The 2019 Rattler 250 was a big welcoming party for Giovanni Bromante. He was making his Super Late Model debut for Anthony Campi Racing after missing the final months of 2018 due to a back injury suffered away from the track. In that race, he led 158 laps and held off former winners Harrison Burton and Ty Majeski to score the surprise win.
One year later, the 16-year-old Long Island native returns to South Alabama Speedway looking to go back-to-back in the Rattler 250. Now competing in the ARCA Menards Series East for Visconti Motorsports, the Rattler allows him to get back behind the wheel of a Super Late Model for a one-off start with a chance to become just the third driver to win the race in consecutive years.
“I’m definitely super excited, it’s a great opportunity for me and for Anthony Campi Racing to get back in a Super Late Model after this long pandemic and two to three-month break,” Bromante told Speed51. “To come back for the Rattler in this car with a memorial scheme for Joe Boyd, it’s such a great honor to be in this predicament.”
Bromante and ACR will have the Florida racing community behind them as they pay tribute to the late Joe Boyd, who passed away back in February. Even though he never knew the Florida racer, he says it’s still an honor to carry the No.5 colors that Boyd had made famous in the Florida Super Late Model scene.
“He was Anthony’s great friend and the whole Florida racing community loved him. Anthony loved him and if I had known him, I probably would have loved him too. To be racing his scheme and his memorial car and to support the whole family through their rough time is just great.”
His win in the Rattler 250 one year ago sent a shockwave through the Super Late Model world. He then backed it up with a win in the Blizzard Series opener at Five Flags Speedway. Bromante would go on to win the Blizzard Series championship at the Florida half-mile, ending a five-year Georgia stronghold on the crown between Bubba Pollard and Casey Roderick.
In the 14 months that have passed since the Rattler win, the importance of the victory has grown even bigger.
“It’s just meant a ton. I started off great last year and it’s a prestigious race, it’s up there by the Snowball Derby. I hope I can carry this win again,” he said. “I just have to be smart, be patient just like last year and God will put everything there for me to do great again.”
With Bromante’s ARCA East schedule and Campi’s crew chiefing duties with Sammy Smith at Kyle Busch Motorsports, the Rattler is his only planned Super Late Model start with ACR to date. The long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic has him itching to get back behind the wheel for a potential second photo opportunity with the rattlesnake in victory lane.
“I’ve been dreaming over the past month since I had a great chance of doing this race. Now that I’m here, I just went out for my first practice and it’s like I never got out of the car. To take the win home again would just mean a lot.”
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-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo