A driver with a racing career as decorated as Augie Grill’s normally has nothing to prove at the race track. Grill, a two-time winner of the Snowball Derby, has won big races throughout the Southeast region and beyond during his illustrious career. But fast forward to the year 2016 and the Birmingham, Alabama racer is as hungry as ever to visit Victory Lane.
Grill, who hasn’t carried a checkered flag in Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco competition since September 2014, will have a shot to snap his winless streak this weekend at the 52nd Annual Alabama 200 in his home state. The veteran racer believes a little home cooking at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) might be exactly what he needs to break through with a big win in 2016.
“It’s a special place to me because it’s close to home and one of the few places we can race at in Alabama,” said Grill. “We almost wish we didn’t have a few weeks off after the race at Mobile because we have hit on something and hopefully we can transfer that into the Alabama 200.”
Grill is a four-time winner of the Alabama 200, but has not been victorious in the race since it became Southern Super Series sanctioned. Grill has four wins overall in the Southern Super Series including two at Montgomery.
Despite Grill’s success in the race and at Montgomery, his hometown race track has awarded the Alabama 200 trophy (a hand carved wooden black bear) to out-of-town drivers for four straight years.
“It doesn’t matter to me when someone from outside the state lines wins this race or any race,” added Grill. “We want to win and whenever you don’t it means you got beat or you need to be better next time.”
In recent years Grill has been strong at the Alabama 200, but the finishes have not been there. He’s led 295 laps in the last three Alabama 200s with a best finish of third in 2013. He’s hoping to find a little bit of racing luck close to home this time around.
“We ran about as bad as we ever have last year and finished fourth,” said Grill. “That’s not a bad run, but we were not even close to having a shot at winning. I think we will be strong this year and hopefully we can put it all together.”
A victory by Grill would make him the eighth different Southern Super Series winner in 2016.
Other notable drivers seeking an Alabama 200 win include point leader Donnie Wilson, Casey Roderick, last year’s runner up Kyle Grissom, Chris Davidson, Kenzie Ruston and several others.
The Alabama 200 gets underway on Saturday, September 10 with practice and qualifying. Racing will take place on Sunday, September 11 with the Super Late Model feature rolling off at 2 p.m. CT after the Modifieds of Mayhem 75-lap event.
For more information on the 52nd Annual Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway, visit www.montgomerymotorspeedway.org.
For more information on the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco, visit www.southernsuperseries.com.