Augie Grill Nips Bubba Pollard in Classic Southern Duel
Grill Becomes First Three-Time Series Winner After Withstanding Best Efforts of Point Leader Pollard
FROM SERIES PR
MONTGOMERY, AL (June 2, 2013) – When the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco was formed last winter, fans quickly voiced support for the tour for one key reason. They would finally get to see the South’s finest talent go toe-to-toe in a unified and competitive series. And the battle most of these fans clamored to see was Augie Grill and Bubba Pollard, two drivers who gave it all they got whenever they were in the same race in recent years.
These fans’ hopes came to fruition Saturday night at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Alabama as the race came down to the Deep South duo. Grill and Pollard were glued together over the final 50-lap run, swapping paint and the lead multiple times. In the end, Grill proved to be the victor, nipping Pollard for his third Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco victory of the 2013 season.
It was Grill’s second consecutive series victory after winning last weekend at Mobile and also is his second consecutive series victory at Montgomery Motor Speedway. He won the series’ first visit here in May. Montgomery, in fact, has been Grill’s most prolific track over the years and despite the challenge he faced it was no surprise to see him in Victory Lane here once more.
“The first time I’ve ever raced here I finished second and for some reason I’ve always liked this place,” a smiling Grill said in Victory Lane. “We’re really running well everywhere right now. Winning three of six is great, but winning 10 of 16 would be better.”
Augie Grill started the night 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. It was the first Fast Time Award for Grill in the series and he marked the fourth different driver to win the award this season.
Grill then rolled a two on the dice to invert the field for the feature, but he quickly powered by T.J. Reaid to lead the first lap. Grill would go unchallenged to the lap 75 competition break though there was plenty of action behind him. A musical chairs game for second ensued for that first segment, as Reaid, John Hunter Nemechek, Mike Garvey, and Pollard all took turns in that spot. Grill ultimately led Garvey and Pollard as the field came to the break.
After the 10-minute break, the dice roll inverted the field by three, leaving Pollard to the lead. Grill quickly moved to second on the restart and, though a few cautions for some minor incidents would slow the pace of the race down for a bit, would take the lead for good on lap 84. But Pollard never fell more than a car length behind Grill after losing the lead and by lap 100 it was clear he was going to fight Grill tooth and nail over the final few laps.
Pollard made a few runs at Grill, pulling alongside numerous points during the final twenty-five laps, but could never make it past Grill’s door. In the last ten laps, Pollard got particularly creative, diamonding the corner on some laps and on others trying to make a crossover move. But in the end, Grill’s car stuck the best and he used a good launch off turn four coming to take the white to withstand Pollard’s final charge.
“It was a little free there at the beginning of the race, but we just rode around there and I didn’t think I was abusing it,” Grill said as he looked back on the night’s activity. “At the break, we should have made a little adjustment there to make it better, but we were still all right. I guess Bubba was taking care of it for the first 75. I think he was actually a little better than me, but just wasn’t as aggressive as I might have been in that same situation. He didn’t wreck me, we didn’t wreck each other, and here we are with another victory.”
“The restart when he [Pollard] was leading, he chose the inside and that was kind of shocking for me. Bubba’s usually an outside line kind of guy. The car was really good on restarts and would be plain fast for a few laps before it started to get a little free. So I’m glad I was able to get ahead of him when I did because, like I said, I think he was just a tick better than us there at the end.”
Pollard had mixed feelings after the runner-up effort. He has been locked out of Montgomery victory lane since the track was last repaved and the competitor in Pollard always wants especially to beat a rival like Grill. But the second place run was a solid boost to his points lead over 4th place finishing Daniel Hemric and was fantastic in light of a practice crash that hindered the team’s effort Friday afternoon.
“I sure hate that we wrecked the car Friday in practice,” Pollard said after the night’s action. “The guys did a great job fixing it. We tore it up pretty good as we bent the right plate and left front suspension. And to come out here after that and just be able to run with the 112 [Grill] is pretty cool to me. I don’t like running second but I would rather run second putting up a fight than running second a half track behind.”
