The state of Alabama is expected to slowly reopen its economy in the midst of the coronavirus crisis next month and South Alabama Speedway wants to open up with it.
As a result, the prestigious Rattler 250 has once again been rescheduled for a third time to Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24.
The event, which is headlined by Super Late Models and Pro Late Models, was originally scheduled for March but was twice postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 global shutdown. The two previous reschedule attempts were offset by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issuing shelter-in-place orders that currently runs through April 30.
The state’s small business commission specifically cited race tracks as facilities that could open by May 1 albeit with recommended precautions. The commission recommends tracks reopen at 35 percent capacity with employees having their temperatures taken before entering the premises.
The commission also encourages sanitization and continued physical distancing practices, to the tune of six feet apart in lines and in grandstands.
“We are very excited to have another opportunity to run The Rattler,” said John Dykes, owner of South Alabama Speedway. “The race kicks off the Southern Super Series every year, and brings in drivers and fans from all over the country. We are planning on a big event on Memorial Day weekend.”
The Rattler will retain its original Friday-Sunday format, with Late Model practice and local division action kicking off the weekend on Friday. Saturday is headlined by the Pro Late Model Baby Rattler 125, alongside Modifieds, RoadRunners and Mini-Cups.
Sunday’s Hardee’s Rattler 250 will go green at 2 p.m. CT. Tickets and limited camping sports are available.
Local division practice will be held May 3, 10 and 17 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Before the initial postponement, the speedway was finishing improvement projects.
“We were ready to go racing in March,” said Dykes. “It was out of our hands, but we are still ready now. It will be great to see everyone at the track and kind of getting back to normal.”