A handful of Midwest drivers will descend on South Alabama Speedway this weekend for the 40th annual Rattler 250, the season opener for the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco. Ty Majeski – one of the hottest Super Late Model drivers in the country as of late – will look for his first Rattler win, while Cole Anderson and Travis Sauter will compete in the esteemed event for the first time.
Majeski heads to Opp, AL fresh off a dominating performance during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). The Seymour, Wisconsin driver never finished outside the top two while grabbing three wins and the overall Super Late Model championship.
“I think we really have a lot of momentum coming off of Speedweeks,” said Majeski. “Our consistency was unmatched and I think we really learned some stuff down there that will help us at the Rattler.”
Majeski’s only trip to South Alabama Speedway came last year when he attempted the Rattler for the first time. He brought home a respectable sixth-place finish that day, and heading into this year’s race he feels as though he and his team are stronger ever.
“I think we as a team have come a long ways since then,” said Majeski. “I think our race cars are better and I know I am better as a driver. We made some strategy mistakes last year at the break and we learned from that and we won’t make those same mistakes again. I’m looking forward to seeing the gains we made since last year.”
While Majeski bring some experience to the Yellowhammer State this weekend, this marks the first time Sauter or Anderson will race at South Alabama. For Anderson, this year’s Red-Eye 100 and Orange Blossom 100 winner at New Smyrna, an early key is just learning the track itself.
“Seat time is most important for going to a new track,” he said. “Getting laps in will be most important. I plan on following some of the veteran drivers on the track to see the line.”
For Sauter, this not only stands as his first visit to Opp, Alabama, but also his first race with his new team, Jett Motorsports. The Rattler will be the first of a handful of races that Sauter will race the No. 9 Super Late Model this year.
“I’ve never really driven their stuff except for a few laps so hopefully the car suits what I am used to and the track is hopefully similar to something I’ve raced on,” he stated. “It’ll be a bit of a challenge to start with a new team at a new track but if I can’t handle it I should probably do something else.”
While none of the Midwest driver have a ton of past Rattler experience to draw on, they all hope they have an idea of what it takes to survive 250 laps and be in a position to win it at the end. And, of course, they all hope for a photo with the famous rattlesnake itself in Victory Lane.
“I think our strategy is mostly trying to survive and conserve our car until the end,” said Anderson.
Added Sauter, “The strategy for being around at the end can vary based on many factors, but having a fast car and being lucky are most important.”
Majeski’s strategy is similar to Anderson and Sauter’s in the way the he believes the most important aspect of the race is to be around at the end. If he can make the right decisions as a driver and his team can make the right decisions during the race, he’s confident that he’ll have a chance at visiting victory lane.
“Despite the ‘Snowball Derby-type’ competition, I think my team and I have some pretty high expectations,” said Majeski. “We’ve had great race cars week in and week out. We want to continue that and be the ones getting our pictures taken with the rattlesnake.”
The 40th annual Rattler 250 weekend kicks off on Friday, March 18 with practice for the Southern Super Series, as well as feature racing for local divisions. On Saturday, March 19 the grid for the Rattler 250 will be set during time trials before the Pro Late Models hit the track for the Rattler 125. All of that leads up to the big show, the Rattler 250 on Sunday, March 20.
Those unable to make it to South Alabama Speedway can watch the race via a live video stream on Speed51.com.
More information about the 40th annual Rattler 250 including ticket information can be found by visiting www.southalabamaspeedway.com.
The 40th Rattler 250 will be just the tip of a packed 12-race schedule that makes up the 2016 season for the Southern Super Series. For more information on the Southern Super Series, visit www.southernsuperseries.com.
-51 Sports/Southern Super Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com