||RATTLIN’ THROUGH THE YEARS|
The history of the speedway's most famed event
When you talk about short track racing, there are several prestigious races that come to mind. The Snowball Derby, the All-American 400, the World Classic, and the National Short Track Championship are a few. Another race has quietly established a long history of competitive races with big name stars and a winners list that includes some of the best short track drivers ever. It is the “Rattler”!
The first Rattler was held in 1974. The track was still known as Twin City Speedway and the event was the Rattler Twin 50's. In the first 50-lap feature, Phil Wendt of Mobile led the first half of the race, before being passed by Pensacola's Dickie Davis. Davis held the lead for a few laps before experiencing engine problems and pitting for the night. Wendt led the rest of the way to take the win. Wayne Niedecken, Sr. finished a close second. Third and fourth went to Johnny Day and Red Farmer. The second 50-lap feature saw Dennie Rewis take a half lap victory over Farmer. Wendt started in the rear by virtue of his earlier win, but came back to challenge Farmer and finish third. Day and Niedecken rounded out the top 5.
|Pete Hamilton accepts the winner's trophy after the 1975 Rattler 100.|
In 1975, the Rattler 100 was all Pete Hamilton. Hamilton set a new track record of 16.50 in qualifying, then dominated the race to capture the $1,300 winner's purse. Neil Bonnett, driving Bobby Allison’s Coca-Cola sponsored machine, finished second. Jody Ridley was third with C.L. Fisher fourth.
Buck Simmons took the lead on lap 71 to win the 1976 edition of the Rattler 100. Donnie Allison came across the line second. Red Farmer took third, Jerry Lawley fourth, and C.L. Fisher fifth.
In the 1977 Rattler 200, Russell Nelson of Buford, GA led 166 laps to collect the $1,400 first place money, plus an additional $830 lap money. Wayne Niedecken, Jr. came from a mid-race spin to capture second. Larry Weatherford was third, local driver Nix Bruce fourth, and Kenny Price fifth.
Dave Mader III took the lead on lap 51 when Jody Ridley dropped out to win the 1978 Rattler 100. Mader had to hold off Red Farmer at the end to secure the win. Jerry Goodwin drove a steady race to finish third. Ronnie Sanders finished fourth and Wayne Niedecken fifth.
Billy McGinnis took advantage of Ronnie Sanders' misfortune to win the 1979 Rattler 100. McGinnis took the early lead, but went to the rear of the field along with Sanders, after the first caution. The two charged back to the front with Sanders leading and McGinnis on his bumper. Five laps from the end, Sanders engine let go, leaving the win to McGinnis. Wayne Niedecken, Jr. finished second, Jerry Lawley third and Harry Deaton fourth. Charlie Skipper rounded out the top 5.
Kasper Miles won the 1980 Rattler 100 over a field that included David Pearson and Davey Allison. Harry Deaton, a frequent competitor at the track, passed Mike Alexander halfway through the race to take second place. Alexander held on to third. Phillip Grissom, older brother of current Grand National driver Steve Grissom, ran consistent all day and finished fourth, Jerry Lawley took fifth. Photos from left to right: Jerry Lawley (4), Junior Niedecken(98), and David Pearson dive into turn three during the 1980 Rattler 100. (Tony Martin photo). Dave Mader III leads David Pearson in the 1980 Rattler 100. (Tony Martin photo). Kasper Miles takes the checkered flag in the 1980 Rattler 100. (Tony Martin photo). Miles with promoter Johnny Williams and the Rattlesnake Queen after his 1980 Rattler 100 win. (Yep, that’s a live rattler that Williams is holding!( (Tony Martin photo).
In the 1981 Rattler 50, Bob Bean took home the winners trophy. Jackie Young was second, current Craftsman Truck Series driver Rick Crawford third, Bruce Permenter was fourth and Allen Inco fifth.
