Pollard Wins Fifth Lee Fields Memorial 100; Bragg Wins PLM Championship at Mobile International
By Kyle Brandt
IRVINGTON, Ala. (Aug. 31, 2014) – Despite being a native of Senoia, Georgia, Bubba Pollard calls Mobile International Speedway (MIS) his home track after having found much success over the years at the high banked speedway. On Saturday night during the Lee Fields Memorial 100, Pollard continued his winning ways by scoring his fifth win in the event and adding yet another professional wresting style championship belt to his collection.
Starting from the seventh position, it took Pollard 74 laps to take the lead in the caution-free and rain delayed event after passing former NASCAR driver, Mike Garvey. Following the masterful charge to the front, the Southern Super Series points leader was able to hold off the advances of Garvey in the closing 26 laps and win the event – adding to an already impressive resume at the half-mile speedway.
In what was the final event of the season for the PLM division, Josh Bragg – who was the model of consistency all year long – took home the division championship for the third consecutive year despite suffering mechanical issues in the closing laps and finishing ninth. With Wayne “Junior” Niedecken finishing fourth, Bragg was able to win the title by a scant four-point margin.
Happening just once a year, the stars of the Southern Motorcycle Asphalt Racing Series always put on a show when Labor Day weekend rolls around at MIS.
Appearing to have the half-mile track figured out better than his fellow competitors, Rob McLendon of Pensacola, Fla. Continued his winning ways at MIS by taking the lead on lap four and never looking back.
With the win on Saturday night, McLendon extended his undefeated streak at MIS in two-wheel competition.
Winning every Bomber division race of the 2014 season leading in to Lee Fields Memorial weekend, BJ Leytham looked primed to extend his streak yet again during the biggest race of the season.
Riding in his shadows all year long, however; Gene Denmark has been close to scoring his first career win at MIS at numerous points throughout the season. On Saturday night, though, Denmark would accomplish justthat – holding off his then-undefeated teammate to win the biggest race of the year.
Holding off the snarling pack behind him during multiple restarts in the 20-lap feature, Denmark would remain perfect each time – pulling away from his competition and holding point at the front throughout the event.
Leytham would keep his teammate honest in the closing laps, though, by riding right on his tail on the penultimate lap. With the stars finally aligning for the Dauphin Island resident, Denmark would cruise on to his first career victory at Alabama’s fastest half-mile – snapping Leytham’s undefeated streak.
Following a disqualification following post-race technical inspection earlier this season – and finding himself behind in the championship standings as a result – the 2014 edition of the Lee Fields Memorial was all about having fun and scoring a big win for Lee “Red Dog” Reynolds.
Surviving multiple restarts during the 25-lap feature, Reynolds was finally able to dispatch Brannon Fowler – the race’s dominant driver – and take the lead on lap 17.
Despite a hard charge from Fowler to take the top spot back, Reynolds would hold off the Florida native’s advances to score his third win of the season and add a Lee Fields Memorial championship belt to his trophy collection.
Entering Lee Fields Memorial weekend just one point behind Pro Trucks championship leader, Okie Mason, Theodore, Alabama’s Jay Jay Day was determined to score his second consecutive win on Labor Day weekend at MIS and take over the points lead.
Everything went as planned for Day during the division’s 25-lap feature – as he would take the lead on lap six from Jessie Reid. Holding off his fellow competitors behind him on a late-race restart, Day was able to hold off Reid’s advances in the closing laps to score the win.
In post-race technical inspection, however; the top three finishing trucks – including Day and Reid – were disqualified from the race after not being in specification with the rest of the field. The strange turn of events would hand the win over to the fourth-place finishing driver, Bubba Pollard – who always takes advantage of opportunities to pilot local division equipment when given the chance.
Although the win did not come in the way he would have liked it to, it allowed the Senoia, Georgia, driver to score his second championship belt trophy of the season – further adding to his legacy at MIS.
Assuming the Super Stock championship points lead following a massive win two weeks ago at MIS, Bobby Baria of Grand Bay turned his attention to scoring yet another win – this time during the biggest race of the year.
Starting from the fourth position, drama would unfold immediately following the drop of the green flag for Baria. When Wesley Barnhill’s No. 10 had trouble getting started on the initial start, Baria would have nowhere to go and the two would make contact. The contact between the two would result in a hair-raising moment.
Despite a small amount of fender damage as a result, Baria would set his sights on race leader Bubba Winslow in the closing laps. Despite a spirited charge, though, it wouldn’t be enough – allowing Winslow and his No. 12 to score the win.
Following the runner-up effort, there was a silver lining for Baria, however; as he would extend his championship points lead entering the final race of the season for the division in two weeks.
Following what was a disappointing result for Okie Mason earlier in the night during the Pro Trucks division feature, Okie Mason placed his focus on capitalizing during the 25-lap Modified division feature.
Starting from the third position, it would take Mason just four laps to take the lead from Mike Maddox following an outside pass going down the front stretch – but he would be kept honest.
Starting from the rear of the field, Donnie Hamrac made a spirited charge through the pack and found himself in the second position in the closing laps. Noticeably reducing Mason’s leads as the laps wound down, Hamrac would unfortunately run out of time, however.
By holding off Hamrac – and scoring the win – Mason would place an exclamation point on what was a big night for he and his family – where just hours earlier, his father, J.C. Mason was inducted into the second class of the Mobile International Speedway Hall of Fame.
Up next at Mobile International Speedway is Maeco Fabrication night on Saturday, September 13. With $1000 up for grabs to the winners of the Sportmen, Super Stock and Modifieds division winners, the racing action is sure to be intense. On top of that, racing fans will be admitted to the grandstands for just $5. For more information, be sure to visit the speedway’s website at mobilespeedway.net, or by phone at 251-957-2063.
About Mobile International Speedway: Mobile International Speedway is the longest continuously operating sports facility in Mobile County. It was built in 1964 and has presented weekly motorsports events every year since then. As an indication of increasing community acceptance and enthusiasm, both the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mobile Sports Authority became MIS partners beginning in 2013.
Family attendance and participation have been the keys to the track’s continued success. Kids five and under are always admitted free to the grandstands. Family nights and family-oriented shows have always been staples of the annual MIS schedules. Over 30,000 people will attend the 14 scheduled MIS events in 2014.