ASA Southern Super Series
Alabama 200 Win a Big Deal for Hunter Robbins, Ronnie Sanders
Mar 8, 2022
Tim Bryant and Nicholas Rogers have worked diligently over the winter to raise the stakes for the Southern Super Series.
Part of that goal was to strengthen the season long championship and create increased reward on investment to chase the 13-race campaign. Every race will pay a minimum $10,000 to win and $750-to-start and that's without the contingency bonuses.
There are at least seven drivers entered into the Rattler 250 this weekend at South Alabama Speedway that seem likely to contest the full schedule. Others could be convinced to make the trip to Watermelon Capital Speedway on March 25-26 with a good finish on Sunday.
The third and fourth races of the season take place at Five Flags Speedway on April 8 and 9 and those are events that seemingly everyone in the industry intends to enter i preparation for the Snowball Derby in December.
The Southern Super Stars contingency program aims to sweeten the points paying pot as well.
Super Late Model Drivers inside the top 12 in series points following the 46th Annual Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway on March 15th qualify to enter the Southern Super Stars for the next series points event, where they will compete against the other drivers in the top 12 of series points for up to $750 in additional prize money for the highest finisher.
The second-place driver would receive $600, third $500, fourth $400, fifth $300, and six through twelfth $250, ensuring each driver would be guaranteed at least $1,000 to start each weekend.
The Southern Super Series routinely features the biggest teams in the country and every event can be streamed live on Racing America. A guide to the likely full-time championship contenders can be found below.
Bubba Pollard has served as the unquestioned face of pavement of Super Late Model racing over the past decade with wins in the All-American 400, Slinger Nationals, Oxford 250, Rattler 250, World Crown 300 and Speedfest. He is also the 2014 Southern Super Series champion. Pollard enters 2022 with a great deal of enthusiasm following the worst stretch of his career than ran from the summer of 2020 into 2021. Pollard has enjoyed a resurgence since switching to Port City Race Cars last summer. He ran inside the top-five for most of the Snowball Derby in December, won the Red Eye 50 at New Smyrna and Speedfest in January and was runner-up to Ty Majeski in the Citrus County 125 in February. This weekend will be another big test for Pollard against another stout field of national competition. Pollard operates his family construction company and local dirt track when away from pavement competition.
If Bubba Pollard served as the face of Super Late Model racing over the past decade, Stephen Nasse is emerging as a top candidate to serve in that capacity over the next 10 years. The 26-year-old from Pinellas Park, Florida is now an All-American 400 winner, Blizzard Series champion and two-time Southern Super Series champion. While generally regarded as one of the most outspoken personalities in the discipline, Nasse has also started to mellow approaching his 30s and can also be one of the most thoughtful and articulate competitors in the pit area. You could say he has started to blend the Nasty Nasse persona with its Classy Nasse counterpart. When not racing, Nasse works as a foundation builder for his family owned residential construction company.
It’s hard to imagine, but Jake Garcia is just now turning 17-years-old and already has five years of experience in top level Super Late Model competition. The defending Southern Super Series champion is poised to take a big step in his development this year in the marquee races while also hoping to go back to back on the Deep South touring division. Garcia is latest prized pupil of 2002 Snowball Derby race winner Ricky Turner -- who is now a crew chief responsible for the development of Chase Elliott and Chandler Smith in recent years. While the wins haven’t come in bulk yet, Garcia is a permanent fixture in the top-five in every race their No. 35 enters and it wouldn’t be a surprise to them break through against the likes of Pollard, Nasse, Ty Majeski and Derek Thorn in the biggest races in 2022.
At 18 years old, Jett Noland has raced a little bit of everything from formula single seaters, touring cars, Trans-Am, Late Models, ARCA and the Truck Series. For 2022, Noland is fully committed to his Late Model program with Anthony Campi Racing. A former winner of the Red Eye 50 with five additional wins at New Smyrna across several seasons racing at Speedweeks this continued level of competition will be important for his continued development as an oval racer.
The two-time and reigning Alabama 200 winner is also the 2005 Snowflake 100 winner and winner of the marquee Lee Fields Memorial at Mobile International Speedway. Robbins drives for Ronnie Sanders Racing and is the latest inheritor of the rich history of the red, white and black No. 18 that has won dozens of races over the past 50 years with Ronnie Sanders, Bubba Pollard, Casey Roderick and Robbins behind the wheel. Robbins spent 2016-2019 as a race engineer with Kyle Busch Motorsports and did not race during that time. Since returning in 2020, Robbins has steadily built the No. 18 program back up and anticipates 2022 being their best campaign yet. So far, so good with the Alabama 200 victory. When not racing, Robbins works in the grading and paving business.
The JCR3 Racing team has won everywhere it has entered and the Southern Super Series is its latest arena. With a rich history of winning races in Pro Cup, All Pro and the Southeast Series with a marquee roster that has included Rodney Childers, Jeff Fultz, Clay Rogers and Chase Pistone, the No. 54 has been winning races for three decades. Matthew Craig is following in that tradition with championships in the Pro All Star Series and CARS Tour. They won the prestigious All American 400 in November and intend to run the full Southern Super Series schedule in 2022. The Craigs operate C&C Boiler Sales and Services in North Carolina.
The 17-year-old from Hernando, Florida emerged in a major way this past winter with a Speedfest Pro Late Model victory and the Pro Late Model World Series of Asphalt championship at New Smyrna Speedway, but the big goal was contention in the Southern Super Series this summer. To that end, the Hindes have joined forces with Stephen Nasse and Chris Cater under the Stephen Nasse Racing umbrella. Hinde has shown much improved racecraft under Nasse's tutelage and much better race cars under Cater's oversight. Hinde has said numerous times throughout the winter that his goal was to be at a place to contend for Southern Super Series wins comes March and now it's time to see how much he has learned.
The 2018 and 2019 Southern Super Series champion and three-time Blizzard Series champion enjoyed most of his success behind the wheel of the Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 and Graham Racing No. 7 but has started to build the foundation for a similar run in his self-owned No. 25. While not currently committed to the full schedule, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Roderick to run well at South Alabama Speedway and make the trip to Cordele before the 5 Flags Speedway doubleheader next month. Roderick hasn’t been able to race as much as he had become accustomed to in recent years, but he still won the 2020 All American 400 and has been a contender in the past two Snowball Derbies under his own banner. When Roderick enters a race, it’s because he expects to contend for wins. Roderick also has a win in the World Crown 300 and an ARCA Racing Series victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park on his resume.
While not able to run the full season championship due to their commitment to the NASCAR Truck Series, Snowball Derby winners Chandler Smith and Ty Majeski have both entered the Rattler 250 this weekend alongside for CRA Triple Crown champion Carson Hocevar.
Both Smith and Majeski are expected to make sporadic appearances throughout the summer at Five Flags Speedway in advance of the Snowball Derby as well. Six-time Southwest Tour and two-time ARCA West champion Derek Thorn has entered the Five Flags Speedway doubleheader next month.
Defending ARCA East champion Sammy Smith will run every race that doesn't conflict with his ARCA Racing Series schedule. He will miss the Rattler 250 as he is racing the ARCA event at Phoenix Raceway this weekend.
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway champions Michael House and Jackson Boone are entered into the Rattler and could expand their Super Late Model ambitions depending on how this weekend at South Alabama Speedway goes. Two-time World Series of Asphalt champion Derek Griffith is also set to make his second appearance at the Rattler and makes a handful of appearances down south each summer.