The 2015 Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco season will get kicked off with 250 action-packed laps around South Alabama Speedway in the 39th Annual Rattler 250 on Sunday, March 15. The first two seasons of SSS competition have seen wild finishes at almost every race and two thrilling championship battles.
Daniel Hemric edged out Bubba Pollard in a championship battle that was not decided until the final lap in the 2013 Southern Super Series season finale. Pollard exacted his revenge with a dominant title run in 2014.
With both taking different paths into the 2015 season, the third Southern Super Series championship is up for grabs.
Pollard plans to take his season race-by-race in 2015, chasing victories in the Southern Super Series and beyond. Hemric has used his SSS championship and victories throughout the Super Late Model scene in 2014 to catapult him to a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ride for 2015. This has left the door open for a number of competitors to capture their first series championship.
Donnie Wilson, who won three Southern Super Series races in 2014, proved that he is a clear-cut title contender with a strong season under his belt. Wilson was part of the championship race in 2014 despite missing the season opener, the Rattler 250.
“It’s kind of a known fact that racing down in the Southeast is the toughest competition,” said Wilson, who finished fourth in SSS points last year. “There are 10 guys that usually on any night can win.”
Between his own success and seeing how drivers such as Hemric and Pollard got their championships in the past two seasons, Wilson believes he is in prime position for a run at the title.”
“We wanted to win the championship last year,” Wilson told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It doesn’t matter who is there, it’s still tough to go through a whole season and win the series. But that’s our main goal for this year.”
Another driver who could challenge for a first Southern Super Series title is North Carolina’s Kyle Grissom. Grissom’s performance last year is another way to tell just how tough the SSS competition is. Grissom won the PASS South Super Late Model Series championship in 2012, but he was only able to score two top-fives in SSS competition last year.
“You really realize how tough those guys are down there racing at those tracks where most of them have been racing for so long like Pensacola, Mobile and Montgomery,” said Grissom. “You realize how good those guys are and how competitive the series is. Just winning a race would be a big deal at any one of those tracks. I’ve seen the last couple of years that the championship battles have been really tight. It’s come down to the last race, so it would definitely be a huge accomplishment to win a championship.”
Augie Grill finished third in points last year, but his schedule is up in the air due to a busy schedule preparing race cars at his family-owned Grand American Race Cars shop. As of March 10, Grill has yet to file an entry for the SSS season opener on Sunday. But if history is any indication, he will be there even if that means missing a day of practice on Friday.
“We’ve been really busy this winter and we’re kind of backed up right now,” Grill said. “We are working feverishly to try to get a car ready for this weekend. We just really have to play it by ear.”
Should Grill make it to every race, it’s almost a guarantee he’ll be a contender for the championship. Even though he had just one win last year, Grill still scored eight top fives and 13 top 10s. He finished the year 39 points back of Pollard in his first attempt at chasing a touring series championship.
“It would be pretty neat (to win the championship),” said Grill. “I’ve never won a championship of any kind. I’ve never followed a series full-time until last year. It would be pretty neat, but it means more to me to just win races. Normally when you win races the points will fall where they need to.”
As for Pollard, he’s certain that if he does choose to race the full Southern Super Series campaign this year, he’ll be competing for the championship for a third-straight season.
“It would be very cool to repeat and I definitely think we’ll be contending for it if we choose to do that again,” said Pollard. “I definitely think we coulda-shoulda-woulda won the championship in 2013 and 2014. To come back and be able to repeat it against some of the best racers in the Southeast would be big for not only me but also my team.”
The battle for the $10,000-to-win 2015 Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco championship begins on Sunday, March 15 when the green flag waves on the Rattler 250.
For more information on the 39th Rattler 250 weekend at South Alabama Speedway, the opening event of the 2015 Southern Super Series season, visit www.southernsuperseries.com and www.southalabamaspeedway.com.
For more information on the Southern Super Series, visit SouthernSuperSeries.com. The Facebook page for the Southern Super Series is located at www.facebook.com/southernsuperseries. The series is also on Twitter at @SoSuperSeries. For advertising or sponsorship questions, please contact the track representatives. For media inquiries, please contact Matt Kentfield at 51 Sports via [email protected]
-Southern Super Series Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com