(Original Speed51.com story published on SouthernSuperSeries.com with permission.)
The 2020 Southern Super Series season will kick off March 20-22 at South Alabama Speedway, with the running of the Rattler 250. The race has established itself as one of the biggest in Super Late Model racing, bringing a stout field of competition every year to the 4/10-mile Alabama oval.
Since originally being held as a twin 50-lap feature event in 1974, the Rattler has been a showcase for some of the top short track racers in the country. Past winners of the Rattler 250 include greats such as Ronnie Sanders, Pete Hamilton, Mike Alexander, Mickey Gibbs and Wayne Niedecken, Jr.
Some of the top Super Late Model racers in the country have also won the event in recent years. Augie Grill and Ty Majeski are both two-time winners of the event, joining Grant Enfinger and Wayne Willard as two-time Rattler winners, all just behind Sanders’ three wins in the race. Other recent winners include Bubba Pollard, Kyle Benjamin, Casey Roderick, Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton and Giovanni Bromante.
Once in victory lane, the winner gets to partake in a unique tradition – the handling of the rattlesnake. The Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo takes place every March in nearby Opp, Alabama, and will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020. With that tradition in mind, it is a rattlesnake that greets winners of the Rattler 250 – some of which are much more open to the rite of passage than others.
Regardless of how drivers feel about the potential appointment with the rattlesnake, there’s no questioning the importance of winning the Rattler. The event routinely draws stiff competition from around the United States, looking for a shot at racing history as well as a jump start on a new season.
All of this serves as a big way to start a new season for the Southern Super Series. This year, drivers in the series will be looking to snap Roderick’s championship streak after winning the title in 2018 and 2019.
Along with the Rattler 250, there will also be the Pro Late Model “Baby Rattler” 125 on Saturday night, March 21, showing off some of the country’s best Pro Late Model racers. There will also be local divisions in competition throughout the weekend, giving fans a full three days of racing excitement.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com