Pro Late Model racing is set to be the center of attention this weekend for the Southeast as some of the top racers in the region will square off deep in the state of Alabama at Montgomery Motor Speedway for the R.S. Trucking Spring Explosion 125, the debut race for the 2018 Show Me The Money Series. There are many matchups both among individual drivers as well as groups, Dominators vs. Challengers, Home State Heros vs. Road Warriors and more.
Either way you look at the expected field, it all shapes up to be a sturdy band of competitors that will lead off the seven-race championship fight at this historic track.
Georgia’s Casey Roderick was the main dominator last season with he and the Ronnie Sanders No. 18 team winning five of the six races, including the season-ending Alabama 200. He is also the defending winner of the Spring Explosion. Roderick had many more wins and championships outside of Montgomery, although he did have a few challengers along the way.
One of the home state favorites, Augie Grill, is set to be another great threat this year. The 2009 Show Me The Money champion was the only spoiler in victory lane for Roderick at Montgomery last season, winning in late March.
Perry Patino calls Montgomery home and has a good deal of laps around the flat half-mile. This has turned him into a consistent challenger with him finishing second in series points in 2017, and making him a threat to win this season.
Other consistent drivers such as Bobby Knox, Jr., Christopher Tullis, Aiden Eldridge, and Bill Bethea III are also expected to throw their names into the mix Saturday night.
The storm clouds of the growing youth movement are also set to move in for this weekend as well. The young gun making the most thunder in the first two months of 2018 has been Georgia’s Chandler Smith. Smith has made some great strides in the Late Model ranks in recent times, including his major victory during the Super Late Model feature at CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park in January. He wants to add a Show Me The Money PLM trophy to his growing collection.
Two young challengers from way up north are also expected to make appearances this weekend. Long Island’s Giovanni Bromante returns to Montgomery after limited appearances in 2017. He comes in with the backing of Anthony Campi Racing.
New Jersey Legend Car and Modified graduate Joe Graf, Jr. has also been making steady progress in his Late Model studies and looks to learn more at Montgomery this weekend.
So many more drivers, a mix of all ages and origins, will add to this weekend’s roster. Ryan Paul, Chris Landers, Toby Porter, Jason Furrow, Mike Murray, Shane Chastain, John Bolan, Dillon Oliver, Jake Garcia, and Chris Davidson will all be there, just to name a few.
Gates at Montgomery Motor Speedway will open at 4 p.m. CT Saturday, with qualifying taking place at 5 p.m., and post time for racing set for 6 p.m.
If you can’t make it to Montgomery, catch the Show Me The Money Pro Late Models, as well as the Modifieds of Mayhem live on the Speed51 Video Network this Saturday. The broadcast will be free for all premium subscribers.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com