Short track legend Ronnie Sanders won the 1982 Rattler 100. Mike Alexander broke an eight-year-old track record with a time of 16.49, and led the first 49 laps before exiting with a blown head gasket. Sanders, who started 4th, went on to win over Billy McGinnis and Henry Brook.
The track was closed in 1983, so no Rattler was held. In the l984 Skoal Rattler 100, Mickey Gibbs, fresh off a victory in the Snowball Derby, continued his winning ways. Donnie Anthony set a new track record in qualifying with a time of 16.40. Gibbs stayed in the top 5 all day before pitting just past the halfway point. He steadily worked his way back to the front, taking the lead on lap 70. Gibbs then held off Mitch Fowler the rest of the way for the win. Billy Harvey took third, with Red Farmer fourth and '77 winner Russell Nelson fifth. 7,500 fans witnessed the event. Another 1,500 had to be turned away.
The 1985 NASCAR All-American Challenge Series Rattlesnake 100 was one of the most exciting. Mike Alexander passed Russell Nelson with two laps to go to take the win. Alexander, who fell a lap behind on lap 59, made up the lap and moved into second, behind Nelson, on lap 80. As Nelson moved high to pass lapped cars that were racing side-by-side, Alexander dove below Nelson and followed the lapped car that was in the middle. Alexander emerged from turn two with the lead, and held off Nelson to take a one car length win. 33 cars started the race witnessed by 7,500 fans that crammed into the speedway. Dave Mader III took third. Ronnie Sanders and Stanley Smith finished 4th and 5th. Photos, from left to right: Stricklin, ‘85 Rattlesnake 125 (Bob Appleget photo). Stanley Smith, ’85 Rattlesnake 125 (Bob Appleget photo). Davey Allison, ’85 Rattlesnake 125 (Bob Appleget photo). 1985 rattlesnake winner Mike Alexander (Bob Appleget photo).
Daniel Keene nosed out Darrell Brown to win the 1986 NASCAR All-American Challenge Series Rattlesnake 125. Steve Grissom set a new track record of 15.96 and appeared to have the car to beat. However, Grissom was caught up in an accident, allowing Keene and Brown to duel for the win. The lead changed hands several times over the last 20 laps with Keene eventually coming out on top. Stanley Smith was third, Ronnie Sanders fourth, and Marty Ward fifth. The race was taped by ESPN and shown at a later date.
Rain cancelled the 1987 Rattlesnake 150. The event was to have served as a shakedown event for All Pro type cars, but due to scheduling conflicts, the event was not rescheduled. The track was closed the first part of l988, so there was no Rattler. In 1989, Bobby Gill won the Rattler 150.
In 1990, veteran Jerry Goodwin won the Rattler 150, taking home $4,050 for his efforts. Duwayne Middlebrooks was second and Wayne Hoodless third.
Information was scarce from 1991-1994. We apologize, but we tried several avenues but could not find much on these years. We know that the Rattler was actually Twin 50's for the local Sportsman and Super Stock Classes. The 1991 Rattler was cancelled due to rain and the 1993 Rattler was cancelled due to snow.
Nix Bruce won the Sportsman portion of the 1994 Rattler.
The 1995 Rattlesnake 125 saw the return of the Late Models, running under the sanctioning of the Southern All Star Series. Wayne Niedecken, Jr. pitted late in the race, then stormed back through the field to take the win. Niedecken led Darrell Brown to the stripe. Jamie Prell took 3rd, Mike Harmon 4th, and Mark Knox 5th. Photos from left to right: Darrell Brown and russell Beardon battle during the ’95 ratllesnake 125. (Keri Como photo). Eventual winner Junior Niedecken gets inside of larry Speakman in ’95 Rattlesnake action. (Keri Como photo)
Johnny Brazier held off defending series champion Larry Speakman to win the 1996 Southern All Stars Rattlesnake 125. Speakman was on fresher tires than Brazier, a big advantage on the well-worn asphalt, and steadily closed the gap. However, the laps ran out before Speakman could run Brazier down. Tim Bryant ran a stong third. Tim Fryar and Wayne Newton rounded out the top 5. Photos, L to R: Larry Speakman spins during the middle stages of the ’96 Rattlesnake `125. Speakman came back to finish second. (Brian McLeod photo). Keith Thorpe goes around Johnny Brazier during the ’96 Rattlesnake. Brazier came back to win, while Thorpe faded to sixth. (Brian McLeod photo).
