Dustin Smith Preparing for Big Year of Late Model Racing
Mar 1, 2023
Bakersfield, CA - The Midwest will send another winning driver to South Alabama Speedway (AL) for the SRL National “47th Annual Hardee’s Rattler 250” on March 17th-19th. That driver is Roscoe, IL racer Austin Nason. Nason will be returning to the “Rattler” for the fourth time, after leading 52 laps in the 2022 edition. Nason was strong last season, battling Ty Majeski for the win, before ultimately settling for a third-place result behind Majeski and Bubba Pollard.
“We just need to be better in the longer run”, Nason expressed his thoughts about what the team needs to do to win the 47th annual edition. “We had short run speed, but I got to tight last year with the long run. I feel like over the last year our long runs got better, so I’m looking forward to getting back down there, and seeing if we can put it all together and get the win.”
The 2018 Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge Series champion will once again open his season in the south, and then over to Opp, AL, at South Alabama Speedway. The 4/10th-mile speedway has become a tradition since 2019, other than the Covid induced cancellation in 2020. It has become a favorite stop for the two-time championship runner-up in the ARCA Midwest Tour, as Nason related.
“It’s just a great race to kick off the season. The track and the employees always treat us with respect and welcome us to come race with them.”
It’s just a great race to kick off the season. The track and the employees always treat us with respect and welcome us to come race with them.
Nason continued in regard to his favorite portion of the race weekend at SAS, “I would say the whole weekend. It’s really a laid back atmosphere. But the race is always the best. The track always has two grooves and always seems to race really well.”
Nason will seek to bring some of the success he has found in the Midwest to south Alabama. He is a four-time winner on the ARCA Midwest Tour, winning last season at Grundy County Speedway (IL) in the “Wayne Carter Classic 100”. He also grabbed two runner-up finishes at Madison International Speedway (WI) and Dells Raceway Park (WI). He has seven victories in the Big 8 Late Model Series and has earned three top-five finishes in the “Slinger Nationals” at Slinger Speedway (WI). He has two victories in the “Short Track Nationals” at Rockford Speedway (IL) and has ventured to New Smyrna Speedway (FL), taking home a win in the Pro Late Model portion of the “World Series”.
Nason will now make the trip to Pensacola, FL and then Opp, AL, looking for a rich start to the season. It is a big effort for the driver, crew, and family. It would not be possible, except for the support of those backers, as well as the team’s sponsors.
“I can’t thank the crew enough”, Nason stated. “We will be down (south) for two weeks, so it’s hats off to those guys to make it work. I couldn’t do it without great sponsors Kar Korner, Petry, Haase Builders, Loves Park Motorsports, Erickson Auto Parts, Crazy Times Pub and Grub, and Rock River Valley Painting.”
The "Rattler 250" will take place from March 17th - 19th. It will pay $25,000 to the winner and $12,500 to second. $1,600 will be paid to those who make the starting field of 30, with $1,000 going to the Fast Qualifier. Nearly $94,000 will be paid out over the weekend. It is the first time the event has been sanctioned by the SRL National and will be Round #2 of the season series. For those unable to attend, the race will be broadcast LIVE on Racing America, with a subscription to RacingAmerica.TV.
Friday evening will see feature action for the Mini-Sportsman, Mini-Cups, Coyotes, Cuplites, and Super Stocks. Saturday night will see features for the Modifieds, Road Runners, and the “Baby Ratter 125” for the Pro Late Models. The three-day event will be capped off by the 47th Annual “Hardee’s Rattler 250”, scheduled to roll off at 2:00 PM.
-SRL National Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America