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Southern Super Series

How Ronnie Sanders Revived Hunter Robbins’ Career

Hunter Robbins and his No. 18 Ronnie Sanders team may have the best stuff that no one knows about this season in the Southern Super Series.

Most of that is due to the fact that no other driver in the Southern Super Series has had as much bad luck as the Sanders team. The reality is that Robbins should have won several times this year.

Before the season even began, Robbins was expected to be one of the championship favorites. After all, they’ve led a lot of laps since bringing new cars to the track last year and probably want numerous races back, including the Rattler 250 and April race at Mobile International Speedway.

While disappointed in a start that has him eighth in points, Robbins has been given confidence by the equipment that his team has brought to the track week-in and week-out.

“The Southern Super Series is really good and has brought the best of the best in the southeast under one roof every other week,” Robbins said. “So we’ve been fast but in this series, everyone is good, so it’s hard to tell where we stack up because everyone else is getting better every day as well.”

But the bad luck bug has really stricken Robbins this season, having two crashes while fighting for the lead at Opp and Mobile respectively. He believed those were nights where his team was supposed to shine if not for circumstances.

Robbins spun fighting Roderick for the lead in the Rattler and crashed into a lap car doing the same thing but with Bubba Pollard in Mobile last month.

“We’ve had a lot of bad luck,” Robbins said. “We thought Mobile was our night but there was bad luck when some lap cars got in our way and ended our night. Pensacola has been our weak spot. We’ve got to work on that but we feel good about Opp, Montgomery, Gresham and especially Mobile.”

The past two seasons has been a career renaissance for Robbins now linked up with Sanders, a bonafide southern legend. Robbins was at a career crossroads two years ago, dealing with decreased funding and the repercussions of his parent’s divorce when he called Sanders to see if he had any opportunities available.

Sanders had just parted ways with Pollard after a very successful run and found himself convinced that he could find equal success with Robbins.

“I called him one day in the middle of the summer and asked about a Pro Late Model race in Pensacola,” Robbins said. “So we went down there and had a pretty good run. We bonded and it really took off.”

Robbins calls Sanders a grandfather figure and believes he has helped him in every aspect of his life, both personally and professionally.

“There’s no situation that Ronnie hasn’t experienced yet,” Robbins said. “He always has advice and has become that grandfather figure in my life that I never really had and bonded well. We just work well together.”

Now if only Sanders can give his protégé some of his own Hall-of-Fame caliber luck.

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 is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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