OREGON, Wis. – Bubba Pollard made the long haul from Georgia to Wisconsin worth it with a victory in Sunday’s ARCA Midwest Tour Joe Shear Classic at Madison Int’l Speedway.
Pollard, who earned $10,000 for the victory, was among 27 drivers to take the green flag for the race honoring short-track legend Joe Shear. Shear won four championships at Madison and earned 66 feature wins on the half-mile oval.
Ricky Baker and John DeAngelis Jr. had the honors of bringing this stellar field to the green flag. DeAngelis wasted no time as he jumped out to the lead with last year’s winner Austin Nason and Dan Fredrickson up to second and third, followed by Pollard and Paul Shafer Jr.
On lap 10 Gabe Sommers passed Shafer to break into the top five. Rich Bickle Jr. moved into sixth on lap 16 when he worked his way around Shafer. On lap 18 Pollard powered his way past Fredrickson for the third spot with Ty Majeski taking the seventh spot from Shafer one lap later. Five laps later Majeski would wrestle sixth away from Bickle.
Majeski continued his move forward when he passed Sommers for fifth on lap 30. On lap 33 he moved inside of Fredrickson to take over the fourth position. Majeski and Pollard then battled it out for third as the leaders continued to work their way around lapped traffic. On lap 45 Majeski took advantage of the slower traffic to work his way past Pollard for third.
Out front DeAngelis continued to lead Nason by two car lengths with Majeski a distant third.
The first caution flag waved on lap 53 when Shafer spun on the backstretch. This meant the first opportunity for controlled pit stops. Most of the cars electing to pit were in the back half of the field with Fredrickson and Bickle the only top-10 cars at the time of the caution to pit.
For the restart on lap 61, DeAngelis chose to start on the outside with Nason taking the inside of the first row. Majeski lined up outside and Pollard inside of row two. It was a good start for Nason who jumped out to the lead over DeAngelis.
Major trouble happened two laps later when Majeski experienced axle issues on the backstretch that ended his run and led to a multi-car pile-up in turn three involving Fredrickson, Sommers, Bickle, John Beale, Carson Kvapil, and Jeff Van Oudenhoven. Only Bickle and Beale were able to continue.