Augie Grill has become one of the Southeast’s most accomplished drivers of all-time. The Hayden, Alabama native has won the Snowball Derby twice and the Snowflake 100 three times and is the head of Grand American Race Cars, which has helped drivers like Chase Elliott rise to stardom. While he may not race as much as he used to, he is still always a threat to win anytime he straps in the race car.
This Saturday, Grill is set to make just his fourth Super Late Model start of the year in the Southern Super Series Rumble by the River 125 at Montgomery Motor Speedway. He has made a few starts at Montgomery this year between the Pro Late Models and Modifieds of Mayhem, with wins in the Alabama 200 on March 2 and the Modifieds of Mayhem show on June 22.
Now, he is excited to get back behind the wheel of his No. 11 Super Late Model as he chases his fourth career Southern Super Series win.
“We’re just looking forward to it,” Grill said. I don’t get to run the Supers as much as I’d like to anymore, but we’re going to have our guns loaded and see what we can do this weekend.”
Prior to his Alabama 200 win this Spring, Grill’s last marquee victory came in the Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway in December 2016. He started 23rd and passed current NASCAR Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemecheck late for the emotional win. He considers that win one of the most enjoyable of his career.
“It was just a neat thing. We qualified bad for that race but I still knew I had a good car,” Grill explained. “It was funny after qualifying, the amount of people that walked up to me asking if everything was alright, you going to be okay, and I had a smile on my saying yeah everything’s going to be alright. Just being able to start that far back and work my way through there and to pass who I passed there at the end, it made it extra special. Me and him had a few run-ins and to beat him was kind of neat. I don’t get to race much anymore; it feels great to win a little bigger of a race like that. I jumped out of the car and at first it wasn’t that big of a deal, then I got looking around and all my friends and family were standing there and the emotions got the best of me and it showed. I just really enjoyed it a lot.”
Looking toward this weekend’s Rumble by the River 125 at Montgomery, he is excited to get back behind the wheel of a Super Late Model. He is coming off a Modifieds of Mayhem win at the track two weeks ago and looks forward to any trip he makes to Stan Narrison’s facility.
“It ought to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a hot one for sure, it’s always hot this time of year down around here,” he said. “It ought to be a good weekend. I know Stan does a very good job keeping the track up and promoting events like this. Hopefully we’ll have a good crowd and a good car count and have a good show.”
While Grill has spent more time away from his own driving career, he has increasingly become active in the career of fellow Alabama driver JoJo Wilkinson. The 15-year-old credited Grill with helping her as she begins her racing career during her appearance on the Morning Bullring last week. During his own appearance on The Morning Bullring Monday morning, Grill talked about Wilkinson’s career to this point.
“She’s come a long way in the last couple years and she’s still got a little ways to go. She works hard at it and really loves it, but she is a fifteen-year-old girl and as the things fifteen-year-old girls have going on, she’s in school and got her boyfriend and got this and got that, the wreck was definitely a setback for her. For a lack of words, it was a shot in the arm really. She was improving and improving and that happens and you don’t know where she’s going to go from there.”
Grill was instrumental in helping get Wilkinson back on track after her wreck at Five Flags Speedway in late April. He admits she still has a ways to go before returning to the bigger tracks and is excited to work with her.
“I think she did a good job coming back and with no lack of confidence, she jumped right back in there and was out battling with the guys again,” he said. “I think her plan here in the near future is just going to stay with the quarter-miles at Huntsville and Sayre and kind of get her feet back under her good. I know she won the other night and that’s a great accomplishment, but she’s got some work to do that I think she can get at those smaller tracks just as easily as she can racing at Montgomery or Pensacola or Nashville or anywhere like that. She’s going to go with that for a little while and see what happens. Hopefully we’ll see her back at some of the bigger tracks here before long.”
While Wilkinson won’t be back on the big track at Montgomery this weekend, Augie Grill will be. Race fans who can’t make it to the track will be able to watch Grill and the rest of the Southern Super Series stars via a live broadcast on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com