“I think we could have been in Victory Lane tonight. Our two cars were pretty equal there. I think we had a little better racecar than him in the last 10 laps, but I wasn’t going to rough him up to pass him. I would rather run second than get that bad reputation.”
Garvey wound up third. When Grill and Pollard began to dice it up for the win it seemed as though Garvey had the fastest car on the track. However, he made some contact with the wall exiting onto the backstretch and said his car never felt the same from that point on. Still, the third is Garvey’s best run yet in the Southern Super Series and his team seems to be heading in the right direction with back to back top-five’s.
Hemric was fourth and Stephen Nasse rounded out the top-five.
The Next Southern Super Series event will be the SSS 125 presented by Penske Racing Shocks at Five Flags Speedway (FL) on Friday, June 21st. That will be followed on Saturday by the SSS 125 Presented by Five Star Racecar Bodies.
For more information on the Southern Super Series, visit: www.SouthernSuperSeries.com The Facebook page for the Southern Super Series is located at: www.facebook.com/southernsuperseries and on Twitter it’s: @SoSuperSeries For advertising or sponsorship questions, please contact the track representatives. For media inquiries, please contact Matt Kentfield at 51 Sports via: firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM TRACK PR / LOCAL DIVISION RACING
In local division action the Street Stocks put on a whale of a show for the fans as well. David Wood started on the pole and led every lap, but it was not easy for him as he had to hold off challenges from Cody McCawley and Dwayne Wesenberg throughout the course of the race.
On the final few laps, Joe Bethea Jr closed the gap on the front two to make it a three-way battle for the win. Out of turn four on the final lap, Wesenberg got to the inside of Wood, and Bethea jolted to the bottom to make it three wide across the line for the checkers. Wood held on for the victory over Wesenberg, Bethea, McCawley, and Adam Freeman.
The Buzz division was just as exciting. Two-time defending champion, Floyd Brown took the early lead from the pole before Roger Wood Jr stole the top spot on lap 5. A three way battle up front ensued with Joshua Wood joining the crowd. Brown started to fade just as Mathew Robbins picked up position after position to find himself in the lead battle.
As the leaders battled, it was young Cruz Skinner who quietly snuck in to challenge. With two laps to go Wood overdrove turn three which allowed Skinner and Robbins to sneak by to take first and second respectively. Roger Wood Jr took third, with Perry Patino fourth and Joshua Wood fading to fifth.
The new Open Sportsman division saw some growth this week, with five cars answering the call. Sam Edwards, driving a brand new No. 16 machine started from the point and led every lap, holding off a late run by points leader Bobby Reuse who finished second ahead of Roger Cain. Perry Patino, driving Shelby Reuse's No. 49 machine made his first laps ever in an Open Sportsman car as the field took the green flag. He finished fourth ahead of Kenny Cain.
Montgomery Motor Speedway will be back in action on June 15 with qualifying and racing action in the Open Sportsman, Street Stock, Mini-Modified, Buzz, and Cuplite divisions.
SOUTHERN SUPER SERIES 125
Presented by ARBodies
Montgomery Motor Speedway
June 1, 2013
John Hunter Nemechek
Open Sportsman - 20 Laps
1. 16 Sam Edwards
2. 89 Bobby Reuse
3. 28 Roger Cain
4. 49 Perry Patino
5. 59 Kenny Cain
Street Stock - 25 Laps
1. 24 David Wood
2. 31 Dwayne Wesenberg
3. 33 Joe Bethea Jr
4. 2 Cody McCawley
5. 35 Adam Freeman
6. 38 Whit Goode
DNS 1 Daniel Jacks
Buzz - 20 Laps
1. 11 Cruz Skinner
2. 36 Mathew Robbins
3. 18 Roger Wood Jr
4. 51 Perry Patino
5. 21 Joshua Wood
6. 48 Floyd Brown
DNS 5 John Musgrove