The 2020 Show Me the Money Series season kicks off this weekend with their premier event at Montgomery Motor Speedway, the Alabama 200. The prestigious race has received much attention from teams and fans alike as another chapter of the race’s storied history gets set to begin this Saturday, March 7.
The first Alabama 200 was held back in 1960 and at one point was a race on the NASCAR Grand National (now NASCAR Cup Series) schedule. Open practice was held at the half-mile Sunday afternoon for teams to prepare for the race and 2020 season, leaving General Manager Stan Narrison feeling good about the prospects for this weekend’s Alabama 200 and Modifieds of Mayhem season opener.
“We are so excited about the Alabama 200. We had a practice yesterday, first day we could have cars on the track and what a turnout. A bunch of Pro Late Models, a bunch of new Modifieds, it feels like this season is going to be a big one,” Narrison told Speed51.com’s ‘The Bullring.’ “A lot of people are excited about racing and man, moving this 200 to the start of the year has really given it a lot of life and people are excited about it. People want to take home those beautiful bears.”
The race has taken many forms over the years, with it being switched to a Pro Late Model event in 2017 after spending several years as a Super Late Model show. Following the switch, an increase in car count has been noticeable, growing even more after the Alabama 200 was switched to a new date in March last year.
Narrison says the draw to the Alabama 200 is the unique circumstances that surround the second longest Pro Late Model race in North America.
“A couple years ago I moved it to a Pro Late Model race because that’s really what our mainstay is here at Montgomery. We have the Show Me the Money Series and to have these Pro Late Model guys running a 200-lap race with controlled cautions, it puts them into a different game plan there,” he said. “Seeing the entries, I think we’re sitting on 22 or 23, there were probably seven or eight cars here yesterday that haven’t pre-registered. I’m expecting a monstrous field.”
While on ‘The Bullring,’ Narrison made a special announcement regarding this weekend. Along with a pay increase for the polesitter, practice will pay off for the fastest driver in Pro Late Model and Modifieds of Mayhem open practice on Friday.
During Monday morning’s “The Bullring,” Bob Dillner also announced that Speed51 would be posting a $151 bonus to the second-place finisher in the Modifieds of Mayhem season opener.
“We’re going to do a bonus on Friday for the fastest time. It’ll be $100, which pays for your entry for that day. Whoever’s fastest in Modifieds and Pro Late Models will get $100. We also have Earnest Performance who’s stepped up for us and we’ve increased the pole award to a $400 bonus. We’re pretty excited about that.”
Drivers will have the opportunity to etch their names in the record books alongside drivers like Petty, Allison, Grill, and Elliott as a winner of the famed black bear trophy. The history is what has Narrison excited about the Alabama 200 year after year.
“It is so important, 56 years they’ve run this event here and the names that have won this race are just incredible. Everything from a five-time winner in Augie Grill, all the way to the very first race with Crash Bond and not knowing if they won the race and it ending up going a day later. Bobby Allison, Red Farmer, the list goes on and on. Guys want to be a part of it, they want their name in the record book as running the Alabama 200.”
Race fans unable to make it to the Alabama state capital on Saturday will be able to watch the Alabama 200 via a live video stream on Speed51. The live broadcast will be available to monthly and yearly subscribers. If you’re not a member already, click here to sign up today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51