Entering Friday’s practice session for the 40th running of the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway, the biggest worry was the threat of a washout. Thankfully the waters held off and teams of the Southern Super Series turned their attention back to their Super Late Models. By day’s end Ty Majeski had topped the charts and established himself as the early target for the rest of the field this weekend.
Majeski was quiet to start the day, deciding to sit out the first of five Super Late Model practice sessions, before putting in a modest time in the second. In the third session Majeski shot to the top of the board with a 15.146 second lap.
The team decided to end the day after the fourth session with Majeski satisfied with his racecar. His Toby Nuttleman-led team used the remaining time at the track to replace the left side rocker panel after Majeski bottomed out on track a little too abruptly.
Another fast driver on the day was Stephen Nasse who put down the second fastest time on the day in Super Late Model practice at 15.163 seconds on what he called a “semi-qualifying” run. His team decided to save their true qualifying setup for Saturday. Nasse also finished at the top of the Pro Late Model practice charts and feels he has a shot at pulling off the weekend sweep.
Christian Eckes led the second practice of the day and was third overall with a fast lap of 15.216 seconds. He was happy with the speed and handling on his car, but feels that he might have left some speed on the table.
Dalton Sargeant was solid as a rock on Friday as clocked in fourth fastest on the overall charts. Sargeant is coming off a strong run at the Winter Showdown with new car owner Bond Suss and feels that with each event the team runs they get stronger. He believes that they have a shot on Sunday afternoon.
Kyle Grissom rounded out the top five in practice being very satisfied with his racecar. The biggest challenge on the day for him was chasing the track as the rubber continued to build up after a hard rain the night before.
Other drivers that were seen at the top of the charts throughout the day included Kaz Grala who believed he had found just the right race setup for his car. His LFR teammate Quin Houff felt the same confidence as his team shifted to qualifying setup late in the day. Donnie Wilson also came in top ten with no complaints at the end of the day. Kyle Plott was another to end the day with a smile, also feeling his team is building up to a big run.
Kyle Busch Motorsports comes to the Rattler with a strong pair that includes defending Rattler winner Christopher Bell who rounded out the top ten in practice. His teammate William Byron led the first practice, and is determined to win after a strong effort at Speedfest in January.
The field of Super Late Models for this season’s Rattler has been very close together with the top 30 in practice being within five-tenths of a second of each other, which made for little worry.
Cody Coughlin felt comfortable with the speed on his JEGS No. 1 car with the team focusing their efforts on improving handling. Coughlin ended the day with a strong mock qualifying run.
Augie Grill comes in looking for his third Rattler win with a car his team has been putting together since last summer. Grill finished the day happy with the progress the team made throughout the day, but will need time on Saturday to get the car where they want.
Bubba Pollard is riding momentum after his Winter Showdown victory and feels he only needs just a little more speed out of his car to be able to challenge for the win Sunday.
The Super Late Models of the Southern Super Series return to South Alabama 9:30am CT on Saturday in advance of qualifying later in the day at 3:00pm. The 40th Rattler 250 is set to roll off on Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm CT and can be seen, along with Saturday’s action, on Speed51.com PPV.
To replay all of Friday’s practice action from South Alabama Speedway, check out Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage at this link: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-rattler-250-practice-day-at-south-alabama/
Southern Super Series Rattler 250 Combined Practice Results (Friday):
Pos. No. Driver Lap Time
|18||01||Derek Scott Jr||15.415|
|33||X2||Dennis Reno Jr||15.770|
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, LI, MA) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman