia Asphalt Series race at Senoia Raceway (GA) fittingly came down to two drivers running on little sleep in rushed-together racecars, Taylor Satterfield and Bubba Pollard. But in the end, Satterfield had just a little bit left in the tank to hold Pollard off for his second GAS win of the season.
Bubba Pollard had all the cards playing in his favor for a great comeback victory. Pollard had to change engines the night before the Georgia Asphalt Series race in Senoia. The only good news was that Pollard lives just down the road from the 3/8’s of a mile track, so a new motor and an over-tired driver on his home turf seamed like a great setup for his first win of 2007.
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.
Local favorite Bubba Pollard is so well received in his hometown of Senoia, fans want his autograph pretty much anywhere they can get it.
“The hose just popped off,” explained Satterfield. “As soon as I saw the flames I got out of the car, the car’s not worth that much, but my life is.”
Pollard, however, appeared to make the best of the challenges faced in the hours before the race. The long night of work changing motors paid off, as he took the Atlanta Freightliner Pole award on only two hours of sleep. The redraw was unlucky for Pollard (started sixth), as he drew the high number which put Lawrenceville, Georgia native David Elliott on the point for the start of the race. Elliott drove away on the start and seamed destined to run away with the show.
Michael Pope quickly worked his way through the field to contend with the leader by the lap-27 mark. Pope would challenge Elliott for the lead a few times before a lightning-fast Satterfield took second at lap 48. It was only five laps later that Satterfield took the lead away from Elliott.
By the time Satterfield took the lead, Pollard came to life as he moved to fourth a lap later. The young fans around the track with Bubba Pollard autographs on their foreheads had something to scream about, as Pollard moved around David Elliott for second on lap 62.