Mason Diaz celebrates with his crew after finishing second at the Rattler 125 on March 17, 2018. (Carson Fambro/Short Track Scene photo)

Mason Diaz finished second to short track great Bubba Pollard in Saturday night’s Baby Rattler 125 Pro Late Model race at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Alabama.

Diaz started on the pole and dominated in the early stages of the race, but surrendered the lead on lap 48 of the 125 lap race.  From there on out, he spent much of the race trying to run down Pollard, a veteran driver in Pro and Super Late Model racing who has won almost everything there is to win in the respective disciplines.

“Mike Darne Racing and Fury Race Cars gave me a fast car all weekend and I can’t thank these guys enough,” Diaz said.  “We were fastest in practice and started on the pole.  Got passed by Bubba [Pollard] shortly before halfway but we were able to finish second.  All in all, a good night for us.”

For Diaz, finishing second to Pollard is like a win.

“Bubba is one of the best and anytime you finish second to him, it’s a win in a way,” Diaz remarked.  “I learned a lot following him around and trying to run him down.  He’s the best and you don’t often get the opportunity to race with a guy like that for the win.”

The runner-up finish continues a string of success in the Pro Late Model for Diaz.  Last fall, he won a Pro Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park and, in February, he picked up a victory at New Smyrna Speedway.

“Hopefully we can continue our success this season,” Diaz commented.  “So far, it’s been a great season and we’d love to keep it going in the Pro Late Model as well as in the Late Model Stock when we take it to Langley Speedway.”

In addition to his success in a Pro Late Model, Diaz won the Late Model Stock Car championship at Southern National Motorsports Park last year and picked up a victory in the Rusty Harpe Memorial at Caraway Speedway.  He is tentatively scheduled to race in his Late Model Stock Car at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia on April 7th.

Diaz’s Pro Late Model efforts have been supported by Solid Rock Carriers out of LaGrange, North Carolina, The Sign Shop out of Woodbridge, Virginia, Fury Race Cars and Mike Darne Racing.