Bubba Pollard poses with the winner's trophy in victory lane after winning $10,000 in the Mid-Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway (Photo: Brandon White)

With only one lap remaining in the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway, Bubba Pollard saw his dream of winning $10,000 quickly fade away when an accident involving Lucas Jones and Kodie Conner brought out a late-race caution. The ensuing restart saw Pollard get knocked out of the groove by Steve Wallace, who would go on to claim the $10,000 for himself while Pollard was forced to home with a disappointing fifth place finish.

Pollard once again found himself leading the Mid-Atlantic Classic with only one lap remaining on Saturday evening, when Jared Fryar and Raphael Lessard made contact with each other coming off Turn 2. However, both drivers were able to keep their cars going in the right direction and no caution was displayed, which allowed Pollard to cruise to victory in front of Stephen Nasse and bring home a $10,000 paycheck.

“When we took our last set of tires, everybody was running very hard,” Pollard said. “I felt like I needed to save a little bit because you could practically lay a blanket over the top four cars. I wanted to line up on the top going into that last restart because I saw  Nasse get loose on the bottom earlier, but when he took the top on the restart I knew I could make something happen on the bottom.”

Pollard had one of the fastest cars on track when the green flag dropped, but was unable to find the top of the charts earlier in the day when he finished sixth in both practice sessions. Pollard managed to turn in a fast lap of 13.857 during qualifying, placing him 7th on the grid behind polesitter Brandon Setzer, who set a new track record with a time of 13.595.

Setzer carried over that speed into the 150-lap Super Late Model feature, as he managed to pull away from the rest of the talent-packed CARS Response Energy SLM Tour field by leading all 120 of the race’s opening 120 laps. Setzer also proved to be unstoppable on restarts, as he would carry momentum coming off of Turn 2 that allowed him to gap whoever started on the inside of the front row, whether it was Pollard, Stephen Nasse or Matt Craig.

Setzer’s luck would turn when the green flag dropped on the final stage of the race, as Stephen Nasse managed to pull alongside Setzer going into Turn 1. Nasse was unable to make his car stick on the bottom of the track and made contact with Setzer, which knocked him into the outside retaining wall and allowed Nasse to lead his first laps of the evening.

An accident involving Roy Hayes III with 18 laps remaining set up one last restart, with Nasse taking the high line that Setzer had worked to perfection all evening, while Pollard found himself on the inside of the front row. Unlike Setzer, Nasse was not able to get the run that he needed to hold the lead, allowing Pollard to inherit the top spot and pull away from the rest of the field in the final laps as he picked up the victory at Orange County Speedway.

Nasse managed to hold onto the second position while Jared Fryar, Raphael Lessard and Tyler Ankrum completed the Top 5. Setzer, who had the dominant car throughout the entire evening, quickly faded through the field after making contact with the wall and finished as the last car on the lead lap in the 14th position.

SLM Feature Results:

1. 26 Bubba Pollard
2. 51n Stephen Nasse
3. 14f Jared Fryar
4. 51 Raphael Lessard
5. 58 Tyler Ankrum
6. 66w Steve Wallace
7. 07 Corey Lajoie
8. 54 Matt Craig
9. 74m Ryan Moore
10. 2t Gracie Trotter
11. 16 Molly Helmuth
12. 16j Lucas Jones
13. 96 Wyatt Alexander
14. 6 Brandon Setzer
15. 22 Tim Hollis OUT
16. 15h Roy Hayes III OUT
17. 17 Mike Speeney OUT
18. 49 Jeff Batten OUT
19. 2 Darrell Gilchrist OUT
20. 14 Greg Burgess OUT
21. 00 Anthony Cataldi OUT
22. 98 Jody Measmer OUT
23. 12 Dean Ward OUT
24. 78 Corey Heim OUT
25. 8 Tate Fogleman OUT
26. 33 Preston Peltier OUT
27. 37 Dan Speeney OUT