Bubba Pollard has been on a tear throughout the Deep South racing scene so far in 2009. He has captured Pro and Super Late Model checkered flags and currently holds the Blizzard Series point lead going into the fourth of its five rounds this Friday, August 7th at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
Pollard's rear view mirror has been full of many contenders so far this year at Five Flags, two of which have their guns blazing for the Carpenter's Campers 100 at Five Flags Friday night.
Pensacola native and teenage phenom Johanna Long already has a Blizzard Series win to her credit this season and sits only 25 points behind Pollard in the Blizzard Series point standings. Texan Casey Smith is a consistent frontrunner at Five Flags and is the defending Miller Lite Super Late Model champion at Mobile International Speedway (AL). He is also close behind in fourth in points, just 80 points back from Pollard.
Long and Smith have had different types of luck so far in the five-race Super Late Model series at Five Flags, but both have their guns blazing to take down the victory in the Carpenter's Campers 100 this Friday night.
“We are really excited to get back racing at Five Flags,” said Long. “Freddie (Query, Crew Chief) and all the guys gave me the best car I have ever had at Pensacola the last time we were there. The car was so good; I hope it will be just as good when we run there again.
“I want to go out there and win again, but we also have to make sure we are competitive as we can be. We are fighting Bubba Pollard and Augie Grill (third in points) for the Blizzard Series championship. You don't want to get into a wreck or anything because that could cost you the title. Hopefully everything will turn out the way we want it to.”
While Long knows the feeling of victory at Five Flags, Smith has not yet had that thrill in his years of competing at the Pensacola half-mile. Smith is a former track champion at the nearby Mobile and South Alabama Speedways and a winner in several different Super Late Model series, but winning at Five Flags would be a neverbefore-seen thrill.
“Winning a Blizzard race at Five Flags Speedway would almost be like winning the Snowball Derby for us,” said Smith. “We have had a real hard time trying to figure out Pensacola. We went to the Snowball Derby last year with a good setup and we have been building off that ever since.
“We tried some crazy things here over the years; we kept think that this place was so different, but we realized that it is a racetrack just like any other place.”
Like Long, Smith is headed into the fourth round of the Blizzard Series knowing that his team has gained on the setup at Five Flags.
“We were running good the last time we ran at Pensacola,” added Smith. “We were leading the race and we got tangled up with some lap car. Now we just want to go back and put together the entire 100 laps and get a victory. We know we are closer now then we have ever been before. It would also mean a lot for the team because we have not yet won this season.”
While Smith hopes to capture his first win of the 2009 season, Long is out to take Blizzard Series win number-three in the Carpenter's Campers 100.
“It would be a dream come true if we could win a third race in the Blizzard Series,” said Long. “The whole team works hard to make sure we are competitive and winning is the goal, but we know it doesn't happen every week. When you win at Five Flags it means a lot because you have beaten the best in the Super Late Model World.
“We have been doing a lot of racing at other tracks so it will be good to go back home and race. Five Flags is my favorite track and hopefully we will do well in the Blizzard race.”
Bubba Pollard is the point leader at Five Flags and in the Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship standings, which is a two-track combination point fund for competitors in the Blizzard Series and the Miller Lite Super Late Model Series at Mobile International Speedway. With just two races remaining in each, Long sits second in Blizzard points and third in the Gulf Coast standings behind Pollard and Augie Grill. Smith is fourth in both standings.
Qualifying for the Carpenter's Campers 100 will begin at 6:45 pm, with the feature events set to take the green flag at 8pm. The Super Stock, Sportsmen, and Bomber divisions will also hit the Five Flags half-mile.
Fans unable to attend the Five Flags Blizzard Series event can hear it live on RaceTalkRadio.com, presented by Speed 51 Radio.
The Carpenter's Campers 100 is the fourth round of the five-race Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway. The fifth and final point event will be held on Friday, September 25th. The top-two point finishers in the Blizzard Series will receive guaranteed starting positions in the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby, December 3rd through 6th at the famed Pensacola racetrack.
For more information about Five Flags Speedway, the Carpenter's Campers 100 or the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby, please visit www.5flagsspeedway.com or contact the track by calling (850) 944-8400.