The first Super Late Model major is set for this weekend and the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway has an entry list to match the hype.
The 31-car roster features Snowball Derby winners, regional champions and NASCAR top prospects alike. And as the first race of the 2018 Southern Super Series season, it always reflects the first look at those who might be interested in chasing the season-long championship.
Headlining the roster has to be Super Late Model superstar Bubba Pollard, the 2014 Southern Super Series champion and one of the most decorated drivers of his era. He has dominated several races this season but is looking to shake the bad luck bug after failing to finish races at New Smyrna Speedway and Greenville Pickens Speedway.
Pollard had to rebuild a car following the Greenville, crash and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder entering the Rattler.
“It’s just something that just really shouldn’t have happened, it was really uncalled for,” Pollard said of the incident with Matthew Craig. “You go through ups and downs in racing that you have to deal with, adversity and things like that. They kind of set us back on our budget for the year with what we can do.
“To get started off like that hurt our team with being prepared for the early part of the year here, but we’re getting things going and getting things turned around. We got a lot of motivation with having fast race cars. I feel like we have something to prove this weekend at Opp.”
Other notables include two-time Snowball Derby winner Augie Grill, defending series champion Stephen Nasse, Speedfest winner Chandler Smith and 2016 CARS Tour champion Raphael Lessard, making his second start for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Two-time and defending race winner Ty Majeski is not entered into the field, nor is 2016 SSS champion Donnie Wilson.
Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Harrison Burton is also scheduled to make his return to South Alabama Speedway in what should be one of a handful of Super Late Model appearances this season.
“We’re trophy hunting this year,” Burton said. “Since I’m not 18 yet, we can’t run for a championship in Trucks or ARCA so we’re kind of doing a little bit of everything. The Rattler has been a challenging track for us over the years so that’s going to be a good test.”
The overall purse will be decided by the number of entrants: $10,000 to win (25 cars or less), $12,000 to win (26-35 cars), $13,000 to win (36+ cars)
As is usually the case in the Southern Super Series, head tech director Ricky Brooks is expected to have a tight rule book and parity will be the word of the weekend. The list of potential winners is at least 15-deep if not more.
The 42st annual Rattler 250 weekend kicks off on Friday with practice for the Southern Super Series as well as feature racing for local divisions. On Saturday, the grid for the Rattler 250 will be set during time trials before the Pro Late Models hit the track for the Baby Rattler 125.
All of that leads up to the big show, the Rattler 250 on Sunday, March 18. The entire weekend can be live streamed via a Speed 51 PPV with a two-day $39.99 package with Sunday only costing fans $24.99.
The complete entry list can be viewed below.
- Harrison Burton
- Chase Purdy
- Stephen Nasse
- Garrett Jones
- Casey Roderick
- Bubba Pollard
- Chandler Smith
- Chris Davidson
- Kason Plott
- Kyle Plott
- Steve Wallace
- Jerry Artuso
- Eddie Van Meter
- Steve Dorer
- Kyle Bryant
- Raphael Lessard
- Casey Smith
- Carson Hocevar
- Connor Okrzesik
- Steven Davis
- Dalton Armstrong
- Tyler Ankrum
- Anthony Sergi
- Corey Heim
- Bobby Knox
- Augie Grill
Read more Short Track Scene:
- Bobby McCarty wins star-studded CARS Tour season opener
- Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart says NASCAR industry is failing grassroot racers
- Elliott Sadler wants to race Late Models once his NASCAR career ends
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