Bubba “Redneck Jesus” Pollard did not win either of the PepperJack Kennels Twins at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday, but he was consistent enough to be rewarded with a Superstar Racing Experience ride. He finished fourth and second in the two races for an average finish of 3.0, the best of anyone who ran both races to secure a spot in 18 June’s SRX race at Five Flags.
Pollard is one of the top drivers in late model racing with major victories like the All American 400 in 2016 and Slinger Nationals in 2017; the former is held at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, which welcomes SRX on 9 July, while Slinger Super Speedway had an SRX date in 2021. Despite his successes at the regional level, the grassroots nature of the short track world is more than enough for him that he does not have any interest in moving into NASCAR. Nevertheless, he has occasionally dabbled in higher regional championships like the ARCA Menards Series, where he has five career starts between 2005 and 2015.
As SRX is televised nationally and features a bevy of big names like NASCAR champions and Hall of Fame inductees, the start will give Pollard a chance to showcase himself on a much bigger stage than usual. This was the case with six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, who won the inaugural SRX race in 2021 which he parlayed into a Camping World Truck Series one-off later in the year.
“Excited to have earned a spot in the SRX Racing series,” Pollard posted on social media. “It’ll be fun to compete against the legends of our sport at one of my favorite tracks. See y’all back here at Five Flags Speedway in June.”
Derek Thorn won Race #1 but finished eighteenth in the second, while Stephen Nasse scored the win in Race #2 but was dragged down by an eighth in the first event. Despite falling short of making the Five Flags SRX field, he still has a chance to run a race in the series if he wins the fan vote for the Fairgrounds race. To do that, however, he would need to beat out five other drivers including Pollard, who is presumably still eligible despite already having an SRX slot; voting ends on 7 May.
SRX frequently has guest cars for local track stars to take part, and other tracks on the 2022 schedule are using their events to determine who gets it. Besides Five Flags, Stafford (who has a race on 2 July) plans to give a seat to whoever wins the Spring Sizzler on 24 April.
Five Flags, located in Pensacola, Florida and a new addition to the SRX calendar, will open the 2022 season.