For the 54th time in its history, the Alabama 200 will showcase some of the best short track drivers in the Southeast this Sunday before Labor Day at Montgomery Motor Speedway, with Pro Late Model drivers braving the late summer heat as they “Hunt for the Bear.”
But with six of the last seven race winners hailing from the State of Georgia to the east, the fans in the “Heart of Dixie” are eager to see one of their own claim the Black Bear Trophy in 2018.
Drivers such as JoLynn Wilkinson, Perry Patino, and Bobby Knox, Jr. will be among the fan favorites, but 2018 has been the year for Augie Grill at Montgomery; he’s won two ‘Show Me The Money’ Pro Late Model Series events as well as a Modifieds of Mayhem Tour race in the spring.
“We’ve still made a few changes on the car for the weekend, which we did before the last race, and it showed then. I’m really looking forward to this weekend, once I get finished with all these other cars in the shop, so we can get down there. It’s looking like it’s going to be a great race,” Grill told Speed51.com.
Not only has Grill come out on top of the 200 on multiple occasions, he is always a consistent threat to win almost every single year.
“It’s been pretty good to me mostly. I’ve won it a couple of times now. Had a really good run quite a few times and come close to winning. I think I’ve finished every one I’ve run in, or close to it. But it’s a race that I’ve always enjoyed.”
It should also come as no surprise that the ‘Bama native has gained a soft spot the for the historic half-mile, even with its difficulties.
“Montgomery is a track that in general has been good to me over the years, but it’s pretty tough on tires. There’s always a lot of tire wear as the race goes on, the speeds slow way down, and you’ve got to manage the best you can to take care of what you’ve got so you can be there at the end.”
Grill believes the other key to winning Sunday is not only who saves their tires, but who also saves themselves for all 200 laps.
“It’s also going to be pretty hot on Sunday. You need to stay hydrated enough to be able to finish the race.”
Overall, Grill is determined to end the Pro Late Model season strong on the highest possible step, and send all of his home state fans home with one of their own in victory lane.
“It’d be great. They’ve kind of gotten away from me the last three or four years it seems like. Hopefully we’ve got the ship righted and we’ll have a good shot at it.”
If you can’t make it to Montgomery then be sure to watch the Alabama 200 live on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV for free as a 51 Network premium subscriber. Click here to join
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com