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Jake Finch Outduels Stephen Nasse for Baby Rattler 125 Victory at South Alabama

Making his second start in the Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 Pro Late Model, Jake Finch took the win in the 19th Annual Grasshopper Baby Rattler 125 presented by Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet and JR's Lawnmower Shop.

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hero image for Jake Finch Outduels Stephen Nasse for Baby Rattler 125 Victory at South Alabama

The second time was the charm that made Jake Finch a snake charmer on Saturday at South Alabama Speedway.

Saturday's Grasshopper Baby Rattler 125 presented by Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet and JR's Lawnmower Shop marked Finch's second start in the Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 Pro Late Model. In his first start, Finch finished second to Casey Roderick in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.

Finch was determined to finish one spot better, passing Stephen Nasse with 25 laps to go to add his name to the list of Baby Rattler winners.

“It’s super fun to drive this car for Ronnie and all these guys," said Finch in victory lane. "Second race with these guys. First one was second [place], and I felt a little disappointed. I had to come out here and show them what we’ve got.

“I struggled a little bit with restarts in the beginning. Nasse, with how good he is, I knew I couldn’t mess up. It’s just a testament to these guys. I’m proud that we could get this done and proud to prove myself, that I could do it."

Finch started on the pole for the 125-lap race, and led the first 77 laps of the event. However, Nasse dove to the inside of Finch on a lap 77 restart to move into the top spot.

While Nasse was able to take the lead, he was not able to escape Finch's reach. Finch bided his time until reclaiming the lead on lap 100.

Those 23 laps may have felt like an eternity to Finch. He admitted that the teasing of his father, former NASCAR Cup Series team owner James Finch, played in the back of his mind as he pursued Nasse.

“He caught me slacking a little bit. We had such a dominant car. Being out front by the margin we had, I got a little lazy, a little bit. He’s such a good driver, he took advantage of me.

"When he got by me, I was right behind him. My dad always messes with me about having tailpipe fever and stuff. I was like, man, he’s not going to tell me that today."

With the win, Finch also got the distinct privilege of taking photos in victory lane with the live rattlesnake that joins post-race festivities. While it was an abbreviated celebration before Finch, Nasse, and more than 20 others take part in the Hardee's Rattler 250, Finch said it couldn't end soon enough.

“I tried to get by him. I’m not looking forward to this rattlesnake deal, but it’s fun, whatever.”

The race was red-flagged with three laps to go after an incident in turn two. Josh Hicks and Christopher Tulis took the worst of the incident, with Hicks ending up upside down after hitting the tire bundles outside turn two and tumbling over Tullis’ car.

-Photo credit: Reid Scott/Liberty Racing Review

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
19TH ANNUAL GRASSHOPPER BABY RATTLER 125

FinNoDriverLapsDiff
118FJake Finch125---
251NStephen Nasse1250.516
355George Phillips1250.959
489Dylan Fetcho1251.649
567AColin Allman1251.901
638Grant Thompson1252.157
75MJeremy Miller1252.416
814PChase Pinsonneault1252.688
967KZack Dixon1252.934
1044LMike Litchfeld1253.123
1170Gavin Graham1241 Lap
1221Landon DeVaughn1241 Lap
1391Jim Wall1232 Laps
1412Christopher Tullis1223 Laps
1562Josh Hicks1223 Laps
1611Brian Reeves1214 Laps
177Steve Dorer7451 Laps
18407Jason Vail6659 Laps
1969Michael Hinde5570 Laps
2017Jake Daniels5273 Laps
214Holt Halder5174 Laps
2297Michael Goddard4679 Laps
2320Harrison Halder2699 Laps
2400Ryan Colby25100 Laps
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