Trackside Now: Rattler 250 Weekend
Friday, 3/6/09  - Practice Day For Super & Pro Late Models
South Alabama Speedway - Opp, Alabama
Friday - 5:40pm CT -  We talked to several drivers and the one thing that was on every drivers mind was how fast Augie Grill was.  Several teams are working on their cars tonight, while others said they would hit the ground running in the morning.  Brian Ickler said he could run the bottom, Korey Ruble said he wished he could have the car the way it was a few weeks back. 

On the Pro Late Mode side, Brandon Odom was the fastest car.  He will be doing double duty and running his first ever Super Late Model race this weekend.  We also found out that Jimmy Garmon lost a motor in the Pro Late Model class and is done for the weekend.

That wraps up our coverage for today.  We'll be back with a full day of action tomorrow.

Friday - 4:20pm CT -  Here are the rest of the speeds from today.  We are going to hit the pits to check in on the drivers.

Pro Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 4

Super Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 3

Super Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 4

Super Late Model Best Laps

Pro Late Model Best Laps

Friday - 4:20pm CT -  Our California visitor Brandon Loverock had some motor issues today.  He told us that someone is boarding a plane with parts to make sure they race this weekend.  Considering how far they came to race, we'll be checking out their status several times tomorrow.

Friday - 4:10pm CT -  That concludes Late Model practice for today.  We'll have more from the pits in a few minutes. Augie Grill had the fastest time during the final Super Late Model practice.  That is unofficial as of right now.  We will have the full results in a bit. 

Friday - 3:00pm CT - One driver who is not here is Michael Pope.  The 2007 Viper Pro Late Model Champion was going to make his first attempt at the Rattler 250. The pits have been buzzing with questions about the whereabouts of the 51 car.  So where is the BDI Racing team?  What better way to find out then to ask team owner Bob Dillner who is in Atlanta working for SPEED-TV. 

"We want to be there, but we had another commitment that came up.  It's killing us not to be there, but Michael (Pope), the team and I are concentrating on what we need to do for our marketing partners. 

"Trust me, Kyle (Busch) was ragging on me for not having the team there while I was talking with him in the Cup garage today.  I want to be there, instead I will be watching all weekend long on Speed51.com from the Atlanta Motor Speedway and BDI Racing with Michael Pope as our driver will definitely be at a bunch of events throughout the spring."

Friday - 2:50pm CT - Here are some more of the practice speeds from today.  The Super Late Models are back on the track now.  Practice will continue until 4pm Central Time.  The Pro Late Models and the Super Late Models will each have one more round today.

Pro Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 2

Pro Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 3

Super Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 2

Friday - 2:25pm CT - The backside pits here at South Alabama have a heavy NASCAR flavor to them.  First you have the Super Late Model team of Kyle Busch with drivers Brian Ickler and Ryan Lawler.  Next to him you have Cale Gale who has made several starts in the Nationwide Series.  One more stall down you have John Wes Townley who has made three starts this season in the Nationwide Series.  Last, but not least you have Mark Martin Development driver Jeremy Colangelo.  All drivers are looking to be serious contenders this weekend.

Friday - 2:15pm CT - We have rotated back to Pro Late Model practice, the track was pretty busy during the last Super Late Model session.  We will have the speeds up shortly. 

The man who won the last two Snowball Derbies's is here with a brand new car.  Augie Grill won the Rattler back in 2007 in a wild finish with Hunter Robbins.  Grill has made a few runs in his car and is always tough here at South Alabama.  Robbins was really good here a few weeks back in a test session.  Today, he told us they are a little off, but will be ready for Sunday.  He also told us that the finish with Grill sticks out in  his mind often.

Friday - 1:15pm CT - Thanks to CRA Officials we are able to give you the full list of times from both the Super Late Model practice and the Pro Late Model Practice.

Pro Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 1

Super Late Model Practice Speeds, Friday: Practice 1

We also have an official car count according to CRA.  In the pits so far we have 32 Super Late Models and 27 Pro Late Modles.  That number is expected to grow through the day.

Friday - 1:05pm CT - The first Super Late Model practice is in the books.  We'll have the times in a few minutes.  Here are some of the notes from the pits:

Josh Hamner will be racing in the Justin Drawdy number 12 here this weekend.  Drawdy won back in November at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in the same Super Late Model. 

