Jump to content

Story about Jeff Pollard

Recommended Posts

Houston racer wins on local track, takes TSRS win and points lead


by Chuck Licata


So there was Houston’s Jeff Pollard on Saturday, July 26, sitting inside his car trailer at Houston Motor Speedway (HMS), watching the rain wash away valuable practice time before that night’s Texas Super Racing Series (TSRS) feature race.


“We had missed two earlier days of practice preparing the car and – given that we hadn’t been on the track since it was re-surfaced for the ASA race – we really didn’t know what to expect,” Pollard explained. “Then, to make matters worse, almost immediately after the first Saturday practice session it began to rain. We’d scuffed some tires in the first session but really hadn’t had a chance to hustle the car. So here we are, sitting in the trailer, watching it rain and wondering if we were going to get to any practice at all. We made a number of changes anticipating what we thought the track might be like after the rain, but we really didn’t know if we were headed in the right direction or not.”


They certainly ended up in the right place – Victory Lane.


Pollard got the lucky “roll of the dice,” then held off Austin’s Ronnie New out of Turn 4 on the last lap and claimed the checkered flag to win the DC Eagle 75 in his home town.


With the victory, Pollard took over the overall TSRS points lead. The Jersey Village resident now holds a 30-point lead (500 to 470) over New with five races left in the season.


Pollard qualified his Pontiac Grand Prix fourth behind fellow Houstonite Brad Hudak, who set a track record with a lap of 14.92 seconds. Pollard, who is sponsored by DC Eagle Paint and Body (the name sponsor for the race) along with Keeland Automotive Machine and Polydyn, then moved to the poll on the roll of the dice (TSRS rolls two big dice on the front straightaway right after driver introductions and invert the field by the number rolled).


All of a sudden, the man who was worried about getting some practice time in was starting a race on his “home” track (Pollard raced at HMS in 1997-99) from the prime position.


“The dice rolls haven’t been very kind to us so far this year so I really wasn’t anticipating anything different this time around,” Pollard said. “We can’t really hear the PA (announcements) while we’re strapping in the car so I had no idea we’d drawn the pole until my spotter came on the radio and told me ‘(This race) is yours to lose.’ I couldn’t believe it.”


Pollard added, “Any time you can start up front it’s an advantage. The basic line around HMS hasn’t changed that much since we raced the weekly show there. I think having logged all those laps certainly helped us when we were forced to guess at the set up. I know it helped me when it came to trying to second-guess Ronnie but that new concrete adds a whole new dimension to tire management that I personally missed the boat on. We learned a lot this past weekend.”


What Pollard knew from past experience was New’s penchant for passing on the last lap. In fact, New won the TSRS race May 3rd at San Antonio Speedway by passing David Edwards on the inside as both drivers came out of Turn 4 on the last lap. New said afterwards he had held his position behind Edwards until then, knowing that he could pass him coming out of the turn.


“When he fell back a little, I knew he was saving his tires for a run at the end so I figured I had better do the same,” Pollard revealed. “Then the cautions came out (there were three consecutive cautions with 10 laps to go) and I knew we were going to be back on a level playing field. We all knew what Ronnie was capable of and my team kept reminding me that we seemed to be better on cool tires than he was, but that he was definitely better on hot tires. As we suspected, I was able to get a comfortable gap soon after the green flew (for the final restart) but Ronnie closed it right back up there at the end.”


So much so, in fact, New readied himself to make his patented “inside” move coming out of the last turn on the last lap. However, New got loose out of Turn 3 for just a second before diving inside. Pollard was able to hold his line and he outraced New to the checkered flag as the crowd of 3,500 fans stood on their feet for the exciting finish.


Pollard, a Dallas native who won his first TSRS race on April 5 at Thunder Hill Raceway in Kyle, was very complimentary of New.


“Ronnie is one of those guys that you can always count on to race you clean. He did a great job of keeping the heat on but ran us clean all night,” Pollard stated. “My hats off to him and his spotter, they did a great job. I’m just glad it was him trying to find his way around us rather than the other way around.”


The victory was extra sweet for Pollard, as he won a race named for his main sponsor.


“Larry ‘Eagle’ Sheffield (owner of DC Eagle Paint and Body) has been a tremendous help to not only our team but several other (race teams) over the years,” Pollard said. “To win a race that he sponsored is really just made it that more special.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, BigJohn, I just started my own PR company for racecar drivers a month ago...thanks for the kudos... :D

It's all for racing!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

  • Create New...