Super Late Models
Augie Grill Seeks Third Rattler 250 Win at South Alabama
Feb 21, 2023
Bakersfield, CA - Two-time ARCA Menards Pro Series West champion Jesse Love will head to Opp, AL for the “47th Annual Hardee’s Rattler 250” at South Alabama Speedway (AL) on March 17th-19th. The $25,000-to-win event for Super Late Models will be sanctioned by the SRL National for the first time. For Love, it will be a return to the sanctioning body for which he began his Super Late Model career back in 2019. He finished 10th in the championship standings that season and second in Rookie-of-the-Year points, earning a top-five and three top-10s in 10 events.
“It will be cool to come back”, Love conveyed about his return to the SRL at South Alabama Speedway. “I enjoy the format a good bit, and I enjoy the people that run the show.”
Love will be driving for the vaunted Wilson Motorsports team and Donnie Wilson. They are a powerhouse on the current Super Late Model scene and have featured such drivers as William Byron, Chandler Smith, Corey Heim, Sammy Smith, Cole Butcher, Giovanni Ruggiero, and William Sawalich. The team has competed and won at the some of the biggest Super Late Model events in the country, and Love will be looking to add his name to the winners list of one of the most prestigious events in the region.
“At the end of the day, we want to go win crown jewel events this year”, Love stated about his attendance at the “Rattler 250”. “Both times I raced a Donnie Wilson car, we've been fast and led laps. So, it makes sense to go after big races. The Rattler is a race I haven't been to, but I've wanted to for a long time.”
At the end of the day, we want to go win crown jewel events this year.
Love has found success in an array of different race cars and racing surfaces. He was the youngest Bay City Racing Association (Midgets) champion in series history at the age of 13. He was a two-time Madera Speedway Junior Late Model champion and the youngest driver to ever compete in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series. His two ARCA Menards Pro Series West Series championships included five victories and the Rookie-of-the-Year title in 2020. In the ARCA Menards Series, he has two victories which include Salem Speedway (IN) and the Illinois State Fairgrounds (IL) on the dirt. He completed the 2022 season third in the ARCA Sioux Chief Showdown, grabbing five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the 10-race schedule.
Jesse Love was the youngest driver to ever start a Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series feature at the age of 14. Photo: Kevin Peters, SRL
In Super Late Model competition, Love has garnered two wins in the World Series of Asphalt Short Track Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). He finished the championship third in 2020 and 2022, and fifth in 2021. He had near misses in the “Redbud 400” at Anderson Speedway (IN), after setting Fast Time, and at the “Slinger Nationals” at Slinger Speedway. He came home second in the “Glass City 200” at Toledo Speedway (OH) as well as in the “Badger 125” at Dells Raceway Park (WI). But the Menlo Park, CA driver is still looking for a marque win in a Super Late Model, to help get the attention of the NASCAR community.
“Absolutely”, Love replied to the prospect of a Rattler win boosting his stock. “You know I have a decent bit of wins in the Super Late Model, and have run well. But I have had some big wins stripped away from me like the “Redbud 400” and “Slinger Nationals”. But I believe in Donnie Wilson Motorsports and myself, that we can go rattle off a few Crown Jewels this year in my JBL Audio #20.”
Love will be visiting South Alabama Speedway for the first time in his career. But with the volume of facilities the now 18-year-old driver has visited, it is not a concern for the diversified racer.
“That stuff doesn't really phase me”, Love stated about his first trip to SAS. “I put in the work before we get to the track, so I can unload off the truck with speed. It definitely takes some extra work. But showing up to a track for the first time is just part of the job.”
The "Rattler 250" will take place from March 17th - 19th. It will pay $25,000 to the winner with $1,600 to start. 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, they will be able to watch the event 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