IRVINGTON, Ala. (May 20, 2014) – After winning the last three races on the Southern Super Series tour, Bubba Pollard returns to the Mobile International Speedway this weekend with a target on his back. After sweeping the first Gulf Coast swing of the season last month, and winning at Montgomery (Alabama) Motor Speedway two weeks ago, the Senoia, Georgia native is now tied with Casey Smith for the series points lead.
Along with 288 laps led thus far this season- twice as many as anyone else in the series- the 27-year-old has three top-five and four top-10 finishes in five starts. Simply put, in the early stages of the season, Pollard appears to be the championship favorite.
However, being the favorite to win the title means you are a marked man- and if he is to be beat Saturday night, it could very well be done by Hunter Robbins and Augie Grill.
Robbins, who is the defending winner of the Pro Late Model Lee Fields Memorial at MIS, has a multitude of experience at the track in recent years and considers Mobile to be a home away from home.
“Really, over the last two years, we have had a lot of success down there,” said Robbins about his experiences at MIS. “It didn’t matter if it was the pro car or the super car. I’ve really found a comfort with the track and I just really enjoy going down there every time having a great race car.”
For Grill, who comes from a family synonomous with racing in the south, he, too, has logged his fair share of laps at Mobile over the years. With his famous No. 112 sitting fourth in the series points standings, Saturday night at MIS could be magic for the driver who calls Hayden, Alabama home.
With 11 races remaining in the season, there is plenty of time for Pollard’s foes to beat him for the championship- but the time is now. Considering that Casey Roderick and Donnie Wilson, the only other drivers to win in the series this season, are seventh in the points or worse, Pollard is already putting space between himself and the rest of the series’ drivers. If Pollard can’t be kept out of victory lane, the championship picture could very well lean in Pollard’s direction sooner rather than later.
Two weeks ago, the last time the Pro Trucks were in action at MIS, it was all about Theodore’s Jay Jay Day. After being fastest in practice and winning the pole by way of a new track record, Day went on to win his heat race and then take the checkered flag in the 25-lap feature.
Following the dominant night, Day has moved to fourth in the division’s point standings and is now just 16 behind leader, Okie Mason. With five races left in the season, the opportunities to win and take control of this highly competitive division will become fewer as the summer drags on. Keeping this in mind, this weekend at MIS is a key race for the drivers of the Pro Trucks.
Nearly a month since the Super Stocks were last on track at MIS, to say the division’s drivers are anxious to get back on track would be an understatement.
All season long, it has been a battle between two men . After winning two races right off the bat, points leader Dave Mader III of Irvington (Alabama) appeared to be the championship favorite. However, two weeks ago, Bobby Baria took the fight to Mader and ended the night victorious after a race-long battle and moved within five points of the series lead.
With Randy Thompson just two points behind Baria, another action-packed and highly competitive race from the super stocks is set to take place as one of these fast three attempt to put distance between themselves and their competition and gain precious momentum to carry to a possible championship at season’s end.
In what has become one of the most exciting divisions at MIS, Lee “Red Dog” Reynolds of Theodore (Alabama) took the fight to the big guns of the Sportsman division- Brannon Fowler and Mark Barnhill- and won. Dominating the division’s 25-lap feature two weeks ago, Reynolds moved to second in the point standings, and is just 10 points behind.
A two-time winner on the season in the Sportsman ranks at MIS, Fowler, of Molino, Florida, looks to get the season back on track after finishing a disappointing seventh the last time out and allowing his competition to close the gap on him.
Now, with Reynolds and Barnhill- who each have wins on the season- nipping at his heels, whatwas already a highly competitive division looks to become even more intense as the season reaches the halfway point.
They may be the slowest cars on track at MIS, but the bomber division has become a must-see at Alabama’s fastest half-mile.
One month ago, after winning the first four races of the season in the division, a bounty was placed on Mobile’s B.J. Leytham. With money on the line to the first driver to cleanly and fairly beat him, the anticipation and buzz surrounding the division’s race two weeks ago was aplenty. Despite the target on his back, however; and nearly getting his car stuck in the soggy grass in turn one in the early going, Leytham meticulously worked his way through the field to score his fifth consecutive win of the season.
Despite the jubilation in victory lane two weeks ago, Leytham said that it is a matter of time before he gets beat, as the competition has caught him in terms of speed.
“We are going to have to do something,” Leytham said two weeks ago. “They have caught us now and it’s just a matter of time. Every one of my wins has been harder than the one before it.”
With money on the line and bragging rights to be earned, Saturday night’s Bomber race at Mobile could very well end up stealing the show.
Action from the Southern Super Series, as well as local racing from the Pro Truck, Super Stock, Sportsman and Bomber divisions gets underway Saturday night, May 24th at 7pm.
About Mobile International Speedway: Built in 1964, Mobile International Speedway has presented weekly motorsports events every year since then. As an indication of increasing community acceptance and enthusiasm, both the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mobile Sports Authority became MIS partners beginning in 2013. Family attendance and participation have been the keys to the track’s continued success. Kids five and under are always admitted free to the grandstands. Family nights and family-oriented shows have always been staples of the annual MIS schedules. Over 30,000 people will attend the 14 scheduled MIS events in 2014.