There was no Rattler in 1997. New asphalt greeted the drivers as they pulled into the pits for the 1998 Rattler 100. The speeds were fast, with 20 year old Jeremy Pate setting a new track record of 15.74 in qualifying. However, the new asphalt played a major role in the race when it became slippery after the sun went down. Dan Beddingfield stayed out of trouble all day and took the win. Veteran Stanley Smith took second although missing a front fender. Jeff Morgan took third, Wayne Newton fourth, and Buddy Welch fifth.
In the 1999 Rattler 125, Terry Mason Jr. led the first 72 laps before ignition problems sidelined him for the night. Ronnie Sanders then took control and went on to become the first repeat winner of the event. Jeff Morgan finished a strong second. Chris Davidson was third, Tracy Goodson fourth, and Dale Little fifth.
In the 2000 Rattler 125, Donald Long took the win, one week after flipping six times at Birmingham. DuWayne Middlebrooks set fast time in qualifying and set a fast early pace. Middlebrooks appeared headed to a flag to flag victory, but his Monte Carlo slowed on lap 114 with engine problems. John Wilkerson III took the lead with Long hot on his bumper. Long made two attempts to the inside before making an outside move on lap 118 to take the win. Wilkerson held onto second. Richie Beasley was third, with Bubba Naumann fourth, and Ronnie Sanders fifth. Photos, L-R: Darrell Brown and Gary Helton 2000 Rattler (Mark Chisum photo). Donald Long (yellow and blue car) dodged this early spin by Tim Baker and went on to win the 2000 Rattler. ( Mark Chisum photo).
In the Silver Anniversary edition of the Rattler, Ronnie Sanders survived an overheating engine late in the 150-lap race to take home his third Rattler trophy. Dan Beddingfield set fast time in qualifying, but DuWayne Middlebrooks was on the pole due to inversion. Before the green flagdropped, however, Middlebrooks pulled into the pits with ignition problems. John Wilkinson III took the lead on lap 9 and looked set to dominate the event before getting caught up in an accident on lap 45. Wayne Willard took the lead and led until pitting on lap 81, handing the lead to Middlebrooks, who had his early problems fixed and had charged through the field. Sanders built a seemingly comfortable lead but as the laps ran down, a stream of steam was spewing from Sanders overflow vent. As Sanders slowed his pace, Willard picked his up and closed to Sanders' bumper. But Sanders used slower traffic to hold off Willard for the win. Middlebrooks was third, folllowed by Ken McFarland and William Wambles.
Charlie Bradberry made his first start in the early season event in the 26th edition of the race, and made the most of the opportunity, taking home the winners’ trophy. Dale Little led the first 39 laps before J.R. Norris took the point. Bradberry almost lost a lap in the pits around the mid-point of the race, but a timely caution not only saved his lap, but also put him back in second as most of the leaders pitted for fresh tires. Norris continued to lead until his engine let go on lap 98, giving the lead to Bradberry. The race almost slipped away from Bradberry as his Monte Carlo slipped up the track with five laps to go, allowing both Duwayne Middlebrooks and Regan Baker to slide by. However, three laps later, Middlebrooks and Baker got together and spun, giving Bradberry new life. Bradberry then held off a hard charging Middlebrooks for the win.
