Jason Vail (inside) often battled teammate Bubba Pollard (outside) side-by-side, lap after lap during the Frostbite Sportsman 200. In the end, Vail prevailed, taking home the $10,000 winner’s check at 4-17 Southern Speedway in Punta Gorda, Florida.
Vail offered Pollard one of his race cars for the event. Pollard had the choice of Vail’s old car that won the inaugural Frostbite race five years ago or his brand-new ride, with only four races on it.
“I chose old faithful,” said Pollard, of Senoia, Georgia. “I knew it had plenty of wins with it.
Dana Ebersole and other crew members who worked for the Florida late model legend David Rogers built the one-off chassis for Vail. Rogers, who passed away last March, introduced Pollard to Vail. Rogers’ former crew now help both drivers.
“The only difference between the two cars is that the older one has a stock front clip and the newer one has a fabricated clip made to stock dimensions,” Vail, of Clermont, Florida, said.
Jason Vail had not raced the Frostbite event since the first one. This year’s purse drew him and 32 other sportsman drivers to the Punta Gorda, Florida, oval. Vail afforded Pollard a rare opportunity at the Frostbite Sportsman 200.
“I’ve never ever let anyone drive one of my cars,” said Vail. “When were door-to-door racing, I tried hard to not think about the fact that both of the cars were mine.”
Pollard enjoyed the race, despite coming up short of punching a ticket to victory lane. Nevertheless, the second-place effort earned a $5,000 payday.
“It was neat to race side-by-side and finish one-two in such evenly matched cars,” Pollard said. “Jason worked hard on both cars. He easily could have just given me a car, but he put a lot of effort into making sure my car was competitive.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.