Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com has enjoyed for many years. With one of the most prestigious Super Late Model races in the country taking place this weekend, our staff has been challenged once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the 42nd Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Bubba Pollard and Harrison Burton who were named the favorites to meet the rattlesnake in victory lane.  Overall, nine different drivers received votes from our panel of 20 experts, showing just how strong this year’s field is.


Race fans can watch all 250 laps of the Rattler via a live pay-per-broadcast on Speed51.com Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the 42nd Rattler 250 below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Central NY & PA)

Pick: Harrison Burton
Since the winner of the last two Rattlers (Ty Majeski) is not entered, I had to give this one some thought. Eventually I went with his rival from New Smyrna in February, Harrison Burton. The 2017 SpeedFest winner knows how to get it done in major Super Late Model events, and his team was one of the first to commit to competing in this year’s Rattler. I expect that they will be plenty prepared for 250 laps and we’ll see how young Harrison reacts to the rattlesnake in victory lane.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Pollard may have had some bad luck in recent events but has been bad fast. As long as the rattlesnake doesn’t bite, Pollard will find victory lane.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Chase Purdy
Yeah, it would be easy to throw in Bubba Pollard or another big name here, but Purdy is with Anthony Campi Racing and has shown results so far this season when paired with them at SpeedFest. Add the fact Campi and the boys just won at Montgomery Motor Speedway with Giovanni Bromante in the Pro Late Model and they have the momentum on the field.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Raphael Lessard

It’s not way off base, especially with who he is running for, but I’m going to go with someone who I don’t think a lot of people are going to pick: Raphael Lessard.  How awesome would it be when our photographer Melissa Strahley sticks her camera in Lessard’s face in victory lane and he sees that big ol’ rattlesnake coming around the corner?


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Bubba Pollard

I was leaning towards Harrison Burton until I talked to Bubba earlier this week.  He’s hungry and he feels he has something to prove.  And when Bubba Pollard is hungry, that spells trouble for the competition.  Piloting the same car he led most of the Snowball Derby with, Pollard will be back in victory lane for his second date with an Alabama rattlesnake.


Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Chandler Smith

Chandler has been on the rise as of late and has a ton of momentum going for him already this season. The 15-year-old phenom from Georgia signed on with Venturini Motorsports this year, then went head to head with Bubba Pollard at Cordele and came out victorious, and then followed that up with a second place run at Greenville Pickens shortly thereafter. Smith will be snake hunting down in Opp, AL this weekend.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Even after having a month to cool off and regroup after two straight races of getting wrecked while leading, I’m expecting Pollard to enter this weekend still with a lot of fire in his gut. In the past, that means bad news for everybody else. Despite losing a car at Greenville, the No. 26 team is going back to the same ride that led much of the Snowball Derby last December. All this is shaping into what could be a textbook “Redneck Jesus” kind of weekend.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent

Pick: Casey Roderick

Roderick is a former Rattler 250 winner so he knows how to get it done. He and Ronnie Sanders have been a potent duo in the Southeast the past couple years, and it will translate into another extra-distance victory for the Georgia pair.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Chandler Smith

There are just too many of us not to have duplicate picks, so I will go with Chandler Smith. I think Smith will have a year that will take him to the next level.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

He’s overdue for a second Rattler 250 win.  He’s motivated after the Greenville mess and he’ll be ready to start the Southern Super Series season off right. Including his Pro Late Model wins, Pollard has 24 career wins at South Alabama Speedway.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos 

Pick: Stephen Nasse

Nasse showed some great speed at New Smyrna earlier this year, proving that he can run with the best in the business. I expect him to continue that momentum into the Rattler 250.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Correspondent

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Lessard teamed up with Kyle Busch Motorsports could be a venomous combination for his competitors. Lessard has shown his strength the past couple of seasons and with KBM having some good runs in the past at the Rattler, this will be the first of many wins this season. Although rattlesnakes may not be native to Quebec, Lessard might be the new hybrid breed to look out for this year at tracks across the country.


Kendra Adams, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent 

Pick: Chase Purdy
I’m going to have to go with Purdy as he has been quick in the Anthony Campi Super Late Models. I feel he has had some tough luck in the SLM in recent events, and he has to come out on top sooner or later.  I think the Rattler will be his time.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com West Coast Correspondent 

Pick: Harrison Burton
The Southwest’s choice for this year’s Rattler 250 winner is none other than Harrison Burton.  In four starts in the event, he has finished no lower than seventh with second and third-place finishes.  Burton won three of the seven Super Late Model features at the “World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing” at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) to show his fangs have bite.  Look for Burton to shed some skin at South Alabama Speedway (AL) this weekend and slither his way right into victor lane.


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Stephen Nasse

Nasse ended up with a top-five finish at the 2017 Rattler 250 and had a strong showing to kick off the 2018 season down at New Smyrna. He’s proving to be one of the fiercest and toughest Super Late Model competitors out there and is long overdue for a big win. 2018 is the year Stephen Nasse gets it done.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Harrison Burton

My pick comes down to four numbers: 3, 7, 6 and 2.  Those are Harrison Burton’s previous four finishes in the Rattler 250 and they add up to 18.  It’s 2018, so my pick to win the Rattler is Burton.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Regional Editor (IN, MI & OH)

Pick: Steve Wallace

My crutch when picking racing in the south is Bubba Pollard, but “Redneck Jesus” has been snake bit at South Alabama Speedway with an average finish of 18th in the five previous Rattlers (with a best finish of 11th in 2017, according to Speed51’s The Third Turn).  Harrison Burton hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in his four starts in Opp, AL, so I can see why many members of the Speed51.com staff went with him as their pick.  Me?  I like Steve Wallace’s chances on Sunday to roll snake eyes and sink his teeth into the Rattler 250 trophy.  Wallace finished third last year, following Majeski and Burton to the line.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Harrison Burton

Why not? His program has been consistently fast for more than a year now. He could have won CRA SpeedFest if not for a brake failure while battling for the lead. He led 19 laps and finished second this year. I don’t know if he’s scared of snakes, but I know he wants that trophy.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Augie Grill

You can count the men who have won the Rattler multiple times on one hand: Ronnie Sanders, Wayne Willard, Augie Grill, Grant Enfinger and Ty Majeski. Of those, only one Sanders has three snake trophies, but that changes on Sunday. For the last few years, Augie Grill has spent more time building and fixing other people’s race cars, instead of wheeling his own. However, when it’s time for the Deep South’s marquee events, he can still get up on the wheel better than most. The youth movement is alive and well at all levels of racing, but this weekend Grill scores one for the “old guys” and charms the snake for the third time.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Casey Roderick

Mark Keeler was going to pick Roderick, but Casey didn’t respond to his text message in time.  Out of spite, I’m picking the Georgia boy to win his second Rattler 250.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Staff Makes Their Picks for Rattler 250