As the defending Southern Super Series champion, Casey Smith will make his way to the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway on Sunday, March 20 glowing with confidence. Smith, of Austin, Texas, has fared well at the Opp, Alabama oval as of late, but has yet to hold the coveted rattlesnake in victory lane. As he approaches the 40th annual Rattler 250, he is confident that this could be the year everything falls in line for a meeting with the venomous snake.
“I’m really excited to go to the Rattler,” said Smith. “We have always run really well there and we have won every race there but the Rattler. I’m confident that this is the year we can put everything together and end up in victory lane.”
Smith led 46 of 250 laps one year ago at The Rattler before bringing home a runner-up finish. His runner-up finish was his second straight top-10 finish in the prestigious Super Late Model event.
“Last year we had a really good car and lead some laps we just got tight at the end,” Smith explained. “I have a new car that we ran at the Snowball Derby and we did a little testing over the winter so I think we will be a little better than last year.”
With 250 laps as the scheduled distance, the race has been known to turn into a matter of survival. Smith knows what he needs to do in order to be in the hunt for the win at the end.
“A big key to The Rattler is staying in the top three or four all day,” he explained. “As a driver you need to make a conscious effort to stay out of trouble and be around at the end. If you do that, you’ll have a chance at visiting victory lane at the end of the day.”
The Rattler also marks the start of the 2016 Southern Super Series schedule. While Smith is excited about heading to South Alabama Speedway next weekend, the 2015 Southern Super Series champion is not sure whether this will be a start to defending his crown.
“I’m not sure if we are going to run the entire series,” said Smith. “I have a couple different things in the works that hopefully we can announce soon so that will depend on the Late Model schedule.”
Practice and qualifying for the Rattler take place on Saturday, March 19 with the 250-lap event on Sunday, March 20. Fans unable to make it to South Alabama Speedway can watch the race via a live television-style broadcast on Speed51.com.
-51 Sports/Southern Super Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman