Stephen Nasse is one step closer to his first date with an Alabama rattlesnake. On Saturday afternoon, the driver from Pinellas Park, Florida topped a strong field of Super Late Model drivers to claim the pole for Sunday’s 45th Annual Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway.
Nasse’s fast lap of 15.148 seconds around the 4/10-mile Kinston, Alabama oval edged second-place qualifier Hunter Robbins by 0.046 seconds. This is Nasse’s first career Rattler 250 pole and his fifth with the Southern Super Series.
“We’ve had a fast car all weekend,” Nasse told Speed51. “I kind of hate these weekends when you start on top and it seems like you just fall off and fall off, but we’ve held on strong at least up to this point. There’s a lot of practice and a lot of time where you can dial yourself out. Fortunately, we didn’t do that.”
Driving the Ronnie Sanders owned No. 18 Super Late Model, Robbins turned in a strong lap to earn himself a front row starting position for Sunday’s race.
“I’m pretty relieved, honestly. We’ve been really good this weekend,” Robbins said. “The speed charts didn’t show it, but we’ve been really happy. To start from the outside of the front row is really good. After being here for a couple days, I’m ready for Sunday. The main thing was getting the car driving good, and we did that. I feel really good about our chances this year. We just have to keep our nose clean and stay out of trouble, stay out front and make the right adjustments.
Three-time and defending Rattler 250 winner Ty Majeski recorded his best qualifying effort for the race, clocking in third at the end of the session. Majeski, who is making his first start since winning the Snowball Derby in December, credited his qualifying effort to a little bit of paperwork his team did in the offseason.
“It took us eight years, but we finally got smart and pre-entered for this race early,” Majeski said. “Typically we make the last-minute decision to come here and we’re the first car to qualify or one of the first five. Track is dirty, it’s been sitting in the sun for three hours, so we got smart this year and pre-entered after we won last year. We were the last car to qualify and this is our best qualifying effort here. I’m pretty happy with that and I think we have a good race car for tomorrow.”
Florida young gun Jett Noland qualified fourth and New Hampshire driver Derek Griffith completed the top five in his Rattler debut. Full qualifying results for the Rattler 250 can be viewed below.
Just moments after setting fast time in Rattler 250 qualifying, Nasse jumped into his Pro Late Model and also set fast time in Baby Rattler 125 qualifying. In doing so, he’s just the second driver to win the pole for both races, joining only Augie Grill (2011).
Both the Rattler 250 and Baby Rattler 125 will be streamed live this weekend on Speed51.TV. Monthly and yearly subscribers gain access to the race, while single-event weekend passes are also available for $24.99.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Director of Content – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Melissa Strahley
Rattler 250 Unofficial Qualifying Results