Race Weekend Central

Guest Star Bubba Pollard on Pole for SRX Heat Race 1 at Five Flags Speedway

The 2022 Camping World SRX Series season is finally here, and the new season of racing will begin in Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway — the home of the annual Snowball Derby in December.

Starting on pole for the first heat race will be Bubba Pollard. To qualify for the race, Pollard had the best average finish among drivers competing in the PepperJack Kennels Twin races in April.

In stock car racing, Pollard made six starts in the ARCA Menards Series between 2005 to 2015, with a best finish of 11th on two occasions. Pollard is a well-established and accomplished late model driver, as he has scored nine wins in the CARS Pro Late Model Touring Series since 2017. In addition, the biggest wins in Pollard’s career include the All American 400 in 2016, the Slinger Nationals in 2017 and back-to-back victories in the Canadian Short Track Nationals in 2018 and 2019.

Starting second is returning series regular Paul Tracy. Tracy is the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion, and he recorded 31 wins in American open wheel racing between 1993 and 2007. In the inaugural SRX season, Tracy recorded a best finish of fifth on two occasions.

See also
SRX Preview: Five Flags Speedway

Starting third will be Tony Kanaan, the 2004 NTT IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner. This Saturday (June 18) will be the first of Kannan’s five races this season. Starting fourth is Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner who will make his SRX Series debut for his first full-time season.

Row three will consist of Ryan Newman in fifth, an 18-time NASCAR Cup Series winner who, like Hunter-Reay, will make his SRX Series debut for his first full-time season. Sixth will be Marco Andretti, a two-time IndyCar winner who won the SRX race at Slinger Speedway last summer.

The second half of the field consists of 1988 Cup Series champion and 16-time Most Popular Driver Bill Elliott in seventh, who will be making his first of two starts for 2022 this weekend. Eighth will be Tony Stewart, the three-time Cup Series champion who looks to defend his 2021 SRX crown in the series’ second season.

Greg Biffle will take the green flag in ninth for his first full-time SRX season. The 19-time Cup winner competed in two SRX races last year, with a best finish of second at Stafford Motor Speedway. Rounding out the top 10 is Ernie Francis Jr. in his first of two SRX races this season. Francis Jr. is a seven-time Trans-Am champion, and he won the SRX race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2021.

The final three consists of 2000 Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte in 11th, who is looking to improve on his third-place points finish in SRX a year ago. 2-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip is 12th, who just like Tracy, recorded a best finish of fifth in SRX last year. And last but not least is Helio Castroneves, the 4-time Indianapolis 500 winner who was a surprise addition to the lineup on the morning of the race.

The season opening SRX race at Five Flags Speedway will take place on Saturday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ET, with TV coverage provided by CBS.

FIVE FLAGS HEAT 1 STARTING LINEUP
 
   
POSITION DRIVER CAR NUMBER
1 BUBBA POLLARD 26
2 PAUL TRACY 3
3 TONY KANAAN 6
4 RYAN HUNTER-REAY 1
5 RYAN NEWMAN 39
6 MARCO ANDRETTI 98
7 BILL ELLIOTT 9
8 TONY STEWART 14
9 GREG BIFFLE 69
10 ERNIE FRANCIS JR. 5
11 BOBBY LABONTE 18
12 MICHAEL WALTRIP 15
13 HELIO CASTRONEVES 06

About the author

Stephen Stumpf joined Frontstretch in September 2021. He is a staff writer and the Friday news writer. Stephen also pens the weekly “4 Burning Questions” column and contributes to “Friday Faceoff” and “2-Headed Monster.” A Texas native, Stephen started following NASCAR at age 9.

Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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Michael Meador

Bubba Pollard is a good guy, & very talented behind the wheel. As a Georgia native, I guess I’m a little biased, but I’ve been able to hangout with him some, and he’s the real deal! Down to earth and serious at the track. He’s the last of a breed it seems like these days. Good luck Bubba!🏁👍

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