We caught up with Brandon Loverock who wins the long haul award.  He towed in from Highland, California.  He told us that it took close to 30 hours to get here.  The team also spent a day and went and visited the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. 

Looking for the double duty guys we found several contenders.  As of right now we know that Augie Grill, Tyler Millwood, Brandon Odom, Danny Bagwell and Bubba Pollard will run both races.  We are going to keep an eye on this because it will be a long weekend for these drivers.

We also found out that last year's runner up Wayne Anderson will not be racing this weekend.  Florida still has a strong showing from Tim Russell and Jeremy Colangelo.


Friday - 12:20pm CT - The Super Late Models are on the track with 2007 Rattler winner Augie Grill, 2008 Blizzard Series champion Josh Hamner, 2008 CRA Champion Scott Hantz, and 2008 Viper Series Champion Casey Smith making laps. Not a bad group of cars at all. 

We can tell you that Chris Serio was the fastest Pro Late Model car with Danny Bagwell, Brandon Johnson, Brandon Odom, and Sam Smith rounding out the top five.

Friday - 12:00pm CT - We have just put the finishing touches on the first hour of practice here at South Alabama Speedway.  We will effort a speed chart if one becomes available. The Super Late Models are up next.

Friday - 11:57am CT - This weekend is a CRA (Champion Racing Association) non-points Special event.  The new CRA South Series will start their 2009 schedule on April 4th at Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA). The new Super Late Model tour has been a missing element to the lower parts of Alabama and Georgia over the past few seasons.  CRA will make a stop here in August for a points event.

Friday - 11:50am CT - We were told that Kyle Busch himself was here getting dirty yesterday.  He was working on his Super Late Model prior to heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch owns the cars that Ryan Lawler and Brian Ickler will drive here this weekend at the Rattler.  We were also told that Busch jumped in a car to shake it down at one point.  Busch will not be here the rest of the weekend as he will be doing double duty in Atlanta.

Friday - 11:45am CT - The Pro Late Models have been on the track for close to an hour this morning.  We have seen several drivers like DJ Vanderley, Tyler Millwoood, Brandon Odom, and John Wes Townley.  The Super Late Models will have the track next at noon. 

Friday - 11:35am CT - Good Morning from South Alabama Speedway.  It's a busy weekend here in Opp, Alabama as the Super Late Models and the Pro Late Models are here for big events here this weekend.  On Saturday the Pro Late Model's will go 125 laps in the Pro Rattler, while on Sunday it will be 250 laps for the Super Late Models in the 31st Annual Rattler 250.  Today is a practice day and a rough count shows that we have over 50 cars total between the supers and the pro's.  Cars are still coming in so we hope to have a better later in the day.

Here is the rundown for today's schedule.

8:00---------  Pits Open (ALL Classes) Tech Opens ( SLM and PLM ONLY) 
10:00------- Drivers Meeting
11:00-------  Practice Begins (Rotating) 
4:00---------  Practice Ends 
4:30---------  All Enclosed  Haulers removed from pit area (infield pit area) 
5:00---------  Grandstands Open - Tech closes for SLM and PLM 
6:00---------  Local Practice 
7:00---------  Driver’s Meeting (Local) 
8:00---------  Local Features: 


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DISCUSS THE RATTLER WEEKEND EVENTS IN THE OFFICIAL SPEED51.COM FORUM AT MOTORSPORTS LOUNGE NOW! (CLICK HERE)
Josh Hamner will drive Justin Drawdy's car. (51 Photo)
Grant Enfinger is looking to defend his 2008 Rattler title. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Tyler Millwood will run both races this weekend. (51 Photo)
Brandon Loverock said it took 30 hours to get here. (51 Photo)
The new backstretch pit wall. (51 Photo)
Cars are packed in all over here at South Alabama Speedway. (51 Photo)
Fredrick Moore with a sharp look to his Super Late Model. (Jamie Williams Photo)
67-Jeff Fultz and 51-Ryan Lawler. (Jamie Williams Photo)
William Wambles spins in one.  (Jamie Williams Photo)