MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Three races in a row now have now produced a first-time winner in the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco.
The latest winner is 17-year-old driver Chase Elliott, who took down the 49th annual Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.
Elliott elected to wait to take tires and had two fresh Hoosiers left when a caution flew on lap 185. Elliott was one of the cars who was involved in the caution allowing him to pit out of fifth to put on fresh tires. He then charged from sixth to take lead on lap 195 from Bubba Pollard and hold on as the distance stretched to 208.
“We need a caution and I didn’t want to be the caution, but it worked out in our favor as we didn’t hit anything,” said Elliott. “I am really proud of Ricky and all the guys. It’s been a while since we have won a Super Late Model race and this is a big win for us here. I wanted to come run this race and I’m glad we got to celebrate in victory lane with the fans.”
The early part of the race saw yet another classic battle with Alabama’s Augie Grill, who was racing for his fourth Alabama 200 crown, and Georgia driver Bubba Pollard who came into the event as the point leader. Grill led the opening 101 laps as Pollard led a 61 lap stretch in the middle. Both Grill and Pollard were never separated by more than a second when racing for the top spot.
“I had a good time racing with Augie tonight,” said Pollard who ended up second. “We respect each other a bunch and we both work hard on our race cars. We know we can race side-by-side and not hit wreck each other.”
“When Chase got those two new tires I knew we were racing for second,” said Grill who ended up third. “I think Pollard and I have a lot of respect for each other and we are both good drivers. It’s easy to race like that when you can respect the other driver.”
Pollard got the lead from Grill on the lap 192 restart only to lose it to Elliott on lap 195. Pollard ended up second, Grill finished third after a pit stop as Mike Garvey and defending race winner Mason Massey rounded out the top five.
Bubba Pollard started the evening by winning the Fast Time Award and the $500 check presented by RW Engines, McGunegill Engine Performance, Ford Racing, Progressive Racing Engines, and Hamner Racing Engines. This was his eighth fast time award of the season.
“We can definitely use the extra money to keep us going,” said Pollard. “We want to win races. We know that winning the fast time awards has helped us a bunch to become the championship leader.”