The Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco crowned its first repeat winner of the 2017 campaign Friday night as Jeff Choquette took the checkered flag in the Serf 100 at Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway.
Twenty-two drivers signed in for the sixth race of the 2017 campaign with Choquette starting from the pole after the top-eight redraw. Choquette jumped out to the early lead before a pair of mid-race restarts set up a showdown with fast-qualifier and most recent Five Flags winner Bubba Pollard.
“I’ve got to figure that part of the game out,” Choquette said about the restarts. “Even on that first one I almost spun the tires.”
Pollard got the best of Choquette on a lap 44 restart before the Loxahatchee, Florida driver rolled back by to take the lead for the final time on lap 46.
“I spun the tires real bad on that restart. Casey (Roderick) got underneath me so I was high and I was able to get a good run out of two,” Choquette explained.
Choquette seemed as surprised as anyone that he was able to get back by Pollard on a track where the Georgia driver has seen so much success.
“I honestly can’t answer that question. I was as surprised as everybody else was but I’m glad to be sitting here.”
Pollard was not so surprised, admitting that strategy and saving tires was his agenda for the 100-lap affair.
“I let him by me and I shouldn’t have,” Pollard said.
The pair were worthy adversaries and evenly matched throughout the last half of the race as Pollard conceited post-race.
“We were tit for tat. I don’t know if I had stayed out front if he would have passed me,” Pollard stated. “We were equal. We both had good cars tonight.”
The second-place finish appeared to have Pollard questioning his efforts in the early going.
“I should have charged a little harder there at the beginning. It’s all about strategy.”
Rounding out the podium was Casey Roderick who despite having seven Late Model wins under his belt in various series already in 2017, sees nothing but room for improvement going forward.
“I wish I had something there at the end for first and second. They had really good cars and they’ve found some speed here lately, so we’ve got some work to do to catch them,” the Lawrenceville, Georgia said after the race.
“What they did to us tonight is what I was doing to them in a couple races last year. We’ve just got to find that again.”
Next up for the series will be a co-sanctioned event with the CARS Tour Super Late Models at South Carolina’s Anderson Motor Speedway on June 10.
For more information on the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco, head to www.southernsuperseries.com. Also be sure to follow the Southern Super Series on Twitter, @SoSuperSeries, and give us a like on Facebook by heading to www.Facebook.com/SouthernSuperSeries.
-Southern Super Series Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com
Southern Super Series Unofficial Results
Five Flags Speedway (FL) – June 2, 2017