Bubba Pollard left NASCAR debut with mixed feelings

He really enjoyed the experience but he's again being asked to bring a check

In a lot of ways, the NASCAR Xfinity Series experience was exactly what Bubba Pollard anticipated, for better and worse.

Did he get out of it everything that he wanted?

I did,” Pollard said on Thursday prior to an ASA Southern Super Series race weekend on the Gulf Coast. “I mean, I think so. The best part was that my friends and family, our crew guys, all those that have been on this journey were able to enjoy it.

“I don’t know, man, it’s just not for me. I’m good. I think there is a reason for everything and I’m glad I got to experience it one time and if the opportunity came about, I would definitely do it again. But it has to be in a winning race car.”

So, what’s the worse part of the equation, especially after he posted a sixth-place result and fastest in practice earlier in the month at Richmond in the JR Motorsports No. 88?

“It’s no different today than it was before I did the race,” he said. “No one has called, nobody is going to call. That’s what sucks about the deal.”

Pollard, at 37 years old, is very secure in his place as a short track lifer but has always expressed a frustration that no one has ever called him to bring nothing but his talents to NASCAR up until JR Jones at Rheem funded his one-off at Richmond.

Despite all the victories, championships and success, the start at Richmond was the only time Pollard was given a shot at NASCAR entirely on merit and by all accounts, he did everything he was supposed to short of his qualifying mishap.

“I feel bad saying it but I have the same impression of it that I have always had and it’s not a good one,” Pollard said. “It is what it is and not everything is for me. I’m really happy doing what I do and I have fun in these Late Models.

“One day, when I get older, I’ll be able to talk about some of the other things I want to talk about, but it’s not the time right now.”

The JR Motorsports No. 88 is open for the race at Iowa Speedway this summer and Pollard is interested in doing it, but part of that same old problem he has always faced when it comes to NASCAR, manifest itself again.

“The seat is open for that race but I haven’t heard from anybody,” Pollard said. “I’ve tried to call a couple people (about sponsorship) and they won’t return phone calls so it is what it is. But I am, above all else, very thankful for Rheem and JR Motorsports for giving me that opportunity but if it doesn’t happen again, I’m good with it.”

Beyond the family and friends that came to the race that weekend at Richmond, Pollard says he’s enjoyed seeing how NASCAR fans have responded to his persona and learning about the racing he does full-time.

Richmond was a way to, he hopes, to help grow not only his brand but also the national profile of pavement Super Late Model racing.

“I got a message from someone all the way out in California, and they said they didn’t know what short track racing was until they watched me and said they were going to follow our races,” Pollard said. “That’s what it’s all about and what is important to me.

“I hope they can see what racing is really about and where it came from, and where it started, and why we enjoy, things like that. It’s been really cool to see the response from the fans.

“That was the most gratifying part of the whole deal — that people were really excited to see me get that opportunity. They were more excited than I was and I was excited for them because so many of them have supported me for so long.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: