One of Pavement Super Late Model racing’s most historic events took place on Sunday afternoon at the South Alabama Speedway. When all was said and done at the Kinston, AL track, the 45th annual Rattler 250 was won by Wisconsin driver Ty Majeski. It was his fourth win and second consecutive in this prestigious event that was shown live by Speed51.com.
Stephen Nasse earned the pole for the main event by setting fast time in qualifying by turning a lap in 15.148 seconds around the 4/10 mile paved oval to top Hunter Robbins, Ty Majeski, Jett Noland, Derek Griffith, Sammy Smith, Jake Garcia, Michael Hinde, John DeAngelis, and Carson Hocevar.
The start of the 250-lap main event saw the field run in two-by-two formation for the first two laps before Nasse and Majeski broke free to assume the the top-2 spots with Robbins, Smith and Noland trailing in the early going. Further back, the side-by-side racing continued at the back end of the top-10.
Nasse and Majeski slipped away from the rest of the pack as the laps clicked by with Majeski passing by Nasse for the race lead on lap 16. At the same time, Smith moved up to third while 2021 World Series of Asphalt champion Derek Griffith entering the top-5.
The lead duo narrowly avoided disaster on lap 25 when the cars of Kyle Bryant and Jake Finch tangled just in front of them.
Jeremy Pate suffered extensive front end damage on the lap 34 restart as did Willie Allen when cars near the rear of the field failed to come up to speed setting off a chain reaction mishap.
The race then settled into a green flag rhythm with Majeski leading Noland, Nasse, Smith, and Griffith as the first fifth of the race clicked away until a lap 55 caution flag waved when Hudson Halder spun off track. The red flag would eventually be displayed as track officials worked to get the Halder car off an embankment.
Significantly, the second running car of Nasse pulled into the pit area under that yellow/red flag period with mechanical issues. When green flag racing action resumed, Majeski continued to lead as he pulled away from a fight between Noland and Smith for second as the race approached the lap 80 mark.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Carson Hocevar and Grant Enfinger began making moves at the back half of the top-10 as they moved into sixth and seventh respectively by the lap 90 mark. All the while, Nasse began climbing back through the field up to 13th by that same lap after repairs were made to his car.
Majeski was still posted as the leader when Smith moved into second just before a yellow flag waved on lap 93 for the slowing car of Steve Dorer. The field then came to the pits for controlled pit stops under that caution.
A battle that saw Griffith, Enfinger, and Nasse freight train by Robbins in the back half of the top-10 provided the best racing on the worn asphalt surface on lap 115 as Majeski checked out up front.
At the halfway mark it was Majeski leading Smith, Noland, Nasse, Griffith, Robbins, Hocevar, Enfinger, Colin Garrett and Bubba Pollard. Nasse’s march to the front continued as he passed Noland for third just after the halfway point.
Smith, Griffith and Nasse engaged in a tight battle for positions 2-4 with 100 laps remaining while Majeski again pulled away from his pursuers. But Noland would move in to shake things up as he made his way to third as the race entered its latter stages.
Majeski continued to extend his advantage as drivers logged laps awaiting the final pit stop of the day. With 50 circuits remaining, the No. 91 machine led Smith, Noland, Nasse, Garrett, Robbins, Hocevar, Daniel Dye, Kyle Plott and Pollard.
A competition caution on lap 220 set the stage for a final dash to the finish. Once again, drivers made their way to pit road for fresh tires and run to the checkered flag.
Over the closing laps, Majeski began to pull away as Nasse and Smith fought over the runner-up positions. However, a caution for the spun car of Augie Grill brought out a yellow with 15 to go. A big crash on the restart involving Robbins and Garrett brought out another caution, and ultimately a red flag, with 10 to go.
Nasse got around Smith for second just after the restart. Shortly after, the third-running car of Smith slowed to a stop in turn two to bring out another caution.
Rattler 250 rules require that the final five laps of the race be run under green flag conditions. Once the action continued, Majeski did as he had done all day and maintained control as he cruised to the finish line to earn the victory.
Rattler 250 Finish: 1. Ty Majeski, 2. Stephen Nasse, 3. Daniel Dye, 4. Derek Griffith, 5. Kyle Plott, 6. Kyle McCallum, 7. Jake Garcia, 8. Bubba Pollard, 9. Carson Hocevar, 10. Jett Noland, 11. Grant Enfinger, 12. Nick Neri, 13. Dusty Williams, 14. Angie Grill, 15. Michael Hinde, 16. Sammy Smith, 17. Hunter Robbins, 18. Colin Garrett, 19. Kyle Bryant, 20. Tyler Roahrig, 21. Austin Nason, 22. Johnny Brazier, 23. Connor Okrzesik, 24. Steve Dorer, 25. Anthony Sergi, 26. Michael House, 27. Hudson Halder, 28. Jake Finch, 29. John DeAngelis, 30. Willie Allen, 31. Brian Campbell, 32. Jeremy Pate, 33. Casey Roderick