Champion Late Model driver Andrew “Bubba” Pollard will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut next month with the support of Rheem Manufacturing and JR Motorsports, the team announced today.

The 37-year-old Senoia, Ga., native will drive the No. 88 Rheem Chevrolet for the team owned by NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Hendrick, and Kelley Earnhardt Miller in the March 30 NXS race at Richmond Raceway.

Pollard, a perennial contender in the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Fla. year after year, has gone to Victory Lane in more than 100 Late Model races in his career, including the prestigious All American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and most recently at Speedfest for the third time. Next month’s event at Richmond will mark the veteran short track ace’s first attempt in an NXS machine and his first at the racy 0.750-mile oval.

“I’m very excited,” Pollard said of his upcoming start. “I really don’t know what to expect as it’s all very new to us, but I’m very thankful for the opportunity that Rheem and JR Motorsports have given me. I hope we can make the most of it. I’ve never had any laps at Richmond and I haven’t driven an Xfinity car, so it’s all going to be new.”

The future of the sport is one that relies on drivers earning their way to the top levels, and both Rheem and JRM understand the importance of an opportunity like this for one of the top Late Model racers in the nation.

“JR Motorsports has grown so much over the years,” said Earnhardt Miller, CEO of JR Motorsports. “But the core of what we do, from our championship-winning Late Model team to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, is to produce championship drivers and team personnel. Bubba Pollard is a great example of that sort of progression, and we’re proud to support him alongside a great partner in Rheem Manufacturing.”

Rheem Manufacturing, founded in 1925, is currently the only manufacturer in the world that produces heating, cooling, water heating, pool & spa heating and commercial refrigeration products and the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America.

“Bubba Pollard represents everything that’s good about racing from the sport’s grass roots to the highest levels, said Ed Raniszeski, Rheem motorsports executive.  “What’s so admirable about Bubba and others like him is their lifetime investment in quality performance, professional dedication, doing things right, and giving it their best all the time, even when they think no one is watching. That’s why Rheem, the Earnhardt and Miller families as well as many others are thrilled to give Bubba the chance he’s earned and deserves to show others what we have been watching in amazement for years.”

Pollard recognizes the efforts of both Rheem and JRM in bringing new drivers from the grassroots to NASCAR’s top divisions.

“Dale and Kelley and Rheem have a history of giving guys like me opportunities to race at the next level, opportunities that normally wouldn’t happen,” Pollard said. “I have a lot of respect for them for how much they offer to drivers like me. It’s pretty cool to be part of it. You never know what might happen in the future.”

To prepare for his race at Richmond, Pollard will compete in the ARCA Menards Series event at Five Flags Speedway in Florida to get acquainted to a heavier stock car. Following his race at Richmond, Pollard has a full short-track schedule in both Super Late Models, as well as races in the zMAX CARS Tour set for 2024.

Pollard’s NXS debut at Richmond behind the wheel of the No.88 Rheem Chevrolet for JRM is scheduled to go green on Saturday, March 30 at1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

JRM PR