OPP, Alabama (May 21, 2020) — After two months of delay, the 2020 Southern Super Series is set to finally kick off at it’s now traditional starting point as the 44th Annual Hardee’s Rattler 250 is set to go green on May 24, 2020 at South Alabama Speedway in Opp, Alabama. For the second year in a row, PixelatedSPEED will be there to provide insights, observations and stories from the track.
This race was initially scheduled to roll back in March, however, like the rest of the country, those plans were put on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which shutdown all sporting events across the country.
On Thursday, May 21, 2020, Alabama State Governor Kay Ivey loosened many of the restrictions established in the state’s current stay at home orders. The lifted restrictions free up athletic activities, theaters, childcare facilities and summer camps, allowing all to reopen on Friday, May 22, 2020.
Ivey said the move comes even as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to tick upwards.
“Our numbers are not as good as we would hope,” Ivey said. “But we cannot sustain a delayed way of life as we search for a vaccine. It’s not realistic to believe we’re going to keep everyone totally isolated from each other.”
South Alabama Speedway released a statement regarding their standing with the State of Alabama:
“WE ARE RACING!!!
Per Gov. Kay Ivey’s announcement allowing for the opening of athletic events and entertainment venues, we are thrilled to announce the Rattler Weekend will move forward as scheduled this Friday-Sunday.
Fans and teams will undergo temperature checks prior to entering the facility, and social distancing guidelines are in effect as well.”
The speedway previously announced a partnership with Ivy Creek Family Care of Troy, Alabama and Ivy Creek Urgent Care of Enterprise, Alabama, having staff members on site to aid in screenings as well as operate a general first aid booth for fans in need of care.
The speedway also has highly encouraged fans, competitors and others participating that may feel sick to stay at home and enjoy the weekend’s events on the Speed 51 live stream via Pay-Per-View
In its 44th year, the Rattler 250 has become one of the premier Late Model events in the country, seeing a myriad of talented drivers all take the opportunity to give a kiss to a live rattlesnake after winning the race. In recent years, the Rattler 250 has become the traditional launch event of the Southern Super Series, which is beginning its eighth season, and celebrating the seventh with the Rattler as the opener.
Last year, Giovanni Bromante was the lucky driver to kiss the snake, besting a hard charging Harrision Burton to win the prestigious event. Bromante returns this year to attempt to capture a repeat victory.
For the second year in a row, PixelatedSPEED will cover all the action from South Alabama Speedway.
Correspondent Ben Kilcrease will be onsite throughout the weekend capturing the racing action through his many lenses, and tracking down any developing stories. This marks Kilcrease’s second foray with PixelatedSPEED, having provided his services during the 52nd Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida back in December.
Also on hand for this year’s Rattler will be PixelatedSPEED’s partner in speed, Eddie Richie, from Turn 1 Photos. Expect to see galleries featuring his view of the racing throughout the weekend.
Editor-in-Chief Daniel Vining will cover the racing weekend from the PixelatedSPEED headquarters at the Gravel Media Network Studio in Pensacola, Florida.
The weekend officially began with an Open Local Division practice day on Wednesday, and an unofficial Late Model practice day on Thursday.
The eyes of the racing world start to really descend on the Opp, Alabama mecca of motorsport on Friday, May 22nd with a full day of Late Model practice with racing starting at 7:00 PM CST featuring five local divisions.
On Saturday, the Pro Late Models take center stage with the 15th Annual Grasshopper Pro Late Rattler 125, also known as the Baby Rattler. Also on tap for Saturday is Super Late Model Pole Qualifying, the Rattler 250 Last Chance Race, and three more local division features.
Sunday, May 24th, all eyes focus on the Southern Super Series 2020 season opening 44th Annual Hardee’s Rattler 250 for the Super Late Models. The race will be presented live on Speed51.com at no charge to subscribers.
Follow along with PixelatedSPEED throughout the weekend for continuing updates.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to reflect a correction… the 44th Rattler, not 45th.
– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining
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