For the second week in a row, severe storms hit the state of Alabama on Sunday night and early Monday morning. The latest round of storms caused damage to several structures at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Alabama, but the venue is moving forward as planned with its anticipated 44th Annual Rattler Weekend.
In an interview with Speed51, South Alabama Speedway Operations Manager MaLeah Hill outlined the damages to the facility.
“The lower concession stand roof is gone. There’s damage to the lower concession stand building,” said Hill. “The drivers’ lounge is damaged, the roof on it is gone. The upper pits, the Late Model area, he had just redone that area and that roof is gone.”
The 44th Annual Rattler Weekend is now scheduled for May 22-24, after being postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hill assures the property damage does not impact that schedule whatsoever.
A week before the 2014 Rattler 250, a fire destroyed the scoring tower and press box at the facility. Not only did the speedway carry on with the race, the tower was rebuilt in time for the weekend of racing.
Hill expects the racing community will once again work together to ensure South Alabama Speedway is ready for the Rattler Weekend.
“We had our tower burn about six years ago a week before the Rattler. We had it done in a week, we had the tower built and ready to go on that Friday night. People pitch in and will help out, it’s just another thing.”
Most importantly, Hill believes that no one in the extended South Alabama Speedway racing family suffered personal injury during the storm, although some have reported damages or fallen trees.
“A lot of our drivers had wind damage, trees down, stuff like that. My sister and her family had a tree fall on my brother-in-law’s work vehicle, he’s a police chief in Opp. Everything has been trees down, trees falling on things.”
The 44th Annual Rattler Weekend, headlined by the Rattler 250 Super Late Model event to start the Southern Super Series season, is scheduled for May 22-24. This announcement came after the Alabama Small Business Commission revealed its phase one plan to reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Race fans can visit www.SouthAlabamaSpeedway.com for more information on the upcoming event.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: South Alabama Speedway Facebook