The 2003 Rattler 150 featured one of the strongest fields in recent history with drivers such as David Hole (0), Jason Hogan(92), Wayne Willard, (01), and Wayne Anderson (outside)
|The 27th Annual Rattler featured one of the strongest fields in recent years and produced one of the most exciting and interesting finishes in the history of the race. Wayne Willard set fast time in qualifying but Regan Baker grabbed the lead for the first ten laps. Willard charged into the lead before David Hole ttok over during the middle portions of the race. Hole was ale to put several good cars down a lap, including Wayne Anderson, William Wambles, and Dale Little. Jason Hogan took a turn out front until Willard regained the point on lap 109. A lap 134 caution period brought all of the leaders in for fresh tires with the exception of defending race champion Charlie Bradberry. Bradberry led Willard, Hogan, and David Hole to the checkered flag for an apparent victory. However, as his crew gathered around his car in Victory Lane to celebrate, Bradberry was seen handing an object from inside his car to his crew chief. When his crew chief refused to produce the item, Bradberry was disqualified and Willard named the winner.||
Wayne Willard was awarded the win in Victory Lane in a bizarre twist after the conclusion of the 27th Annual Rattler 150
Wayne Willard dominated the 28th running of the Rattler 150, successfully defending his 2003 win. Willard led the way in qualifying and led the field of 26 Late Models to the green flag. Willard took the lead at the start and never looked back. The best racing was behind Willard with Jason Hogan and Charlie Bradberry, David Hole, and J.R. Norris fighting for the runner-up spot. After a competition yellow on lap 90, Willard again pulled away for a comfortable lead. Bradberry and Hogan had a good battle for second with Hogan finally taking the spot after several side by side duels. Hogan didn’t have anything for Willard, though, and finished second for the second straight year.
| After finishing second the past two years, Jason Hogan finally captured a trophy he really wanted, The Rattler 200. The annual event moved into a new era with the winner’s purse increased from $5000 to $10,000. The increase brought one of the strongest fields ever for the long running event. Scot Smith surprised just about everybody by turning the fastest lap in qualifying. Smith then jumped out to a big lead over the stellar field. Smith led the first 131 laps of the race before spinning after contact with a lapped car. His upset bid ended against the back stretch wall. Keith Cahela stayed out when most of the leaders pitted for fresh tires to take the lead. With fresh tires, Eddie Mercer quickly moved past Cahela. Shortly, after taking the lead, Mercer and Charlie Bradberry got together while battling for the lead, spinning both. Hogan took over the lead but had to hold off a hard charging Donald Long before securing the win.||
Panama City’s Ryan Crane picked up the first Super Late Model win of his career Sunday afternoon at South Alabama Speedway. His first win was a big one as he held off a late race charge from Ricky Turner to win the 30th Annual Rattler 250.
Augie Grill set fast time in qualifying and led the first 150 laps. Behind him, there was a lot of position swapping. Crane was one driver making an early statement. Crane moved from his eighth starting spot to third, behind Grill and Charlie Bradberry, by lap 40. Casey Smith was another driver making moves. The Austin, Texas driver started fifth, fell back a couple of spots, then made a charge to the front. Smith got as far as third before a competition caution at lap 75. Smith made a couple of more stops, putting him way back in the running order.
Smith began to pick off cars each lap. By the time the race reached the halfway mark, Smith was back in the top ten. Grill led Bradberry, Crane, Turner, and David Hole to the crossed flags. Smith continued his charge after the halfway point, getting past Crane and Grill to take the lead on lap 151. Smith pitted again during a lap 166 caution period, handing the lead to Turner. Turner’s lead lasted 15 laps before Bradberry took over, leading Grant Enfinger, Crane, Smith, and Steven Davis to the 200-lap mark. Bradberry, the 2002 Rattler Champion, was poised to take his second win in the early season event.
