OPP, Alabama (May 24, 2020) – Ty Majeski was on fire today at South Alabama Speedway, launching past the competition to win the 44th Annual Hardee’s Rattler 250 by 1.858 seconds over second place, Giovanni Bromante. Bromante worked his way around polesitter Bubba Pollard in the late laps for second. With the win, Majeski now has three victories in this historic event, a mark that equals the legendary Ronnie Sanders.
“It’s pretty special,” Majeski said in victory lane. “This is one of the crown jewels… some of the best super late model racers in the country. That’s why we come here. It’s a great event and great people. We love coming and supporting the Southern Super Series, John (Dykes) and everyone here at South Alabama Speedway.”
Going into the Southern Super Series season opener at South Alabama Speedway, many had pegged the battle to be between Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse. Pollard won the pole for the race and Nasse the pole for the Baby Rattler 125 on Saturday. Instead of witnessing another round in the war between the two Late Model heavyweights, the true battle was between the North and the South.
Wisconsin’s Ty Majeski, and New York’s Giovanni Bromante went toe to toe with both Georgia’s Pollard and Florida’s Nasse, coming out on top in a race that was extremely hot in May compared to the more mild temperatures normally seen when this event is traditionally contested in March.
The heat was a driving factor in Majeski’s win, as he told South Alabama Speedway’s Ryan McCollough in victory lane.
“I was just trying to keep the right rear on it. I think we were all fighting a little bit free in (the corner). I was just fighting rear lateral grip because of the lack of grip on this hot day.”
“I just tried pacing myself. That was obviously a big factor. It’s hot out there and it’s not easy.”
For Bromante, the heat wasn’t a problem at all, with announcer Bill Roth noting that last year’s race winner climbed out of his car without a drop of sweat on him. Something that Bromante attributes to the conditioning he underwent in the two months prior to the race while in lockdown as a part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
“I’ve been grinding out in the gym,” Bromante told PixelatedSPEED earlier in the week. “Trying my hardest to keep my head focused because two or three months out of the car is not easy. I needed to keep my mind occupied so I stayed in the gym.”
The race started with Bubba Pollard solidly in command, with outside polesitter Jeremy Pate close behind in second. Following a restart on lap 59, Majeski began to work on Pollard, with a hard look around the outside Georgia driver on lap 97… a move that worked for Pollard the night before when he used the highside to pass Stephen Nasse for the win in the Baby Rattler 125.
However, that move wasn’t enough and Majeski fell in line biding his time.
A caution on lap 103 for a stalled Corey Heim set up a round of pit stops for the leaders. This left Hudson Halder as the leader after the Rattler rookie stayed out. On the ensuing restart, Halder wasn’t able to fend off Bubba Pollard, but did hold up Majeski, which allowed Connor Okrzesik to challenge both on the outside. Holder pushed up coming off of turn two, squeezing Okrzesik into the wall on the backstretch, resulting in another yellow.
From there, Majeski was to take the lead from Pollard and set sail.
“Some days he hits it, and some days we hit it,” said Majeski after the race. “I feel like we both push each other and it’s a great battle week in and week out with Bubba all summer long. We were able to come out on top of this one.”
From that point on Majeski was in full command of the race, opening up a large margin on two separate occasions over second place.
Pollard maintained the runner up spot until about 35 laps from the finish, when Bromante worked his way around and set his sights on chasing down Majeski.
After the race, Pollard was pleased with his effort, and applauded Majeski on his.
“Just I’m happy with third for as far off as we’ve been,” said Pollard. “We’ve made our program a lot better and it really showed today. It’s a totally new package and we’ll keep working on it, that’s all we can do. The 91 is good, I mean they are fast. When you race against guys like him you can’t be off any and it didn’t take but a little bit to be off today and they got the best of us but we’ll come back and we’ll try again.”
Winner Ty Majeski will now shift his focus to racing for Niece Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday.
“This was a good tune up,” he said. “I’m going to have to go into recovery mode, make sure I’m hydrated, make sure I’m ready to go.”
Finishing Results from the 44th Annual Hardee’s Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway:
|1.||91 – Ty Majeski|
|2.||5 – Giovanni Bromante|
|3.||26 – Bubba Pollard|
|4.||51 – Stephen Nasse|
|5.||51 – Sammy Smith|
|6.||21 – Jeremy Pate|
|7.||43 – Daniel Dye|
|8.||9 – Hudson Halder|
|9.||15 – Jeff Fultz|
|10.||7 – Jackson Boone|
|11.||71 – Dawson Fletcher|
|12.||18 – Hunter Robbins|
|13.||17 – Josh Brock|
|14.||35 – Jake Garcia|
|15.||71 – Nick Joanides|
|16.||14 – Connor Okrzesik|
|17.||66 – Logan Bearden|
|18.||10 – Steve Dorer|
|19.||4 – Kyle McCullem|
|20.||79 – Kyle Bryant|
|21.||50 – Jett Noland|
|22.||20 – Anthony Sergi|
|23.||78 – Corey Heim|
|24.||4 – Kyle Plott|
|25.||29 – Mason Keller|
– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining
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