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  • Writer's pictureThomas Ryan

Bubba Pollard: Derby contender … and content creator? (Snowball Derby) SHORT TRACK SCENE ARTICLE

2017 Snowball Derby

If this website had told you five years ago that Bubba Pollard had started a steadily growing podcast and digital media platform, everyone would have responded with ‘fake news’ because he just didn’t roll like that.

It’s not that Pollard has ever been afraid to speak his mind but a podcast was taking an extra step to share more of himself personally and professionally in ways that just wasn’t like him as recently as his twenties.

Maybe even more so now that he is a dad of three and probably has nothing to prove to the masses at large. And yet, Pollard is now two months into hosting BSing with Bubba and has veteran racing content creator Tom Ryan working on a documentary series about his 2023 exploits.

What in the world?

“As I’ve traveled across the country, I’ve realized there are a lot of people that love me and people that hate you,” Pollard said. “I’m not saying I’m a perfect person but people tend to judge you based on racing and 90 percent of the people in this sport are different away from the track because we’re all here to win.

“There’s good people out there and there’s bad people too. Again, I’m not perfect but there are just some things I want people to know about me and my family. I don’t want to say people talk crap but there are some things out there that just really aren’t who we are.”

Pollard knows he is fortunate to have raced his whole adult life but ‘I don’t have a golden spoon stuck up my butt’ and that he has also worked digging ditches and picking up trash his whole life.

His family operates a construction and disposal company. He works and he wants people to see that side of him too.

“I’ve been fortunate and I’ve been lucky,” Pollard said. “There are a lot of people out there more fortunate than we are and people out there that are less fortunate. It is what it is.

“But I just want to tell my story and relate to other racers and teams and help them and help us too.”

Pollard has interviewed Jeff Purvis, Gary St Amant and Scott Menlen. His YouTube takes fans and industry enthusiasts behind the scenes of the triumphs, tragedies and tribulations associated with Big Time Auto Racing.

It all starts with Ryan, who now operates Sport Action Films, after stints all across the sports and motorsports production space.

“There’s not really an avenue that gives you the background of short track racing besides Matt Weaver, but in words, but nobody does it in video to give the background,” Ryan said. “No one is showing the speed, power and money that goes into this and what it takes in blood, sweat and tears.

“How much work these guys do.

“I want people to see that these guys, for the most part, don’t just show up with a helmet, pay their money, race a car and go home. I want to show Bubba in the shop, working on the car, at his dirt track and getting the stuff done needed to get to the race track.”

The foundation for Sport Action Film was laid during the pandemic when Ryan just had a lot of time to map out projects he wanted to do in the future. He’s long worked with Pollard when he was at Speed51 and always believed that would be the best possible story to tell in short track racing.

He finally made the overture this spring and recording began in March during the Rattler weekend at South Alabama Speedway.

The whole project just naturally evolved.

“At the Rattler, they had all kinds of issues with the car, had to cut off a clip and fix it themselves and they still won,” Ryan said. “I told Bubba what I wanted to do, and I didn’t know how many races I could make but I wanted to basically follow his full season.

“The podcast happened naturally. He was the one hounding me. ‘I want to do a podcast.’ We were shooting content at his shop and I was like, ‘we can do this.’ We had the technology and know-how. Me and Ty Porter got it all put together and now we have this amazing podcast with amazing guests and it’s just been a blast doing it.”

Pollard has been going to race tracks his whole life and he had the realization that he doesn’t really know his fellow competitors, race officials, media members and the legends that came before him. He has one question that he inevitably asks each guest.

What is one thing you don’t think people know or realize about you?

That has been the most rewarding thing about starting this deal and now Pollard can see it branching off into all different sorts of avenues.

“We’re still learning and there are a lot of different directions we want to go with it,” Pollard said. “We’re just kind of taking our time, taking small steps right now to try different things and see what people like.

“I like getting to know more about these legends of short track people.

“I want to promote short track racing, get people interest in the show and create new fans who want to come to the track. Maybe we can create new sponsors. We’re getting our feet wet but we can go all kinds of directions with it next year.”

As for what is taking place on track this week, this is infamously the 18th year Pollard has come to Five Flags Speedway seeking the only major short track victory that has eluded him.

The Snowball Derby.

“I feel pretty good,” Pollard said. “We may not win the race or whatever but I feel confident in what we got. I feel like we got a good shot at it. I feel our balance has been good all year, we have good long run and short run speed. We were good on the green track in testing and we were good when it rubbered up.

“We stayed the same and haven’t changed much. I’m really happy.”

Does he feel the pressure to win this race in the same way his fans want or the industry expects him to?

“I put more pressure on myself than what anyone else thinks,” he said. It is what it is at the end of the day. I’ve won races. I want to win this race. I still feel like I have a lot of years left in me. I feel like this year should be one of the best shots we’ve had in quite some time. We’re ready.”

Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.


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