Crane had other ideas. Crane moved past Enfinger on lap 206 and began to chase Bradberry down. Several late cautions helped Bradberry keep Crane behind him. Finally, on lap 239, Crane got the run he needed, moving to the inside of Bradberry to take the lead. However, Crane had one more challenge ahead. Turner had saved one set of tires for a late race stop. He had gotten the new Hoosiers during a lap 219 caution period and was steadily making his way to the front. With five laps to go, Turner was up to third behind Crane and Bradberry. He moved past Bradberry with three to go. He closed to Crane’s bumper as Jim Thomas waved the checkered flags. Bradberry was third, followed by Smith, and Bubba Pollard. Sixth through tenth went to Jason Hogan, Jeff Scofield, Grill, Johnny Brazier, and William Wambles.
In Saturday’s Pro Late Model Rattler 125, Ronnie Sanders set the fast time in qualifying and led the most laps. But in the end, Sanders couldn’t hold off David Hole. Sanders led the 22 car filed to the green flag and led until Mike Williamson took over on lap 23. Sanders regained the lead on lap 66 and led until pitting on lap 90. Hole had pitted on lap 69 and took over the lead when Sanders stopped for new tires.
Sanders quickly came back to the front, passing Hole on lap 105 to take the lead once again. The racing in the last 20 laps was some of the best seen during the weekend with Sanders, Hole, Frank King, Bobby East, Bubba Pollard, and Steven Davis battling for the top spot. On lap 116, Davis and Pollard got together bringing out the final caution of the race. There was a lot of contact on the restart, and Hole got by Sanders to take the lead. King moved into second and East moved into third. Sanders got shuffled back to fourth. King tried valiantly to get inside of Hole to steal away the win, but Hole was strong enough on the outside to hold off King’s challenge. Sanders worked his way back to third with Pollard fourth. East finished fifth in his first start at South Alabama. Sixth through tenth went to Davis, Andy Pugh, and Dothan drivers Korey Ruble, Gregory Tallent II, and Jeff Smith. Smith’s last lap tangle with a lapped car cost him a higher finish.
South Alabama Speedway opened the 2007 racing season with the 31st Annual Rattler Weekend this past weekend. The Rattler has seen many exciting races during its history, but none could compare to what was witnessed Sunday afternoon. Birmingham’s Augie Grill came across the finish line sideways to take a hard fought victory over Hunter Robbins.
36 Super Late Models were on hand for the annual event with 34 making qualifying runs. Shane Sieg toured the 4/10ths mile newly repaved oval in 15.216 seconds to take the Hamner Race Engines Pole Award. Seig led the field to the green flag and led the first lap with Josh Hamner taking the lead on lap two. Seig regained the lead on lap 14, just before the first of 15 cautions flew. Seig pulled out to a slight advantage over Hamner, Casey Smith, Brian Scott, and Matt Merrill during the early part of the race. The running order remained the same up front early on while position swapping was going on in the middle of the pack.
Smith charged to the front just before a competition yellow on lap 78. Everybody pitted for fresh tires, fuel, and adjustments. When racing resumed, Hamner again took charge. Steven Davis began to show some strength, moving into second on lap 81. Scott moved back into second eight laps later with Jeff Fultz moving past Davis on lap 95. At lap 100, Hamner led Scott, Fultz, Davis, and Turner, Maine’s Ben Rowe.
Hamner kept the top spot until lap 182 when Grill took over. Grill moved out to a large lead over Hamner. Seig moved back to the runner up spot on lap 218. Grill’s lead was erased with a lap 220 caution. There was fierce racing up front, but nothing could prepare you for what was about to transpire.
A series of cautions flew in the last ten laps of the 250 lap race as drivers were going all out, trying to take home the Rattler trophy. Robbins had been laying back all race, but used the cautions to improve his track position. On lap 245, Robbins, driving older than his 15 years, shoved his way past Grill to take the lead. Robbins pulled out to a car length lead and appeared headed to the biggest win of his young career.
