Augie Grill is returning with a little boost of confidence to Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) this Saturday for the Southern Super Series’ Rumble by the River 125.
Grill caused a wave of excitement to ripple through the crowd two weekends ago at the historic half-mile when he claimed the lead and the win on the last lap of the Show Me the Money Series Pro Late Model feature.
Though Grill says his Super Late Model is an entirely different breed from his Pro, a win is still a win.
“The cars don’t really relate from Super to Pro,” Grill told Speed51.com. “If nothing else, it’s kind of a confidence booster to get a win down there.”
The win was Grill’s first of the 2018 season, a stat he hopes to improve this weekend, though that’s easier said than done.
Last Friday, Grill struggled during the third Southern Super Series race at Five Flags Speedway when a hole in the brake line, among other issues, pitted the No. 112 machine multiple times throughout the race. Grill ended up with a 17th place finish.
“I felt better about [this weekend] before Friday night at Pensacola, honestly,” Grill said. “Didn’t run as good as I thought I would, we’ve got to figure out what was wrong with the car.”
Despite the disappointing finish at Pensacola, Grill is keeping optimistic.
“It’s just about building,” Grill said. “Getting the car better from race to race would be huge. I just have a step to take to get that done this week. Hopefully, I’ll do the right things and have it good for the race.”
But consistent progression is difficult for part-time drivers who have to split their attention between racing and work. Grill said he just doesn’t get to race as much as he would like.
“I had the car ready to go at Anderson a few weeks ago, but we weren’t able to make it,” Grill said. “Some races it’s just a matter of not having enough help to go. It just stacks up against me and we’re kind of shorthanded here at the shop. You’ve got to make a living before you can go racing.”
If the past is any indication, Grill won’t have any trouble being competitive come Saturday. Grill’s best Rumble by the River finish was third in 2015, just behind 2015 Southern Super Series champion Casey Smith and now NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric.
Montgomery’s roughening surface will change Grill’s strategy from years past, with more emphasis on tire conservation.
“The place is getting harder to get a grip, about as hard as Pensacola,” Grill said. “That’ll be key, just maintaining tire grip the whole race.”
When asked how it’d feel to pick up a second win for the season, Grill’s answer was simple.
“It’d be great,” Grill said.
“It’s been a while since we’ve won anything with the Super Late Model,” Grill added. “It’d be really crucial, really good, to get a win to head into the tail end of the year. Hopefully we’ll pick up a few more of them before the end of the year.”
Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m. CT and feature racing starts at 7:00 p.m. CT. Race fans who can’t make it out to Montgomery Motor Speedway can watch the Southern Super Series action live on Summer Thunder TV.
The best part about Summer Thunder TV races is that if you’re already a premium member of Speed51.com, then they’re totally free. And if you aren’t yet a premium member, you can become one for just $7.99 a month or $69.99 a year by clicking here.
The 2018 Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes schedule continues to grow as more races are added weekly. You can see the full schedule for Summer Thunder TV here.
-By: Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor — Twitter: @MelissaStrahley
-Photo Credit: Melissa Strahley/Speed51.com