The 41st Annual Rattler 250 at South Alabama has come and gone. Ty Majeski won his second straight date with the rattlesnake in victory lane to kick off the 2017 Southern Super Series season. Now, it’s time to take a look at the weekend “by the numbers.”
2: Ty Majeski became the first driver to win back-to-back Rattler 250s since Wayne Willard in 2003 and 2004.
2: Steve Wallace has entered two Southern Super Series races over the last two seasons and has finished on the podium on both occasions. Hopefully, he will be attending more Southern Super Series races this season.
2: Yet another 2, as this time it was for Harrison Burton who finished second. He looked to be in the catbird seat until late in the race. Burton will run select SSS races this year.
5: Chandler Smith had an average finish of 5.0 in the Late Model races this weekend after finishing third in the Baby Rattler 125 on Saturday and seventh in the Rattler 250 on Sunday. Making laps and learning is the goal for the youngster, and the team is getting better right out of the gates. Smith has completed 1099 of 1100 laps in the last two season.
6: Jeff Choquette posted his sixth top-five finish in his Souther Super Series career, but remains winless after Sunday. If he enters more SSS events we can only imagine that this trend will end in 2017.
10: After winning the Southern Super Series race at South Alabama Speedway last July, Cole Anderson finished 10th in the Rattler 250. He hope to add to his two wins from 2016.
16: Despite being two laps off the pace, Paul Kelley posted a 16th-place run in his first start in nearly four years. Look for improvement from the Carswell Motorsports operation soon as they are determined to run well.
23: The defending Souther Super Series champion Donnie Wilson started 2017 off in the hole with a 23rd-place finish after dropping out of the race early. He will look to rebound in a few weeks at Nashville where he won a year ago.
Lap 78: Lap 78 of Saturday’s Baby Rattler 125 will go down in history as one of the most bizarre events in the history of Pro Late Model racing. Both race leader Casey Roderick and second-place driver Jeff Choquette had mechanical issues and stopped on the track under caution. Adding to this foot note, they both came in as the hottest Pro Late Model drivers after Roderick had won three straight and Choquette was fresh off a championship at Speedweeks.
88: Garrett Jones in the No. 88 ride ran well all day before finishing ninth. After taking on four new tires prior to the final 50-lap run, Jones took the lead away from Jeff Choquette. But one lap later, Jones gave up the lead to Harrison Burton before falling back through the field. Jones is a former series winner and could contend for the season-long championship if he decides to run.
211: Jeff Choquette led 211 of 250 laps on Sunday, but didn’t make it to victory lane in the Rattler 250.
250: Despite both experiencing their difficulties during the race, veterans Bubba Pollard and Augie Grill completed the 250-lap distance for the first time together since 2009. For Pollard, it was the first time he finished the race since his win in 2012.
2 Hours 12 Minutes: The race was run in almost record time as it was just over two hours. Last year’s race took nearly three-and-a-half hours to run.
Pole: Chase Purdy won the Rattler 250 pole and became the 18th different driver to set fast time in the Southern Super series.
Bridesmaid no More: Justin South won the Rattler 125 on paper last year, but was assessed a penalty costing him the win. He was also DQ’ed in 2013. This year there was no doubt after he dominated the late stages to win his first Baby Rattler.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com