Grill, however, had one last shot. As the lead pair entered turn three on the final lap, Grill went in hard. He gave Robbins a shot, loosening the youngster up. Coming out of turn four, Grill dove underneath Robbins and pulled ahead as they headed to the checkered flags. Robbins tried to pinch Grill down to slow his momentum and both went into a spin. Grill had position and his Monte Carlo, spun in front of Robbins, crossing the line sideways before crashing into the outside wall. Robbins spun, and hit the water barrels protecting the inside wall.
Grill’s car was towed to Victory Lane where he celebrated the win. Scott was third ahead of Hamner and Seig. Sixth through tenth went to Jason Young, Rowe, Stanley Smith, Johnny Brazier, and Duwayne Middlebrooks.
In the Pro Late Model Rattler 125, a familiar face wasin Victory Lane. Ronnie Sanders has won several races over the past few years at South Alabama. Saturday night he held off the advances of Korey Ruble and Ryan Paul to take the win. Ruble tried everything he could to get past Sanders, using all of the race track, plus some of the grassy apron in the turns. Paul , making his first Late Model start, made a late race charge and almost stole the show. Ruble had to turn part of his attention to Paul, and Sanders was able to hold off his charges. The three brought the large crowd to its feet as they crossed the line nose to tail.
The 32nd Annual Rattler 250 is in the books and Fairhope, Alabama’s Grant Enfinger was the big winner of the weekend. Enfinger took the lead from Wayne Anderson on lap 206 and went on to take the biggest win of his young career. Enfinger took home over 15, 000 in cash and prizes after collecting the win.Enfinger turned a lap of 15.329 to win the VDL Fuel Systems Pole Award.
Enfinger grabbed the lead at the start of the 250-lap event and led the first 40 laps. At that point, Casey Smith took the point. Smith, won all four Viper Series races in 2007, and was the favorite headed into the event. Smith, however, couldn’t get away from Enfinger and the two got together on lap 48 with Smith spinning. Both were sent to the rear, giving the lead to Wayne Anderson.Once out front, Anderson pulled away from Korey Ruble.
One lap before a competition caution, on lap 75, Jason Hogan moved past Ruble for second. After racing resumed, Hogan put pressure on Anderson, but couldn’t find a way around the leader. Anderson slowly built an six car length lead over Hogan before the yellow flew on lap 94 for Josh Hamner’s spin. Smith and Enfinger were making their way back through the field, moving into third and fourth by lap 110. Anderson led Hogan, Smith, Enfinger, and Sieg to the halfway point to collect the McGunegill Engine Performance Half way Leader Award. The running order stayed intact until Enfinger got past Smith on lap 164. Enfinger moved past Hogan seven laps later for second. Smith’s day came to an abrupt end on lap 173 when he got together with a slower car and had heavy contact with the front stretch wall. Enfinger began to look for a way around Anderson.
While Enfinger was trying to get past Anderson, Ruble joined the battle. On lap 206, Enfinger fought his way past Anderson to take the lead. Ruble got past Anderson, a couple of laps later, but Anderson fought back to regain the position. Once out front, Enfinger steadily pulled away from Anderson and Ruble, finishing several car lengths ahead at the finish. Ruble stayed close to Anderson, but his tires, the same ones he started the race on, gave up in the end. Hogan finished fourth with Sieg fifth.In Saturday’s Pro Late Model Rattler 125, Ryan Crane was awarded the win after apparent winner Steven Davis failed post race tech. The race resembled a demolition derby to begin with, with the yellow flag waving nine times before the halfway point. Davis started on the pole and led the event through all of the cautions. Michael Pope was able to stay on Davis’ bumper with the help of the cautions, but was not able to get around the leader. Davis led Pope, Joey Senter, David Hodges, and Shane Sawyer to the crossed flags.Hodges had gotten by Senter on several occasions, only to have the yellow wave, giving the position back to Senter. Hodges finally, gained the position on lap 91, but Davis enjoyed a three car length lead that he wouldn’t give up. Crane, meanwhile, was quietly making his way through the pack, moving into third after a restart with ten laps to go. On lap 123, Crane made what would turn out to be the winning pass, moving under Hodges on the front stretch to take over second spot. Davis crossed the stripe well ahead of Crane to take the apparent win. Crane was second, followed by Senter, Hodges, and Gary Sanford Jr.
