MARNE, Mich. – Bubba Pollard scored his first victory outside of the Southeast Friday, winning the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event held at Berlin Raceway.
“Of all the wins we’ve been fortunate enough to get, this one is pretty special. We finally got one up north against these guys,” said Pollard. “This place is so local-friendly, as I call it. You’ve got to have a lot of laps here. I thought the best thing to do was run tonight (in preparation for the next day’s Battle at Berlin 251) and gain from it. I learned a lot on the restarts and what to do when we’re on the outside. It was well worth it to bring this car and run this race.”
After Boyne Machine Company Fast Qualifier Hunter Baize drew an eight for an inversion, Lauren Bush and Terry VanHaitsma would lead the 28-car field to the green flag. Bush, in her first appearance of the season anywhere since the birth of her son in April, stayed with VanHaitsma briefly before VanHaitsma was able to pull away from his fellow front row starter to grab the early lead. VanHaitsma would try to set an early pace as the rest of the pack jockeyed for position behind him.
The race ran caution free until the first yellow came out on lap 61, bunching up the field for the first time since the initial start. On the ensuing restart, Chris Anthony began his charge on VanHaitsma as a pair of Peach State invaders, Pollard and Anderson Bowen began lurking behind the track regulars. It wasn’t long before Pollard began his charge and at the same time, Anthony began his assault on the leader. On lap 73 Anthony made the pass for the lead on VanHaitsma and brought both Pollard and Bowen with him.
After an intense battle for the lead between the two standouts, Pollard would make what would be the winning pass for the lead with 15 laps to go. Bowen would also get pass Anthony with 10 laps to go and tried in vain to catch up to the fellow Georgian. Pollard wasn’t to be denied on this night and after not scoring a win north of Nashville, Tenn., in his entire career, the Georgia based star finally scored that elusive first ever win in the northern part of the United States.
“It feels good to finally get this win up here, it’s been a long time coming,” said Pollard, who earned his 10th overall victory of the 2014 season to go with four Southern Super Series triumphs and five additional pro late model wins. “The restarts are so tough here. You’ve got to get a really good run off of four. This place is really tricky man. We had a real good racecar that turned well all night. We were able to save enough to have something for the end.”
Bowen finished second to give the state of Georgia a one-two sweep. Anthony was third, followed by Andrew Nylaan and VanHaitsma.
Bubba Pollard, Anderson Bowen, Chris Anthony, Andrew Nylaan, Terry VanHaitsma, Jordan Dahlke, Grant Quinlan, Chris Davidson, Dalton Armstrong, Chris Koslek, Mike Bursley, Justin Ryan, Josh Nelms, Dominique Van Wieringen, Brandon Hermiller, Dan Leeck, Tristan Van Wieringen, Corey Deuser, Nikky Saxon, Marc Jacobs, Jaxson Jacobs, Hunter Baize, Trevor Berry, Lauren Bush, J.J. Haley, Cole Rouse, Ross Kenseth, Pat Zorn.