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Keeping Pace

Pollard Tops Evans At Evergreen Speedway’s Summer Showdown

Bubba Pollard (26) and Garrett Evans (64) race side-by-side for the lead at the Evergreen Speedway Summer Showdown.  They finished first and second respectively. (Photo Credit M.E. Wright)
Bubba Pollard (26) and Garrett Evans (64) race side-by-side for the lead at the Evergreen Speedway Summer Showdown. They finished first and second respectively. (Photo Credit M.E. Wright)

For Immediate Release: ES Media Relations

The grandstands were packed for the finale on Saturday night for the 4th Annual Evergreen Speedway Summer Showdown, as Senoia, Georgia driver Bubba Pollard went the distance to take the checkered flag in a 36car, 200 lap event on the historic 5/8’s mile oval.

Pollard, who also won the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway earlier this year was one of the drivers that competed in both the Winter and Summer Showdowns, and that meant an additional $10,000 bonus in addition to the $25,000 winner’s purse. Add to that a $1000 check for capturing the Don Scriver Memorial Pole Award made for a profitable weekend for the Super Late Model driver.

The race was marred on lap 3 when fluids from Spokane resident Daniel Moore’s expiring engine caused a 4-car incident in turn 3 involving Owen Riddle, Jason Fraser, Mike Longton and Jeff Knight, all of whom started the race in the top 10. Jeremy Doss and Doni Wanat were also involed, but Doss and Wanat managed to get back out on the track.

When green flag racing resumed, Pollard led the race until the break at lap 100. Several incidents during the first half of the race kept the field tight, including an incident between Blaine Rocha and former Evergreen champion and 2-time Yakima Speedway Fall Classic winner Naima Lang. Lang was able to continue as Rocha had to retire for the night.

Pollard held of a variety of drivers during the first half. Derek Thorn, Garrett Evans, Kelly Mann, Parker Stephens, Shane Harding and Tayler Riddle were all within striking distance of the leader. The crowd rose to its feet when local driver Molly Helmuth, who started in the 30th spot made it all the way into the top 5 before getting together with the wall, developing a tire rub that eventually put her out of the race on lap 77 when she hit the wall coming out of turn 4.

When the 2nd half of the race began, Pollard went right back to leading the race. Tayler Riddle got by long time racer Garrett Evans to take 2nd and could lock into the back bumper cover of Pollards car. The pursuit continued until lap 125 when Riddle went for broke and passed Pollard on the outside coming out of turn 2. Riddle’s car loved the clean air on its nose and eventually moved to a 5 second lead while Evans was pressuring Pollard for 2nd place. Tyler Baker spun on lap 175 to bunch up the field. On the restart, Pollard dove to the bottom and took over the lead on lap 185. Garrett Evans hounded Riddle until Taylers tires let him know that they had enough, eventually allowing Derek Thorn and Kelly Mann to get past him

As the race was winding down, a caution on lap 197 set up a 5 lap shootout for the win. Pollard nailed the restart, and Evans and Thorn went at it side by side, with the veteran Evans getting by the California resident to finish 2nd. Derek Thorn finished 3rd followed by Kelly Mann and Parker Stephens.

Waiting at the victory stage for the Top 3 was event Grand Marshall Mama Lynch, mother of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. A huge crowd gathered around the stage to congratulate and appreciate the effort of not only the winner of the race, but all who put on a thrilling show.

Summer Showdown Official Results: 1. Bubba Pollard, 2. Garrett Evans, 3. Derek Thorn, 4. Kelly Mann, 5. Parker Stephens, 6. Shane Harding, 7. Tayler Riddle, 8. Joe Constance, 9. Jason Gilbert, 10. Dylan Lupton, 11. Mike Holden, 12. Tom Berrow, 13. Jason Kooy, 14. Tyler Tanner, 15. RJ Johnson, 16. Ryan Wells, 17. Gary Lewis, 18. Toby Becker, 19. John Bender, 20. Molly Helmuth, 21. Luke Selliken, 22. Naima Lang, 23. Pete Harding, 24. Ron Eaton, 25. John Lathrop Jr., 26. Greg Voigt, 27. Blaine Rocha, 28. Brandon Scheiber, 29. Owen Riddle, 30. Jason Fraser, 31. Mike Longton, 32. Jeff Knight, 33. Doni Wanat, 34. Jeremy Doss, 35. Tyler Tanner, 36. Daniel Moore




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.