However, when Davis’ Monte Carlo was rolled across the scales in post race inspection, it was too heavy on left side weight. Davis was disqualified, giving the win to Crane and moving everybody up a position, Ronnie Sanders moved into the top five.
Augie Grill joined an elite club Sunday
afternoon. Grill won the 33rdAnnual Rattler 250 at South Alabama
Speedway and became only the third driver to have multiple wins in the event.
The only other members of this club are Ronnie Sanders with three wins and Wayne
Willard with two. Grill won the race two years ago, sliding across the finish
line sideways in front of Hunter Robbins as the two crashed taking the checkered
flag. Although this year’s finish wasn’t quite as exciting, it did have it have
Grill set a new track record in Saturday’s
Victory Circle Communications/ARP qualifying, turning a lap of 15.098 to break
Dan Beddingfield’s record of 15.123 set on April 18, 1999. Alabama Congressman
Bobby Bright dropped the green flag, literally, on the 29 car field. Grill
grabbed the early lead over Jeff Fultz and Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Ryan
caution flew on lap three so SAS Flagman Jim Thomas could retrieve his green
flag, which had actually slipped off its stick as Congressman Bright started the
race, from the front of Brandon Loverock’s car.When
racing resumed, Grill again grabbed the lead with Fultz in hot pursuit. On lap
14, Fultz moved inside of Grill to take the lead. Lawler followed with Grant
Enfinger and Jeremy Colangelo behind him.
running order stayed in line until Colangelo fell off the pace on lap 38 and
retired one lap later. On lap 50, Grill moved back ahead of Fultz to regain the
lead. Sieg also got past Enfinger to take over the fourth spot. Grill led Fultz,
Lawler, Sieg, and Enfinger to a lap 75 competition yellow.The
filed settled in and ran off some laps, staying close but not pushing each other
hard to improve their position. Enfinger, the 2008 Rattler winner, began to
slide back through the field on lap 99.
Viper Series Champion Casey Smith was the first to get by, followed by Korey
Ruble, Tim Russell, and Brian Ickler, Lawler’s team mate. Lawler moved into
second on lap 101, while Ickler continued to move forward, getting past Russell
on lap 102 and Ruble on seven laps later to move into sixth spot.Smith’s
day came to an end on lap 114 with rear end problems, moving Ickler into the top
halfway point, the running order was Grill, Lawler, Fultz, Sieg, and Ickler.
Fultz moved back into second on lap 132. Bubba Pollard made3 his first
appearance in the top five on lap 154, moving past Ickler. When the caution flew
on lap 152, Fultz, Lawler, Sieg, and Pollard pitted for fresh tires. Grill
stayed on the track, with Robbins moving up to second, Johnny Brazier to third,
and Danny Bagwell to fourth. Fultz
was the first to put his new tires to use, moving into third on lap 169.
moved past Robbins to take over second on lap 182. Lawler followed one lap
later. When Trey Mitchell spun on lap 183, Robbins, Sieg, and Ickler hit pit
road. The new top five was Grill, Fultz, Lawler, Scott Hantz, and Pollard. When
the yellow flew again on lap 196, Grill pitted, giving the lead to Fultz. With
50 to go, Fultz led Lawler, Hantz, Pollard, and John Bolen.On
the restart, Lawler got past Fultz to take the point. While Lawler was taking
the lead, Brazier was taking a ride. Brazier hit the front stretch wall and went
off turn one and landed on a dirt bank at the edge of the speedway’s grounds.
the caution period, Fultz went to the pits with a low battery, taking him out of
contention for the win.Grill
quickly moved though the field, moving into fifth by lap 204. He moved past
Ruble on lap 205. Bolen was next, and Grill accomplished that on lap 210. With
25 laps to go, Lawler led Pollard, Grill, Bolen, and Ruble. On lap 228, Grill
worked his way past Pollard for second. On
lap 237, Grill moved past Lawler to take the lead for the final time.
But the race wasn’t over. Grill stretched
his lead over the next few laps, and enjoyed almost a one second lead as he took
the white flag. As the leaders headed into turn three, two cars at the back of
the pack spun in turn four. There were two openings. One in the middle of the
track, and one on the concrete pit entrance. Grill slowed and picked his way
through the middle path. Lawler dove low on the concrete and nailed the gas.
As Grill tried to get back up to speed,
Lawler headed out of the turn at full steam. However, Lawler lost grip and spun.
Pollard and Sieg were able to get past Lawler before he could get righted and
cross the line. Ickler rounded out the top five. Grill took home over $16,000 in
cash and prizes for his win.
Saturday night’s Pro Late Model Rattler 125, Grill also crossed the stripe
first, however, his car didn’t make it past tech, giving the win to Pollard.
Brandon Johnson led the way in qualifying, but Grill grabbed the lead from the
outside pole heading into turn one. Grill led until Johnson took over the top
spot on lap 12. Grill began to slide back through the field with Bryce Walker,
Steven Davis, D.J. VanderLey, and Brandon Odom all getting past him in the next
few laps. Everybody
then settled in and put some laps on the board, except for Grill, who continued
to back peddle.
fell as far back as 16th before
a competition caution flew on lap 50. Johnson led Walker, Davis, VanderLey, and
Odom to the planned yellow. Odom stayed on the track and inherited the lead with
Danny Bagwell, Dennis Reno Jr., Pollard, and Billy Fulson behind him. On
the restart, Reno got into the back of Bagwell on the front stretch, ending
restart, the new top five was Odom, Fulson, Johnson, Walker, and Davis. Johnson
made quick work of Fulson and moved back into the lead on lap 53. Grill was
finding his groove and moved back into the top ten and was moving steadily to
the front. At the halfway point, Johnson led Odom, Walker, Grill, and VanderLey.
On lap 71, Grill moved past VanderLey. On lap 77, he got past Walker for second.
Five laps later, he took the lead away from Johnson.On
lap 96, Johnson and Walker got together with Johnson spinning. Both were sent to
the rear of the field and out of contention. Grill led Davis, Pollard, Fulson,
and John Wes Townley.
On lap 99, Pollard made what would prove to
be the winning pass, moving past Davis to take over second place. Grill enjoyed
a ten car length lead. Pollard couldn’t cut into that lead as the laps wound
down. Grill led Pollard to the stripe to take the apparent win. Davis, Fulson,
and Townley followed. In post race inspection, Grill’s car was found to have a
cambered rear end, a violation of Pro Late Model rules.
The winner’s trophy was taken back, and
given to Pollard. Bagwell moved into the top five.
1974 Phil Wendt, Dennie Rewis (Twin 50’s)
1975 Pete Hamilton
1976 Buck Simmons
1977 Russell Nelson
1978 Dave Mader III
1979 Billy McGinnis
1980 Kasper Miles
1981 Bob Bean
1982 Ronnie Sanders
1983 No Race
1984 Mickey Gibbs
1985 Mike Alexander
1986 Daniel Keene
1987 Rained Out
1988 No Race
1989 Bobby Gill
1990 Jerry Goodwin
1991 Rained Out
1992 No Info
1993 Snowed Out
1994 Nix Bruce
1995 Wayne Neidecken Jr.
1996 Johnny Brazier
1997 No Race
1998 Dan Beddingfield
1999 Ronnie Sanders
2000 Donald Long
2001 Ronnie Sanders
2002 Charlie Bradberry
2003 Wayne Willard
2004 Wayne Willard
2005 Jason Hogan
2006 Ryan Cane
2007 Augie Grill
2008 Grant Enfinger
2009 Augie Grill